Can You Be A Politician And A Christian?

January 31, 2006 — 10 Comments

Open thread for now. Here is the original thread.

I believe God can give us the strength to endure [submitting to the world's standards], but many fall under the pressure to be all things to all people, and compromise what they believe to political gain. It’s sad indeed. It really encourages us to pray for our leaders though…especially those who are Christians.

Original question.

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Tim Sweetman

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Tim Sweetman is a young writer, blogger, and student who lives near our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He has been much more widely known by his “code-name,” Agent Tim. This name also served as the name of his popular blog, which received over 750,000 visits between 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he quickly rose to become a leading teenage spokesperson and cultural critic within the booming blogosphere, taking on issues such as MySpace, alcohol, homeschooling, pride, racism, tolerance, and other topics relating to our culture today. His blog has come to the attention of people such as Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Alex and Brett Harris, and La Shawn Barber. Tim’s written work has appeared in Lifeway’s Living With Teenagers (February 2012), Lookout Magazine, FUSION Magazine, The Brink Online, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Virtue Magazine, Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine, and on many other blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, The Towers Magazine, and Maryland Newsline. He is scheduled to have an article appear in Veritas Magazine this December. Most recently, his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine. His personal interests include writing (surprise!) and sports, both watching and playing. He is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

10 responses to Can You Be A Politician And A Christian?

  1. To continue :-) on the Roman soldier and Peter…

    Now, we can conclude he probably did not leave the Roman guard immediately, however, there did come a time when he probably had to leave (especially when the Romans started killing Christians and Jews).
    At the time of Acts and from the biblical account, the Romans were not targeting Christians per se, there was no conflict for him, but I do think he eventually left…

    so a good measure would be, when you have to compromise your beliefs and following Christ, and are no longer a true witness for the Lord, it is time to leave that profession because He is no longer your first love.

    Does that make sense?

  2. Hi Tim,

    That was fast! So a couple of thoughts on the drive home regarding your question.

    First of all any politician is in some degree a leader who represents people who put him/her in office. The question would then be – can a leader compromise his faith as he leads?

    Now, leaders make compromises that’s a given. I’m a leader in my church and I need to make compromises in order to get ministerial events, meetings, out-reaches, etc to its completed end. But as a layman, my full-time job is a leader in the world of software. Again I make compromises in order to complete projects on time and to satisfy both the product manager who asks for features and the engineering team who says, “that feature is stupid, it won’t work, etc..”

    But the compromises that I make never put my faith in jeopardy or in question, atleast I hope they don’t. Paul says that whatever we do, do it for the glory of God. Our work, everything is for Christ:

    “Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with the sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord, rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” Col 3:22-24

    Yes leaders, politicians need to make compromises. Now what about Christian leaders and politicians? The fundamental question is who are they doing it for? To please man or to please God? Well in a sense we please men so we can do a good job, be an example, be a good employee, etc.. but ultimately shouldn’t it be our Lord?

    So Christians, before anything else do everything for the Lord, never compromising their faith in anything. We stick to that and our job, whatever that may be, should naturally (supernaturally by the power of the Spirit), follow.

  3. Of course you can be both. I just don’t know why anyone would want to be a politician…:-)

  4. I agree with Patrick.

    And in our Christian walk to do all for the Lord here is an interesting thought: Christians are begining to reshape politics from the grass roots, eventually the compromises become less and less.

    Read all about it here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11078887/site/newsweek/

  5. Petra,

    Interesting article. I didn’t know that a Baptist college out-ranked the Harvard debate team?!

    It’s one thing to defend-the-faith, ie. our apologetics. But its another thing to try to win society, for the Gospel that is, through debate. The article states how evangelicals, in this case Liberty College’s debaters, are trying to be equipped to argue to shape the society and be its conscience:

    But for the evangelicals, there’s a lot more at stake than a trophy. Falwell and the religious right figure that if they can raise a generation that knows how to argue, they can stem the tide of sin in the country. Seventy-five percent of Liberty’s debaters go on to be lawyers with an eye toward transforming society

    Going further to say..

    Debaters are the new missionaries, having realized they can save a lot more souls from a seat at the top—perhaps even on the highest court in the land. “Evangelicals have always wanted to persuade people to the faith,” says John Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. “The new thing is that evangelicals want to be more involved in the world now. Conservative Christian leaders would like to have a cadre of conservative Christian attorneys, who then become judges, politicians and political appointees.”

    Again a “seat at the top” is not the biblical mandate nor pattern for changing society. To change society is to change the hearts of its people – one soul at a time.

    The life-changing Gospel must come through the only institution that has been given a clear mandate, namely the Church. God’s people through the local church is whom God will use.

    Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of theh message preached to save those who believe (1Cor 1:20-21)

    He then recalls the calling of those whom he is talking to and reminds them of who they were when Christ called them, saying:

    For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, no many mighty, not many noble; buut God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God. (1Cor 1:26-29)

    The church of Corinth where Paul spoke had ordinary men whom God by His grace used to change the people in that church, to change the city, and ultimately to change the southern region of Macedonia and Acachia.

    Now what about the role of debate, polemics, and apologetics. All those tools are necessary but the Gospel of Christ is what is required ultimately for a man to be saved from His sin. Those tools are simply that, tools to God’s end of salvation and reformation. I’ve seen far too many good Christians use debate and apologetics as a means to its own end. Instead of using it as tools for God’s end which is salvation.

    So Petra when you say “reshape politics from the grass roots”, I am encouraged by the effort of Liberty College — but what I would find more encouraging is to see the local church, which God has mandated to be the primary means of dispensing His grace and truth, to our dying world. That would be wonderful to see more Christian politicians, judges, men at the top, etc.. but God’s style is not that way — instead the normal ordinary people like you and me, we’re the nobodies that God has called so that when salvation comes no man would boast but all glory would be His!

  6. Petra,
    I would be a little leary of an msnbc article stating that Christians are shaping politics. We would need to define are we sahping politics by sharing the Gospel or are we just trying to moralize America by changing man made laws (but no real faith behind in the One True God behind them. Case in point would be the National Prayer Breakfst this year having a non-Christian give the prayer. to what god are they praying to?

  7. Renee makes a good point. Just because the (far left and anti-Christian) media says Christians are shaping politics doesn’t Christians actually are shaping politics. Influencing them a little? Sure. Shaping them? I think not. That sounds like the typical bloviating you hear from radical liberals because they’re not completely getting their way.

  8. Good points Patrick. It’s not just the “big guys” but really all of the “little guys” who make the real difference in our society. It’s the small things that matter. Yet I believe we as Christians need to be involved in our government (I actually talked a little about this is my latest article on Baptists).

    I believe there is a huge place for debate and apologetics. For many, that is a way to be not only assured but convinced of what they’ve heard and studied. It is a real stepping stone to real faith for many.

    I like Renee’s statement about whether we are “sharing the Gospel or are we just trying to moralize America by changing man made laws?” Seriously, this is a huge temptation in the politcal arena–to just preach a gospel of morality. Christianity is not about morality like other religions. It’s about Jesus Christ, sin, forgiveness, redemption, and saving grace. As a politician, we must not compromise our basic faith in Jesus Christ.

  9. Hi,
    May I point your attention to Obadiah Shoher’s book, Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict?
    Yahoo and Google banned the book’s website from their ad programs for “unacceptable content,” and Amazon deleted all reviews. The book, however, is only honest, and the measures suggested are only rational.
    Shoher is a pen name for veteran politician. He dealt with antiterrorism issues for most of his career. The Samson Blinded dissects honestly the problems accumulated since the Jews returned to Palestine. Advocating political rationalism, it deplores both Jewish and Muslim myths, and argues for efficiency and separating politics from moralism.
    Please download a copy from http://www.terrorismisrael.com
    Being banned from Google, we depend on links to bring Shoher’s message. May I ask you to link to us from your site?

    Thank you,

    Sheila

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