“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby…” 1 Peter 2:2
Today, more than ever, Christians must seek to understand political theology, how religion, politics and culture intermix. The scriptures have examples of godly people who were also involved in politics like Joseph, Moses, various judges, David, Daniel, Esther, Mordecai, Ezra and others. These exemplary people, because of their relationships with God, were able to positively affect the politics and economies of their days.
For a believer to understand their role in the political arena, who to vote for, how, when and where to get involved, they need a thorough understanding of the Scriptures in order to evaluate those running for office. For the modern Christian, the need to conduct an honest evaluation of our own spiritual lives on a daily basis is also necessary in order for the church to impact the world in which we live with the power of the Gospel. The Gospel should penetrate people’s lives no matter what their occupation is. We must possess the knowledge and spiritual maturity found within the pages of the Bible if we hope to influence what is going on around us and affecting us. Time is short and we cannot afford to elevate political emotionalism over sound Biblical teaching, or we will elect officials to public office who do not follow the basic tenets of the Bible. God’s blessings and peace follow the enactment of his principles. Thomas Fuller, English churchman and historian wrote, “Zeal without knowledge is fire without light.”
Today’s believer needs a genuine commitment to the Bible to become Salt and Light to those around them, especially if they are a pastor or a politician. The Bible is God’s revelation to His people, and if we truly want to please our Lord then we will make the Bible our source of truth so that we can be a real and genuine expression of our Father in our daily living. There is nothing in this world on which we can rely with such absolute confidence as God’s word. If your Word is Your Bond, then your word must be based on HIS WORD. His Word provides all we need for our journey here on earth. For many it is Light for the Weary Traveler – Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path – Psalms 119:105. For others, it is Strength and Courage for the Journey. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me – Psalms 23:4.
The Bible is a lot of things to a lot of people, but to Christians, especially, it is a source of Encouragement, Hope and Direction for daily living. One of the greatest politicians that ever lived – Abraham Lincoln – wrote, “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book.” Next to Jesus, the Bible is the foundation of Christianity. It holds the teachings and expectations for Christians. The Bible was the only book Jesus ever quoted, not as a basis for argument, but as fact and evidence of the Father’s will for our conduct and morality. (Matthew 4:1)
John Adams, second president of the United States, signer of the Declaration of Independence, judge, diplomat, and one of the signers of the Bill of Rights, was not only a great politician, but a profound Christian. He once wrote, “Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. . . . What a Utopia – what a Paradise would this region be.”
While the Apostle Peter was not a politician, he lived in a time when the politics of the Roman Government established laws that were contrary to the Bible. In the midst of this, Peter said in 1 Peter 2:2, ‘That we should as babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that we may grow from it.’ Charles Wesley said of this passage, “…That word of God will nourish your soul as milk does the body; which is sincere, pure from all guile, so that no one can be deceived by it.” To Wesley, there was no debate concerning the inerrancy (infallibility) of Scripture. As Louis Gaussen has asserted, ‘We are not afraid to say it: when we hear the Son of God speak on, or quote the Scriptures, everything is said by divine inspiration—we need no further testimony.’
Jesus himself believed that: 1. The Old Testament was historical fact (Matthew 19:4,5) 2. He believed the Old Testament was spoken by God Himself. (Luke 20:37) 3. He quoted Scripture as the basis for his own teaching. His moral and spiritual principles were the same as what we find written in the Scriptures. (Matthew 7:12). And equally important, ‘Jesus obeyed the Word of God personally. He was subject to God’s Word, and believed in the authority of it.’ (Luke 4:17-21). As regular food nourishes the natural body, spiritual food (Scriptures) gives us the strength to overcome the obstacles that come our way. The Scriptures help us maintain an intimate and vibrant relationship with our Father. The power of the Word can make Visionaries out of the Blind, give A Home to the Homeless, and bring Strength to the Weak, Hope to the Hopeless and Faith to the Faithless. In 2016, let’s study God’s Word, grow from it, build our faith by it, speak it and learn to enjoy and savor the lessons in it, thereby providing spiritual nourishment to the whole man – Spirit, soul and body. Remember – Knowing the Word of God is powerful, but studying it to know the God of the Word is the Greatest Treasure you will ever find! Why? To the spiritual miner, the nuggets of God’s Word are Life Changing!
Lastly, the Bible is filled with people who were godly people and involved in politics in one form or another. God helped Joseph, Daniel and others to become leaders in order to change the course of history. Christians, when rightly informed and motivated, change the character of political debate. They bring the moral standards of God’s kingdom into the civic and cultural arena thereby becoming agents of His common grace — of His provision for those who believe as well as those who don’t. The church becomes a compelling force in all spheres of society when her people know the word, live by the word, and share views based on the Scriptures. Christians who know and live the Scriptures can keep government accountable. Throughout history God has called His people to speak out against all forms of tyranny, especially leaders who practice unrighteousness and live a life of iniquity. In the New Testament, John the Baptist was a mighty man of God who was quick to point out the ungodly life style of Herod regarding his brother Philip’s wife. While we are not all called to be of one persuasion, we are called to vote for those candidates who are as close to the Scriptures as possible. Each of us personally is called to study the Word in order to live it out on a daily basis. Only then can we ever hope to change the course of our nation, bringing her back in alignment with the God of the Ages – who changes not.
Meet the Author
Alan Bullock has a BA in Biblical Studies, a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling, and an earned Doctor of Theology. In addition, Alan is a Certified Pastor Counselor, a member of The International Association of Christian Counseling Professionals (IACCP), and also a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC).