There is a wide variety of ways Christians view politics, but despite the differing opinions, there are a few points all Christians can agree on based on what the Bible teaches.
What is a Christian view of politics?
Firstly, God is sovereign over all creation, including the political landscape. Daniel 4:17 says, "the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will." Daniel 2:21 says, "[God] removes kings and sets up kings." Even Paul in the New Testament proclaims, "There is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed" (Romans 13:1–2). Therefore, Christians can rest assured that God is in control, even over the politics of whatever country and whatever time in which they live. With this assurance, Christians need not approach politics with fear or despair. Rather, we can cling to the promise of Romans 8:28 "that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose."
Secondly, Christians believe we will one day be held accountable for our actions here on earth. Romans 14:10 and 12 say, "For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God… [where] each of us will give an account of himself to God." Because of Jesus's work on the cross, we will be spared from the consequences of our shortcomings. However, 1 Corinthians 3:13–15 explains, "The fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire." One of the standards upon which we will be judged is stewardship.
Stewardship is the understanding that the earth and everything in it belongs to God (Psalm 24:1) and that humans have been given responsibility over it (Genesis 1:28). Jesus taught this concept with the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14–30. In this parable, a man entrusted his wealth to his servants and then expected them to increase that wealth while he was away and then return the wealth and its earnings to him upon his homecoming. Luke 12:48 explains, "Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required." First Corinthians 4:2 further expounds, "Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful." God has entrusted to us our time here on earth, our wealth and possessions, our health and energy, our intellect and skills, our passions and interests, and even our citizenship and the rights and responsibilities that citizenship affords. We will be held accountable for how we steward those things, including being held accountable for how we engage in politics.
First Corinthians 10:31 gives a good standard when it says, "Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." Some Christians choose to abstain from politics altogether, wanting to focus their energy on spreading the gospel in other ways. Other Christians take the opposite approach and involve themselves heavily in politics, even running for political office. Romans 13:4 describes those in authority as "God's servant for your good," and many Christian politicians describe their role as an effort to show God's justice and righteousness here on earth. Yet other Christians choose some path in between, neither completely abstaining from politics nor running for office, but rather trying to stay informed and voting according to their convictions. All Christians are called to pray for their leaders (1 Timothy 2:1–6). In all of these cases, Christians must focus on doing what they do for the glory of God, with consideration for how we will be held accountable, and with the assurance that God is sovereign over all creation including our political landscape.
Why is it important to pray for our leaders? How should we pray for leaders?
Are Christians subject to the laws of the land?
Does religion cause most wars?
How should our identity in Christ affect the way we live?
What does it mean for Christians to be in the world but not of the world?
Truth about Worldview and Apologetics