Culture and Worldview: How should Christians approach politics?

Culture and Worldview: How should Christians approach politics?

Even at the peak of the religious Right, Christians never formed a unified front. Christians are anything but a homogeneous voting bloc. We’re a messy mix of the entire political spectrum. And when it comes to how we engage politically, you’ll find Christians wandering down four well-worn paths:

• Some fight. These folks rally the troops, wage the culture wars, elect candidates to office, put morality to a vote, and try to take back lost ground by punching forward.

• Some surrender. This group takes the opposite approach. Sensing that the battle is lost, they surrender the controversial aspects of Christian belief. They give up and give in hoping no one else gets hurt.

• Some flee. These people escape as far and fast as possible. They unplug from media, move out of the city, and protect their family from the disease of culture by hunkering down until Jesus comes back, which some are sure is soon.

• Some convert. This minority chooses to live as missionaries within the dominant culture, seeking the common good of all, winsomely living out biblical principles, and seeking to evangelize people and cultures so they are transformed.

These markedly different options mean that we can often find ourselves parting ways politically with Christians whom we otherwise agree with in profound ways. But what is the right response?


Whether you locate yourself on the political Right, Left, or in the middle, Jesus calls you to something more. If He were retelling His ancient parable of a couple lost sons today, the rebellious brother would lean politically Left. The religious brother would lean politically Right. The younger brother would march in a pride parade or a protest. The older brother would picket those parades and protest the protests.

But notice this: Jesus doesn’t join either brother on the Right or the Left. He also doesn’t join the masses trying to duck the issues in the middle.

Jesus is greater than politics. When the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate asked if He had revolutionary aspirations, Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36 NIV). Jesus the King rules over all kings, and His Kingdom reigns over all kingdoms. But the Kingdom of King Jesus has not yet come in its fullness, and until we see it we are to pray as He taught us: “Your kingdom come” (Matt. 6:10). When the Kingdom of Jesus arrives, sin will be replaced with salvation, death with resurrection, sickness with healing, war with peace, poverty with prosperity, and tears with laughter. From the first day we meet Jesus, our citizenship in His Kingdom is secure, but until we arrive in heaven we are stuck here. But that doesn’t mean you’re not meant to be here.

Every election cycle we feel a collective ache for Christ’s Kingdom to come. Our world has gone terribly wrong, and everything needs changing.
So political candidates step forward to vie for the role of savior, each casting
a vision of the heavenly future they promise to bring. Like worshipers, supporters throng to fund campaigns, filled with hope that things will improve if only the right person wins.

Now, some kings are better than others. That’s just common sense. But no king is the King of kings, because no human king rules with Christ’s perfection, justice, truth, and grace. Some kingdoms are better than others, but no kingdom is His Kingdom. No kingdom overcomes sin and the curse fully and forever. Only the Kingdom of King Jesus accomplishes what we— and every person we disagree with—ultimately longs for and needs.

This is an excerpt from Pastor Mark’s Christians Might Be Crazy. You can get the free e-book here.