In 2018 politics has taken on a new form. Has politics always been a rowdy, polarizing topic? Yes! But in 2018 it becomes even more polarizing because of social media. How is the church to respond or be involved in politics? This is a tough question. The answer is not always clear but I think one thing is that the church must respond as a community.
The church is designed to be a community-oriented place; it is not designed to fit our personal needs. The needs of others are to be placed higher than any individual’s personal needs. (Phil. 2:4) This must be the groundwork for our response to politics in the church; it is not about my needs but about the needs of others. Let me give you an example of what I mean. Many Christians today are going to protest at places or are protesting things such as the Supreme Court case Roe vs Wade on abortion on social media. This response though is individualized and polarizing. I say this because even if the Roe v Wade case is overturned the rate of abortion might not decrease that much because each state will then have the ability to regulate the law regarding abortion. Is there a better response from the church? I believe there is!
I instead want to propose a different approach. What if the church responded like a community? For example what if the church actually helped single mothers who are thinking about abortions? This is just one example but growing up as a part of the church I attended, they opened a house that took care of single mothers or soon to be mothers so that they would not have to have abortions. This is what it means to invade the public and political sphere. God has not called us just to talk about issues but to actually do something about them! As scripture says in 1 John 3:17–18 “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
Could this same principle be carried over to a variety of political issues? I think that it could. Not to say that people in the church should never try to change legislation but I do think that we could make a more lasting impact in other ways. Let’s face it. The culture is going in the opposite direction of the church but that does not mean we can’t have an impact. Actually, if you look at the first-century church we can have an even larger impact! Let’s be like the first-century church. Let’s take care of the physical and spiritual needs of those in our communities and around the world.