I’m not calling for political apathy. That is irresponsible. Christians desperately need a biblical view of government and a just society. Instead, I’m calling for believers to cast their anxieties about the immorality of society on Jesus and be on mission in their neighborhoods and cities.
Government has long been viewed as a tool to accomplish lasting change in society. As the 2016 election approaches, many Americans are anxious about who our next president will be. This anxiety is even common among evangelicals who see the use of government power as a tool to fight secularism and make America Christian again. Others view election and politics as an instrument to create a society that reflects their worldview and system of ethics.
This view of government makes sense outside of a Christian worldview. The world’s outlook on life ignores eternity and places all of its stock in the temporal. People have one life to live and the government plays a major role in creating a utopian society that reflects their ethics. But the Christian’s outlook should be radically different since our lives are lived with eternity in mind. We’re “sojourners and exiles” who “have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come” (1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 13:14). We await restoration — the return of Jesus when everything wrong will be made right.
I’m not calling for political apathy. I think that is irresponsible. Christians desperately need a biblical view of government and a just society. Instead, I’m calling for believers to cast their anxieties about the immorality of society on Jesus and be on mission in their neighborhoods and cities.
Ministry of Force
This usage of government as leverage to change society is mostly ineffective. Nancy Pearcey explains:
In recent decades many Christians have responded to the moral and social decline in American society by embracing political activism. Believers are running for office in growing numbers; churches are organizing voter registration; public policy groups are proliferating; scores of Christian publications and radio programs offer commentary on public affairs. This heightened activism has yielded good results in many areas of public life, yet the impact remains far less than most had hoped. Why? Because evangelicals often put all their eggs in one basket: They leaped into political activism as the quickest, surest way to make a difference in the public arena — failing to realize that politics tends to reflect culture, not the other way around. (Total Truth, 18)
Pearcey reveals an insightful truth: The political climate of the day is only a reflection of the culture. The government didn’t make America a homosexual-celebrating, baby-killing machine — it adapted to reflect the people’s desires.