In a previous post (“Opportunities for the church in Maine“), I mentioned that Dan from “The Ekklesia in Southern Maine” is now writing for Examiner.com as the Portland, ME Religion and Politics Examiner. I joked, “More power to himâ€¦ I try to stay out of politics and religion as much as possibleâ€¦”
But, now, Dan has done us all a great service by writing a post called “Christians and Politics: It’s Complicated.”
In the post, Dan explains his approach to dealing with politics and political matters as a follower of Jesus Christ. Here is one paragraph:
Let me first state that it is a difficult topic to come to firm beliefs on, as many of the subjects are that we so heatedly debate. I guess if they werenâ€™t difficult to find clear answers to then there wouldnâ€™t be much room for debate. I find it difficult to have any real firm beliefs on Christian responsibility within government because, quite frankly, the concept is completely foreign to the New Testament. Christians did not participate in government. Rome ruled Israel and most of the known world during the time the New Testament was written and they certainly werenâ€™t participating in any form of democracy. Jesus tells his followers to â€œrender unto Caesar what Caesar is due.â€ Paul states that the government is appointed by God and should be obeyed. We see that the New Testament believers took it upon themselves to care for those in need, both long term as in the case with widows and orphans, and short term as in the case with the famine in Jerusalem, as opposed to requesting aid form the government. There simply is no connection between the oppressive dictatorship of the Caesar in Rome, and the liberties and dependencies which Americans, and Westernized nations in general, have in their governments.
I appreciate Dan’s article very much. I agree that this is a difficult and complicated issue.
What do you think about Christianity and politics?