17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come! 18 And all these things are from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea through us. We plead with you on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God!” (2 Cor 5.17-20)
Today’s post is a follow up to the last two posts (Friday: Allegiance, Monday: America). Let me start with a quote from my conclusion yesterday to set the starting point for my views on how those views affect my view of politics:
It seems, in summary, that our national priority is now with another Kingdom. We are not, however, to use this as an excuse to shirk paying our taxes and obeying the law. We should do this, so as to set a witness that we are not bad citizens, we are just foreigners who want to represent our King well while living in another Kingdom whose claims to power and authority are of a different sort than that of Christ. Where no conflict exists, we may fully be citizens of our country (America for me), but the moment any sort of discrepancy surfaces, my true allegiance must come shining through.
In light of the verses that I quoted yesterday (please check out that post for full reference to the message from Christ, Paul and Peter), it is clear to me that we as Christians must not put ourselves in a position in which our allegiance to Christ would be compromised. This does not necessarily preclude political service/involvement, in my view. However, the above verse that I quoted to begin this post, Paul seems to clarify things in some ways. We are to be ambassadors for Christ. This reframes the question here in a whole new light.
An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath: “I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” (Source: Cornell University School of Law Legal Information Institute)
- What potential conflicts could a Christian in political office face?
- What potential benefits could a Christian in political office work for the Kingdom?
- Would a Christian in political office be in some ways a double agent?
- Can a Christian swear or affirm to uphold and defend the constitution of the US without compromising their commitment to follow Christ?
- What would inability to serve in political office imply about voting? From the spectrum of voting being a sin to voting being a requirement, where does Scripture point us? (I respond to my friend Chris Smith’s stance here, and admit that I’ve moved even closer to his view since that post.)