Your Hope Is Not In Politics (should Christians worry about politics?)

Like it or not, the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election is coming. Along with the smear campaigns, empty promises, and ugly fights will come increased division along party lines. With the election approaching, I wanted to look at the relationship between Christianity and politics and ask the question, should Christians worry about politics?

I sense a growing fear as the uncertainty of our future draws near. We feel like we have to fight for our rights, expose the opposing side, and defend our candidate. Really, we are just reacting out of fear of the opposing side/person gaining power and the damage they will purportedly do. 

It concerns me how Christians engage in politics. But what concerns me even more is the hope many Christians place in their political party and leaders. We are way too invested in what happens in our country. Hear me on this. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be involved in politics. We should. The problem isn’t our involvement. The problem is that Christians increasingly derive their hope and identity from a political leader or ideology, and not from God.

We need to take a step back and look at where our true allegiance lies. We need to think about how we should respond to the election and how we should engage in politics. 

Christianity and Politics (how we should respond)

Every day we have the opportunity to show the people around us the love and hope that we have in Christ. Yet by and large, we fail at doing this in the arena of politics. 

Many Christians have placed their hope in their political candidate rather than in God. I know your gut reaction is probably, That’s not me. But check your heart: Where have you really placed your hope? What if your party loses this election; how will you react? 

While we have the opportunity to show the hope we have in Jesus, all too often we display fear, anger, and worry. Rather than love, we fight. Rather than strive for unity we throw stones at the other side. Instead of resting in the peace God gives us, we worry about what we cannot control. We have placed our hope in politics, and our actions show it. 

That’s not the way it should be. I think there are a few things we need to remind ourselves of about the election and politics. 

Politics Will Fail You, God Won’t 

When we put our hope in something other than Christ, we will eventually be let down. Maybe not today, but one day we will be. 

If your hope is in the next political candidate, some political ideology, or making sure that person doesn’t get elected, you will be let down. Even if your candidate gets (re)elected and makes incredible improvements, at some point, politics will still fail you. They simply cannot give you what they promise. Only one person can do that. 

When we place our hope in something or someone other than God, we build our lives on a faulty foundation. And it will collapse—maybe not today, but one day it will, and it will cost us dearly. 

Again, I’m not saying you shouldn’t vote or care about what’s happening in this country. You should. I’m cautioning us to be aware of where our heart lies. An increasing number of Christians are willing to sacrifice their faith for their political beliefs, nationalism, and (ironically) religious freedoms. That’s a dangerous game to play, one that will eventually cost you and this country. 

Look Past Party Lines

I could never vote for {insert political party} because they (don’t) support {insert political issue}. 

I hear this argument regularly as to why someone would never support anything the opposing party does. But I think this is the wrong approach. Actually, I think it’s detrimental to hold this view. Supporting a party is not an all-or-nothing approach. At least, it shouldn’t be for Christians.

Here’s what I think we should all acknowledge: 

The Republicans are wrong. The Democrats are right. In some areas. 

The Democrats are wrong. The Republicans are right. In some areas. 

Both Democrats and Republicans are wrong. In some (or many) areas. 

Here’s what I’m getting at: we need to look past our party lines. There is truth on both sides, and there is evil on both sides.

If you are a Christian, you must support truth. On BOTH sides. If you are a Christian, you must stand against evil. On BOTH sides. 

And just to be clear, I’m talking about truth and evil as defined by God and the Bible, not what you might consider evil based upon your political beliefs. Many (not all) of the issues that outrage Christians do not outrage God.

As Christians, we should boldly stand for God’s truth and push back against evil as God defines it.

We have an incredible opportunity to show the world the love of God. But until we can disentangle ourselves from our political allegiances, our message will always fall flat. 

Strive For Unity, Not Division

Unity is the most sacred thing we can strive for. 

I heard some iteration of that on a podcast I was listening to. (I think it was Carey Nieuwhof interviewing Louie Giglio, but I can’t recall.) But the statement struck me. Obviously not the exact words, since I can’t remember them, but the sentiment lingered for days.

Unity should be of the utmost importance to Christians. Think about it. We serve a God that lives in perfect triune unity, Who seeks unity with His creation and commands us to have unity with one another. Unity is one of, if not the most central themes in the Bible.

In John 13:34-35, Jesus gives his followers a new marching order, a distinguishing mark by which they will be known. From now on, people will know you are my followers by the way you love (treat) one another. This is new and revolutionary. No longer did the Law distinguish followers of God. From now on, it is how we treat each other that will set us apart.

For more on the Law, check out: What’s the Point of the Old Testament Law?

Do you hear the unity in that verse? We are called to be a unified people. 

That command should prompt concern within us, because we are not known for our unity in this country. And worse, we are certainly not known for our love, especially in the political arena. We have some work to do.

We would rather hold onto our political rights and freedoms than pursue unity. And no, I’m not saying your political beliefs aren’t important. Rather, I’m saying there’s something more important. A Christian’s primary goal in life should be to love God and love others. 

Would you be willing to have someone who voted differently than you over to your house? Have you bashed people from the other political party before? What have you said about a person created in God’s image online? Actually examine yourself. What’s the distinguishing mark in your life? Are you striving for unity?

Should Christians Worry About Politics?

Finally, stop worrying. Simple, right? 

Easy to say, hard to live out. 

Christians ought not be worried about the election or what happens in our country. 

Hear me on this. I’m not saying Christians shouldn’t be involved. I’m not saying Christians shouldn’t care. We should care greatly and be involved regularly. What I’m saying is that Christians shouldn’t worry about politics or what will happen in November. 

As Christians, our hope is not found in the next president. The next social program. The next law. Or anything else the government can do. Our hope is found in Christ alone. Period.

Whatever happens next in this country (good or bad) will change nothing of significance for Christians. Our mission will still stay the same. God will still be in control. And we can have peace. 

How we live might change. Temporary consequences might stack up. But at the end of the day, no one but Jesus has the power to make any meaningful change in our lives. No one.

Because of what Jesus has done, we can live at peace and with joy—not based on our circumstances, but because God is good. The sky is not falling. God is still on the throne, and all His promises are true. Could this country go down the drain? Maybe, I don’t know. But I do know that God’s Kingdom will remain. So we have no need to worry. We can have peace in the presence of our heavenly father.

I’d love to hear from you! What are your thoughts about Christianity and politics? Should Christians worry about politics? Leave a comment down below! You can even remain anonymous if you really want to!

Jeffery Curtis Poor
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