What is Christian Politics?
Christian politics is often misunderstood as imposing Christian rules upon all people – even those who do not support Christianity; in fact some would say that Christian politics is demanding that all people live as Christians. Yet few Christians are agreed on what a Christian should live like, as there are many ideas and traditions that are in the forefront of the Christian’s life. Therefore this is a complex situation of firstly determining what a Christian’s life should really look like and then how should a Christian consider a non-Christian should behave.
Some Christians live there lives in exclusion of others so they would never be “tainted” by their concept of the unGodly people. Still others live very legalistic lives where there are rules about so many things. (I remember when I first became a Christian I was invited to a fellow believer’s home after church, and so I purchased some milk on my way to their place as I felt that it was the right thing to do – that is to give a gift to my hosts. The father of the house was so offended that he refused to eat at the same table as me, as I had violated the sacred Sabbath, as he called it). This taught me a lot: – that was if I was saved by Grace and I was therefore to live by grace then I would never impose a legalistic standard on another believer. I hope I have been true to that in my life thus far.
The Bible makes it clear that the ten commandments were the “schoolmaster” or the educator of right living and that they were given to us for our benefit and not to rule over us. This means that the ten Commandments were to instruct us as we lived by “Grace”. Grace is that thing the encourages each other towards the right thing and not to condemn us for falling short of what we should do. It is for this reason I strongly encourage Restorative Justice and not just a punitive code of laws. From time to time we hear of people who have suffered a huge loss and they extend grace to the people responsible for that loss. Why do they do this? Because punishment will not right the wrong but Grace may reform the perpetrator of the wrong to live a more righteous life, and if that was us would we want to be condemned or restored to the society to try to do well in the future?
It is written that the letter of the Law kills but Grace gives forth life, and that is what Christian politics is all about.
The scales of justice is a strong image but the question is, what is in there? I would hope that there is both justice and Grace because as they work together we have a taste of our God in our world. The picture of God’s hand of grace being extended is clearly seen in bit the Old and the New Testaments, and so it should be reflected in our Christian politics in a strong and personal way.
So how should this work out in our world?
There are many things that the Bible says that Christians should not do including prostitution; and so some would say punish all involved in this trade, yet would not grace suggest that those involved in the trade need to be cared for and if possible “graced” out of the industry rather than suffering a criminal conviction for trying to make ends meet in a world where there are insufficient jobs to go around for all to make a good living. If we worked hard at making sure that there were jobs for all instead of being happy with and unemployment rate of 5% or so; especially when we determine the status of being employed is not necessarily earning sufficient to live a reasonable life on in our world of distorted values. There are times when a person is involved in stealing because they needed food to survive, while I would never excuse the crime of stealing the question is the why of the stealing? From the answer to this critical question we can find how to extend grace and to restore yet another life to become a worthwhile contributor to all of society. – This is where the heart and soul of Christian politics ought to be.
Not condemning each person for doing the wrong thing but seeking how restoration can be achieved to both the perpetrator and the victims of each event where the law is broken.
Matthew 7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Is so often misapplied and ought to be rendered do not Condemn since we are so often told to carefully examine all things, which is effectively judging things, it is clear that this verse is so often misquoted by so many so often. In the end a balance examination of scripture we will find where the life we are to live in Christ can be lived out in a responsible and balanced way.
So in the end the Christian in politics is person who extends grace and a recovery program especially where other people do not want to consider anything more than condemnation for that event, the Christian will let Grace flow.
If you want more details on how to deliver real Christian politics then email me and I will start up a conversation with you in regard to this vital subject.
Submitted by Milton Caine – email @ firstname.lastname@example.org