RELIGION ROUNDTABLE: What are appropriate ways for a Christian to manage the relationship between politics and faith?
Jan 18, 2014 | 3409 views |  0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Look to the word of God for guidance

The answer to this one certainly has many Christians too far to the right or too far to the left — or just plain swamped. Politics (meaning "of, for or relating to citizens") is the practice of influencing other people on a civic or individual level. Politics deal with how we live on earth; faith deals with how we live on earth as well as how we will live eternally.

Many people believe that if Jesus were on Earth today he would vote Republican, and of course many Democrats beg to differ. The Republicans are usually morally conservative, but don't really champion the cause of the poor and helpless; the Democrats show great interest in helping the poor and helpless, but are considered to be morally liberal. The politics of Rome in the time of Jesus was simple and no nonsense: Caesar was law. All who disagreed were thrown in prison or put to death.

There is really no need for Christians to be stressed out about managing the relationship between politics and faith. Read your Bible. Or, better yet, live your Bible. In Acts 5:29, Peter declares that "we (Christians) ought to obey God rather than men." If you want to vote, then vote. However, the Bible contains more admonitions and commands for Christians to live holy, walk righteously and pray for those in authority than those commanding them to vote.

Bob McClain, Living By Faith Ministry, Oxford

Political involvement should be guided by faith

When it comes to politics and faith, we often hear about the so-called separation of church and state. For many people, this has come to mean that faith should not influence politics, when the original intent was the exact opposite. The separation was meant to ensure that government not interfere with religion. It guarantees freedom to practice our faith, not just freedom to attend church. And so, as Christians, we need to allow our faith to inform our political choices.

We must be involved in politics. For some, that means holding public office. For everyone else, it means advocating for moral, compassionate laws. But however we are involved, we must bring our faith into the sphere of politics. People who hold office must allow their faith to inform the legislation they support. They need to ensure that our laws help us to become who God intends us to be as a nation. People who vote must allow their faith to guide them at the polls. We cannot support unjust, immoral laws just because they seem popular or convenient.

While it’s true that we live in a diverse nation, we are all still guided by God’s will and God’s laws. We need to make sure that everything we do is consistent with being a Christian disciple. Our faith needs to guide us in all aspects of life — and that includes politics.

Bryan Lowe, Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, Anniston
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