By Jordan Davidson |
I grew up in a Christian home with politically active parents. From a young age, I learned how the government runs, what it means to be a good citizen, and which party I should consider supporting when I was finally old enough to vote.
When I came to college, I began to re-evaluate and re-examine what my parents taught me about being a Christian involved in politics. My family’s political beliefs were never really forced upon me, but I wanted to know what I believe and why I believe it.
My goal, as a Christian political science student, became to assess how correlated my religious beliefs are to my political beliefs.
Unfortunately, the answer is not as clear cut as I had hoped.
The Bible doesn’t say who you should vote for in the next election. According to Dr. Doug Weaver, Director of Undergraduate Studies in Religion and Professor of Baptist Studies at Baylor University, Christians should keep some independence from politics so that they can speak prophetically of their understanding of God to the state.
“You shouldn’t be giving blind loyalty to your political community or state because your primary authority is supposed to be God,” said Dr. Weaver.
So how should Christians vote? Which political party better adheres to Biblical principles?
The truth is, Jesus wasn’t a Republican or a Democrat. He chose to love and serve people no matter their background, while still abiding by the law. He advocated for his followers to respect the authority of the government by asking them to “give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and give unto God’s what is God’s.” Jesus also clarifies that he came “not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.” Jesus loved people and still held firmly to the moral laws presented throughout the Bible.
According to Dr. Weaver, Christians are called to live out the principles that are taught and modeled in the Bible. Our faith and Jesus’ example should inform our civic decisions. Although the Bible does not specifically address certain political candidates and all of the current policy issues, it is very clear about what God views as right and wrong. Although it can be tempting to use political and religious labels to justify our criticisms of other voters, none of us have all of the answers.
“Most of us get so passionate about politics we refuse to listen to what anybody else says,” said Dr. Weaver. “The best way to talk to someone else is to be able to hear them, give your own views, and walk away without hitting each other.”
Who we vote for or whichever party we choose to identify with should all stem from our own personal and moral convictions. Ultimately, we, as Christians, should follow the law and extend the love and grace that we have been shown to others. Our first priority should always be to serve others and spread the Gospel for the sake of the kingdom.
Christians should not attach themselves to one party or another. Rather, we should attach ourselves to the Gospel and what God says about taking care of his people. If we prioritize Jesus and what he taught, all of our other ideologies should fall into place.