Your word is a lamp
for my feet and a light
for my path.
Psalms 119:105


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CHRISTIAN’S AND POLITICS

The United States presidential election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020. At that time voters will select the next president of the United States of America. With only weeks before this historical event, Christian voters will be inundated with messages about how they should vote. But an important question for each Christian to answer is, should I be engaged in the political process at all? To answer this question, we should look to our example; to our leader and head, Jesus Christ. Was Jesus a political reformer? Was he engaged in politics at his first advent? No, he said, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36) Jesus taught that the new wine of his Father’s Kingdom could never be poured into the old wineskins of worldly systems. (Luke 5:37, 38) These could never be reformed but must make way for the new government under Christ.

In this day when knowledge is rapidly increasing in every direction, man has never been so awakened to his natural and inalienable rights, which he will not long permit to be ignored or despised; rather, he will go to an opposite extreme. Glance back along the centuries and see how the nations have written the history of their discontent in blood. And the prophets declare that because of the increase of knowledge a still more general and widespread dissatisfaction [than we already see in society] will finally express itself in a world-wide revolution, in the overthrow of all law and order; that anarchy and distress upon all classes will be the result.

But in the midst of this confusion the God of heaven will SET UP his Kingdom, which will satisfy the desires of all nations. Wearied and disheartened with their own failures, and finding their last and greatest efforts resulting in anarchy, men will gladly welcome and bow before the heavenly authority, and recognize its strong and just government. Thus man's extremity will become God's opportunity, and "the desire of all nations shall come"--the Kingdom of God, in power and great glory. Haggai 2:7

Knowing this to be the purpose of God, neither Jesus nor the apostles interfered with earthly rulers in any way. On the contrary, they taught the Church to submit to these powers, even though they often suffered under their abuse of power. They taught the Church to obey the laws, and to respect those in authority because of their office, even if they were not personally worthy of esteem; to pay their appointed taxes, and, except where they conflicted with God's laws, to offer no resistance to any established law. (Acts 4:19; Acts 5:29; Rom 13:1-7; Mat 22:21) The Lord Jesus and the apostles and the early Church were all law-abiding, though they were separate from, and took no share in, the governments of this world.

Though the powers that be, the governments of this world, were ordained or arranged for by God, that mankind might gain a needed experience under them, yet the Church, true Christians who aspire to office in the coming Kingdom of God, should neither covet the honors and the advantages of office in the kingdoms of this world, nor should they oppose these powers. They are fellow citizens and heirs of the heavenly kingdom. (Eph 2:19) And as such should claim only such rights and privileges under the kingdoms of this world as are accorded to aliens. Their mission is not to help the world to improve its present condition, nor to have anything to do with its affairs at present. To attempt to do so would be but a waste of effort; for the world's course and its termination are both clearly defined in the Scriptures and are fully under the control of him who in his own time will give us the kingdom.

The influence of the true Church is now and always has been small--so small as to count practically nothing politically; but however great it might appear, we should follow the example and teaching of our Lord and the apostles. Knowing that the purpose of God is to let the world fully test its own ability to govern itself, the true Church should not, while in it, be of the world. The saints may influence the world only by their separateness from it, by letting their light shine; and thus through their lives the spirit of truth reproves the world.

Thus, as peaceable, orderly “obeyers” and “commenders” of every righteous law, reprovers of lawlessness and sin, and pointers forward to the promised Kingdom of God and the blessings to be expected under it, and not by the method commonly adopted of mingling in politics and scheming with the world for power, and thus being drawn into wars and sins and the general degradation --in glorious chastity should the prospective Bride of the Prince of Peace be a power for good, as her Lord's representative in the world.

The Church of God should give its entire attention and effort to preaching the Kingdom of God, and to the advancement of the interests of that Kingdom according to the plan laid down in the Scriptures. If this is faithfully done, there will be no time nor disposition to dabble in the politics of present governments. The Lord had no time for it; the apostles had no time for it; nor have any of the saints who are following their example.

We rejoice to know that the present oppressive systems of governments will soon be replaced — there will be a new heavens from which Christ and the true Church will reign and a new earth prepared for the billions of resurrected mankind. (Rev 21) As we wait and pray for God’s kingdom to come, we are not to try to reform the kingdoms of this world into the Kingdom of God. We are not to enter into the world’s politics, nor to enter its wars. We know that the selfish nature of mankind will prevent a truly righteous and equitable government. Therefore, our allegiance must be to Christ and his coming Kingdom. Let us give heed to the Apostle Peter who encouraged us to live as aliens and strangers in this world. (1 Peter 2:10, 11) And let us wait as espoused virgins, not married to this world, but faithful only to our heavenly Bridegroom. Revelation 21:2


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