Millennial Monday: How Do Christians Fit Into the Two-Party System? They Don’t
Have you ever associated a political party with Christianity? Have you even thought about how the two could correlate or not?
I recently read an excerpt of a Timothy Keller book, posted by the New York Times, and while the article didn’t knock my socks off with new information and an answer to all of my questions, it did reaffirm some of the thoughts I have as an evangelical, American citizen.
If you’re like me, you’ve wondered what political party most aligns with Christianity.
Let me first point out that I am not here to tell you which political party is the best. I’m here to point out what the Bible says and hopefully encourage you to think critically about this subject.
Now, both sides point fingers at the other side, claiming that they are straight from the devil. This narrative is endless, to the point where someone might just want to throw up their hands and embrace political apathy.
That is where Keller says, you are indeed taking a side. Here is a section where Keller addresses those who simply decide not to have an opinion”
“Christians cannot pretend they can transcend politics and simply ‘preach the Gospel.’ Those who avoid all political discussions and engagement are essentially casting a vote for the social status quo. American churches in the early 19th century that did not speak out against slavery because that was what we would now call ‘getting political’ were actually supporting slavery by doing so. To not be political is to be political.”
The social status quo is a dangerous one to subject ourselves and our children to. The social status quo contradicts Scripture, and for that reason you should educate yourself make informed voting decisions.
Keller went on to point out that the Bible emphasizes different things that would directly contradict liberal or conservative political parties or political “package deals”—which suggest you can’t believe in one thing but disagree with another. I have serious issues with saying you’re all or nothing on the political spectrum. I agree and disagree with different parts of conservative and liberal ideals.
“…while believers can register under a party affiliation and be active in politics, they should not identify the Christian church or faith with a political party as the only Christian one.”
For example, the Bible says to take care of the poor, the widows and the orphans. Yet, today even some of our Christian brothers and sisters can be found shaming the poor, calling them bums and saying they’re just asking for a handout.
On the other side, you can find people who are for termination of human lives before they are born. That is murder and equally as wrong in God’s eyes. This is where Keller argues, “The historical Christian positions on social issues do not fit into contemporary political alignments.”
God didn’t create the world with the idea in mind that it should be run by a man-made, flawed, two-party political system. Aligning Christianity with either side of the fence means that people will be left out in the cold on way or another. This is why we must flee from this mindset.
Keller said it best in his concluding paragraph:
“The Gospel gives us the resources to love people who reject both our beliefs and us personally. Christians should think of how God rescued them. He did it not by taking power but by coming to earth, losing glory and power, serving and dying on a cross. How did Jesus save? Not with a sword but with nails in his hands.”
In the same way that God wasn’t a conservative or a liberal—he was a Savior, you aren’t called to identify as a conservative or a liberal. You are a Christ follower, who is called to treat the lost and dying world as if they are precious in the sight of God, as God instructs us in His Word.