Christian Life 

Christians and Politics: a debate

With governments increasingly adopting policies and forming legislation which run contrary to the Christian ethic the question of direct Christian involvement in political issues is increasingly creating debate. What do you think?
 

Christians in PoliticsUsing the 'reponse' mechanism at the foot of this message please feel free to share your views.

Once the discussion comes to a close it is hoped to do have a Q&A session with some believers who are actively engaged in the poltical realm.

While the discussion is starting with – in positional terms – a 'blank page', some ground rules may help towards an ordered discussion: -

Ground Rules

  • Pseudonyms can be used if so wished, but if so please stick to the same one
  • The normal rules of grown-up civilised debate applies
  • The use of Scripture to support an argument is encouraged (almost insisted upon)
  • The discussion, while 'political' should avoid being 'party political'
  • The imperative to 'spread the Gospel' should be taken as a 'given' i.e. socio-political action sits alongside the need to fulfil the Great Commission.
  • There are other (older) articles and discussions on the Christians Together website which cover this whole question. These can be used for reference purposes and may be referred to. However please do not – for the moment at least – 'reactivate' other threads on this topic
  • Some CT site members are actively engaged in the political process. Any direct questions should be addressed to forum participants in general, although responses can be made to any posts by particular persons.

Caveats:

  • EO logo1Christians Together is an 'equal opportunities' site giving everyone the opportunity to find something with which they can disagree. Responses to this article should increase that opportunity.
  • The question/discussion of socio-political involvement (or not) sits on underlying theological positions which are themselves the basis of much debate.
N.B.
Some site members who have expressed an interest in this discussion are natives of and live in countries outside of the UK.


Having said all that, you are now free to respond as you wish .........

The Editor, 28/06/2013

Feedback:
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Maverick (Guest) 02/09/2013 15:23
Colin:
'We should ever try to be kind to each other Ephesians 4.32 KJV?'
Indeed, indeed - but to a true believer there was nothing offensive or unkind about my 'afterthought' posting.
It was merely an extension of my previous post in which I addressed the two basic spirits which rule mankind (God & Satan) while concurrently perceiving that the 'religion of politics' was ruled and supervised by Satan, the god of this world. And, this being so, bona fide Christians who had been misdirected to engage in such a system would, sooner or later, be called out of that system:
Therefore Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord 2 Cor 2/17

(wish now I had kept a copy of my posting - a lesson for the future)
Gordon (Guest) 03/09/2013 22:00
I see many denominational churches think it is their duty to express their views on government policies, anything from education to culling of badgers and speed limits on roads. But these churches pay neither taxes nor rates to the public coffers, and are not registered on the voters roll. To my mind they should 'shut up' and concentrate on the work of their 'charity'. They are not called to be 'block lobbyists' for this or that poltical cause. Let the individual members in their civil capacity participate in these matters, if they so wish to do. Similarly, we would not want the the Government to start telling the churches what doctrines they ought to follow. The two institutional structures of Kirk and State must be kept separate.... it was indeed the Dark Ages in Europe when the two were combined. All the present troubles in the Middle East stem from wanting to combine the religious with the civil aspects of society.
I also think the time has come for churches in our country to lose their 'charitable status', and to start paying the going municipal rates on the value of their properties, and for their income to be subject to company tax. Fair is fair !
Maverick (Guest) 04/09/2013 07:46
The problem with most if not all 'denominational'Christians is that they cannot discern between 'political' and 'spiritual' indeed, they think that to be 'political'is to be 'spiritual' (and vice versa)- which is certainly not the case.
So when they read the apostle Paul's directive to 'walk in the Spirit' they think they are doing so by walking after, and following men who, despite impudent impression, do not have have any natural leaning, or loyalty towards God......
because the natural/political spirit exists in direct opposition towards God's spirit............


Colin Ford (Guest) 04/09/2013 11:54
Gordon says "we would not want the Government to start telling the churches what doctrines they ought to follow."
But, surely the government are already doing that? They have been, and are imposing ungodly laws which do, or will soon have a direct impact on how denominational churches function? This mainly in respect of same sex marriage, and homosexuality, euthanasia, abortion, teaching pornography in schools etc. The list is seemingly endless. Indeed very important doctrinal issues?
The Bible has already been chucked out of the state classroom, how long will it be before HM government bans it altogether?

Jack Thomson (Guest) 04/09/2013 12:26
Very good points Colin - all of which proves that the 'art and practise' of politics is supervised by a spirit whose perverse principles run contrary to the true, life giving precepts of the Spirit of God.
Robbie (Guest) 04/09/2013 19:11
What confusion. The whole non-Christian part of the world is anti-God. To say that politics is any better or worse is muddled thinking. Christians are in the world but not of tje world. We need to engage at every level. of course this does not apply to misguided souls who advocate monasticism.
Gordon (Guest) 04/09/2013 19:13
@ Colin.
If we send our children to be taught by the Philistines in state schools, we must expect them to imbibe the values of the world, the flesh and the Devil. Christian will want to live in peace in the community, as far as possible, and render to Caesar that which belongs to him. But ultimately the Christian conscience acts in obedience to the Word, which trumps the ungodly laws of civil society. We are not forced to live according to the immoral licence that the laws of this world allow. Should we be compelled, then we also know how we should respond. In the early chapters of Acts, we see the believers lost three things : the fear of being unpopular, the fear of being hurt, and the fear of being poor. They were in the world, but not of the world.
A prayer: "Lord, visit us anew with your great power, and grant us love, courage and wisdom to be your obedient servants. Amen "
Colin Ford (Guest) 04/09/2013 20:27
Gordon,
Of course any true believer wants to "live in peace in the community", and "render unto Caesar that which belongs to him", and yes, I believe that you are correct in every thing you assert in your last post, and would it not be a good thing to pray for the spirit/courage of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego Daniel 10-17 KJV ?
Indeed we are "in the world" and we are not to be "of the world", there are many New Testament Scriptures that teach this.
Would we "know how we should respond"? I fear that there are too many lukewarm Christians that believe they have the Spirit, but sadly spend little time in the Word.
When I survey the things going on in the "world" today, I oftentimes cannot believe that this is the same world that I grew up in! Many think nothing wrong with ecumenism, same sex marriage, homosexual ministers etc,etc. The wheat and the tares in Matthew 13.30 KJV has an ever greater significance in today's 'modern' world?
I certainly DON'T advocate monasticism, but we are called to be separate; 2 Corinthians 6.14-8 KJV ? I think most here would agree with me that the it is too easy to be conformed to the world; Romans 12.2 KJV, but not the world to Christian values?
It all comes down to our eschatology, does it not? Do we believe that we are "claiming the world for Christ" as many think, or do we believe what the Bible clearly teaches that it is God who will put all things right?: Psalm 110.1 KJV, Matthew 22.44 KJV, Acts 2.34 KJV, Hebrews 1.13 KJV, Daniel 2.34-35 KJV et,etc.
The church will NEVER be triumphant.
Wordsworth (Guest) 04/09/2013 20:54
That word eschatology seems to have been around for more than a thousand years or more. You will be using the word hegemony next; after all academics love to use it, so why not you?
More than A Wordsworth (Guest) 04/09/2013 20:56
Too many or mores. Sorry
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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Christian Life > Christians and Politics > Christians and Politics; a debate