What is seen in the modern political climate is the absent of the Christian faith. Obviously there isn’t a lack of the evangelical vote in conservative circles, or liberal Christianity in the liberal camp, but that’s not exactly what I’m intending to get at.
When I say the absence of the Christian faith I mean the absence of Christian conscience. What is seen in the modern political climate is the appearance of Christianity, of religiosity, but not the essence or the conviction of Christianity.
For example, in the United States political climate, to critique a political candidate is often seen as a pastime as much as the game of baseball is (which is the case in many western civilizations). However, aside from always confronting the policy placed by these political candidates, what is also seen is the idea of mudslinging. Though it maybe frowned upon because of the unjust nature of what is often said about candidates, what can be seen is that there is a need to, not attack, but confront directly these candidates on their morality, their personal and public image. Not to shame candidates but to call them to a higher standard.
Who holds political figures to a moral standard that affirms justice and righteousness?
What is seen in the Scriptures is that only the church is competent to hold their civil magistrates to the standard of godly justice and righteousness. Why? For only the church has the objective standard of what is true and righteous, not due to what she has within her, but because of He who is the head of the church, Christ Jesus.
Lessons from John the Baptist
What can be seen in the ministry of John the Baptist in the third chapter of Luke, is the mindset that should be in every Christian when faced with the reality of our present day political climate.
- He confronted the common man to the standard of God
- He confronted the religious authorities (Pharisees) to the standard of God
- He confronted the civil authorities
- Tax collectors
- Scribes (lawyers)
- Law Enforcement (soldiers)
- The Magistrate of the region, Herod the Tetrarch (subordinate governor) to the standard of God.
The life of John the Baptist gives us a better image of what the Christian should do in relation to the political climate. We are not to specifically claim affiliation to a political party, we are not to give our absolute trust in a specific side of the discourse, but instead we are to hold those who are above us in authority to the standard in which the Scriptures hold them to. We are to call those who hold civil and religious authority to the standard of justice that the word of God holds them.
The Church is not called to wield the sword but instead be the moral thermometer that calls to repentence the government so that they may be righteous, virtuous, honest, civil, and just.