Complaints to me regarding church fall into two categories, which contradict each other and are usually proposed by the same people. First, people say they don’t go to church or believe in God because it is not relevant to their lives. Second, they don’t want to hear “politics” talked about in church. My contention would be that a relevant church must speak about politics.
Now when I say politics should be addressed in church, I am not saying pastors should discuss political parties or endorse candidates. What I am talking about is government structure, political ideology, and ethics within a governing system. Let me flesh those out.
First, we see throughout Scripture that God gives ideals of government structure. He sets up judges, as early as Moses, and then expands upon that in the book of Judges. He speaks of kings and how they should and should not rule in the Old Testament. Then He gives guidelines of how governors and governing authorities should rule in the New Testament, such as in I Peter 2:14: “or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.”
It is popular today, because of ignorance or lazy studying, to believe that Scripture speaks nothing about how governing authorities or political systems should or should not rule. Those who perpetuate these false ideas allow dictators and tyrants to sneak into government, and rule ungodly regimes.
Second, Scripture speaks of political ideology. It’s not just how governments should structure themselves and rule, but God offers political theory when it comes to socio economics, caring for the poor, justice, and how to build a successful society.
Scripture speaks of justice in a society, as I have previously written on here in several articles (link here https://maddeningtheology.org/category/justice/). It talks about economic theory when it comes to ideas of whether charity should be voluntary or through force – where we can ask questions like, “Was the Good Samaritan a Socialist?” God’s Word answers questions like, do employees or employers own the means of production: “Jesus Discusses Justice.”
Again, to those who would advocate for the idea that Scripture speaks nothing of political ideology, they have not searched Scripture. Whenever there is a void, it doesn’t stay empty. Instead ungodly forms of justice, economic ideology, and political ideals fill its place. Sinful, evil regimes are set up, taking advantage of and hurting people they rule over.
This is the area that is most concerning when it comes to Christians who want to “avoid politics in church.” While understanding that it can take time and skill to understand what God has to say about governmental structure and political ideology in Scripture, to act like there are no morals in Scripture is to deny Scripture altogether.
When the woke Christian labels God-given morality as politics, it is thrown into the bucket of untouchables which shouldn’t be discussed in church. Then we wonder why so many Christians can’t make Biblically-informed decisions on things like gender, sexuality, and abortion.
God is the owner of everything. He creates everything seen and unseen (Colossians 1:15-16), which means morality. To attempt to take the ethics of God and turn them into a political thing, and then to not to hear that talked about at church, is to steal from God that which He created.
While no political party or candidate completely follows God’s morality and ethics, we should not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We need to understand that Scripture speaks about proper governmental structure, political and societal ideology, and ethics. Removing these from church would be to neglect much in the Word of God that He has commanded.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.