by Chris Surber
Political elections in Haiti are always difficult. My family and I are living and doing ministry in Haiti this year. From demonstrations to riots, corruption and coercion, what we witnessed this year, first hand, makes me wonder if political involvement ought to be even an option for a Christian. On the other hand, I wonder if there is any hope for politics to become a benevolent force in Haiti without Christians becoming very actively engaged.
Should Christians get involved in politics?
By involvement, I’m begging a discussion on a spectrum of possible levels of involvement. Should Christians even vote? When they do they are taking part in what is very often a farce, an illusion of Democracy. Further, who says that anything about Democracy is inherently godly or even beneficial in any way to the Gospel message? Democracy has its roots in Greek philosophy more than the Bible, doesn’t it?
What about running for office? Christians often get involved in politics in an effort to shine a light into a dark arena of society only to find politics putting a lampshade over their light. I’m convinced that any Christian that gets involved in politics on any level is in serious danger of losing themselves to the allure of power and prowess that is inherent to the political process.
In my book Rendering Unto Caesar, I wrote, “Every Christian who makes it their burden to cling to political leaders, and to press political ideologies as though they have the power to bring more hope into the world, will only find themselves filled with more anxiety and less peace. The hope of Christ can only be found in distinctly Christian gatherings of transformed sinners. That hope can never be pressed into or pushed upon the kingdoms of the world, no matter how hard or sincerely we press.” (Page 35)
Living a year in Haiti has made me both much more appreciative of the freedoms and democracy we enjoy in America and less inclined to trust in it. I love being an American, but even the best kingdom of this world can never be fully just. I’m convinced that while we should influence as we are able, vote for the candidates that most closely reflect godly principles for society, followers of Jesus must follow Jesus on a parallel path to politics, not in step with politics.
Apart from a distinct call from God through the leading of the Holy Spirit into a political arena, I’m convinced that followers of Christ will walk closer to God the further from the political process that they walk. I’ve never walked through mud without getting muddy, and no matter how much pure water your pour on mud it will still be dirty. Better to purify the world one repentant sinner at a time than to pour pure living water into the mire of modern politics.
If you walk to the political road as a Christian you better walk it very carefully, or rather than shinning a light, you’ll have your light covered.