Saying “God doesn’t care about politics” is a kind of “get out of argument free” card when under withering assault from the secular elite. It is the equivalent of saying, “Yes, I am a Christian, but the one true God doesn’t care about politics, so please don’t judge me by the political viewpoints of my fellow believers.”
God cares about politics because He cares about everything. The reality is that God is concerned with His glory, and Psalm 57 says that His glory covers all of the earth. Historically, believers have understood that their involvement is for the purpose of elevating the political dialogue to the level of what God cares about. John Calvin stated the point quite strongly: “For where the glory of God is not made the end of the government, it is not a legitimate sovereignty, but a usurpation.”
Political decisions have a moral basis. Even something as simple as a stop sign has a moral component— we put it up to regulate the flow of traffic so that people don’t get hurt because people have value as God’s image bearers. In every political act, someone’s morality will always be imposed— the only questions are whose morality and on what basis.
This is not to say that Christians should get involved in politics merely to claim their fair share of power. Rather, involvement proceeds from this: The end of every life pursuit is to know God and make Him known. Politics is a form of discipleship, our involvement in which helps shape us into the image of Christ.
What possible spiritual good could come from being involved in politics?
- Thoughtfulness. In politics we have to consider the viewpoints of those we disagree with, which builds patience.
- Humility. We realize that our capacity for creating change is truly limited, which builds trust in God’s sovereignty.
- Perspective. We realize that there are no perfect choices in a fallen world, which forces us to prayerfully discern the proper course when there seem to be no good options.
Saying that “God doesn’t care about politics” is to constrain His power in one very important part of the world in which we live—community decision-making. If you’re still not convinced, meditate on Psalm 24—“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” (NIV)—and see if you think that God would limit Himself in this way.