As a Christian, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about the role I play as an American citizen.  Some of my previous posts show evidence of this.  I recently picked up a book at the library by Gregory A. Boyd called The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church.  One of Boyd’s main points is that associating Christianity with America is dangerous because of all the non-Christian actions America has taken in the past.  Point taken, but I don’t necessarily think that means that Christians should be silent about what’s going on in our country—and by our country, I mean the country in which we live.  Considering Boyd’s views, as well as others’, I’ve been examining my own thoughts and forming my own conclusions on the issue.   When a friend recently invited me to hear him speak on this very issue, I decided it was time to share my thoughts.  Here’s what I’ve concluded:

 It seems to me that the word politics has two different meanings: 1) the first is used to refer to governmental matters or offices and 2) the second refers to deal-making, special interests, self-interest or gain, etc.  The first has a neutral connotation, while the second one obviously has a negative connotation.  Because of the second meaning, many people, especially Christians, have come to fear the word in general.  The second seems evil, and therefore Christians don’t want to dabble in it.  Too many Christians are reluctant to be #1 politicians because they fear #2 politics or from fear of being co-opted into #2 politicians.  They’re also afraid of even following politics and voting because of the negative connotation that has been given to the term as a result of the #2 definition.  But it is because of the #2 politics that Christians need to get involved—as both government officials and active citizens.  Here’s the reason why.  Number 2 types are what corrupts the government, and the more deal making and whatnot that takes place, the bigger and more out of control government gets because it becomes an idol to these people.  In serving their own self-interests and political careers, they actually serve and become slaves to the government (spiritually).  At the same time, the common people are affected and become slaves physically/financially. 

 The government begins to get so out of control that it then has to drive God out of the picture in order to continue to function as a god itself because man cannot serve two gods, and if he’s serving the one true God, the government god will be limited.  So, God has to go.  As it becomes more and more powerful, the government god starts taking on the responsibilities of the one true God and starts dealing out rights to people and deciding who lives and dies, etc.  But then it goes even further and starts making everyday decisions for us to the point that we have no decisions left to make for ourselves.  The government would have us become robots.  This is against everything the true God stands for because he created us in his image as free-thinking beings capable of making our own decisions and governing ourselves.  That’s what makes a relationship with God so special—the fact that we choose him. 

 I read a couple of books not too long ago by husband and wife writing duo John and Stacy Eldredge called Captivating and Wild at Heart.  Captivating is all about how women are made in God’s image and what characteristics we inherited from Him..  Wild at Heart is about men.  Captivating explains how a woman wants to be sought after and fought for because God wants to be sought after and fought for by His people.  He doesn’t want us to be robots.  He wants us to be free to choose him; that’s why he made us to be free.  And a government that goes against that is a government against God.  God also wants us to fight for Him—meaning he wants us to do everything we can to guard and protect our relationship with Him.  And that means getting involved and peacefully doing what’s necessary to take our nation back for God—not so that we can establish a Christian nation or force religion on people (that would also go against God’s intentions), but so that we can remain free to love him if we so choose and, at the very least, be free to be what we were created to be.  And that’s not a slave to some false god of government.  Perhaps a better phrase would be to take our nation back for the people—for God.  So Christians need to realize that #1 political involvement does not mean that you dabble in #2 politics; on the contrary, it means that you keep #2 politics at bay for the freedom to live free lives and for the freedom to advance God’s kingdom, which is what all Christians are called to do.