Category: How should a Christian view politics?


Should a Christian run for political office?

Whether or not Christians should run for political office is one of those “hot-button” issues that provoke strong responses on both sides of the question. There are no direct references in the Bible to Christians running for political office. But there are Christian principles we can bring to bear on the decision whether or not to seek political office. Anyone considering running for office would do well to consider these principles and prayerfully seek God’s will for his/her own life.

There is no doubt that countries where political officials are elected by the citizens are countries that promote freedom. Christians in many countries in this world are oppressed and persecuted, suffering under governments they are powerless to change and governments that hate their faith and silence their voices. These believers preach the gospel of Jesus Christ at risk of their own lives. In the U.S.A., Christians have been blessed with the right to speak about and choose their leaders without fearing for themselves or their families.

The leaders we elect have great influence on our freedoms. They can choose to protect our right to worship and spread the gospel, or they can restrict those rights. They can lead our nation toward righteousness or toward moral disaster. Clearly, the more committed Christians that are part of government—whether at the local, state, or federal level—the more our religious freedoms will be guarded. Christians in politics can effect desperately needed changes in the culture. A prime example is William Wilberforce, a 19th-century English politician who campaigned for decades to end the abominable slave trade that flourished at that time. His campaign was eventually successful, and he is lauded today for his courage and commitment to Christian principles.

At the same time, there is an old saying: “politics is a dirty business.” Politicians, even those with the best of motives, are in danger of being corrupted by a system that deals in power. Those in political office, especially at the federal level, are courted by those who hope to gain favor in an effort to advance their own agendas. Wherever money and power are concentrated, greed and covetousness are always nearby. There is great danger for Christians who are involved in worldly political systems, and great care must be taken to be in that world, but not of it. Perhaps nowhere in life is it more true that “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33) than in the seats of political power.

Jesus said that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). The kingdom of Christ is not connected with earthly political systems or national governments, all of which are in rebellion against God. The world Christians are to be concerned with is the spiritual realm, not the temporal. There is nothing wrong with Christians being involved in politics, as long as they remember that we are to be ambassadors for Christ on earth. That is our primary job description, and our goal is to appeal to others to be reconciled to God through Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:20).

So should a Christian run for political office? For some Christians, the answer is a definite no; for others, a definite yes. This is a personal decision that requires prayer and the wisdom only God can provide and which He promises to grant to those who truly seek it (James 1:5). Christian politicians must remember that their duty to the Lord must take precedence over the duties of their office. Paul tells us that whatever we do, we are to do it for the glory of the Lord, not our own (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17). If a Christian does seek office, it should only be if he/she can faithfully execute the duties of that office to the glory of God and without compromising Christian principles.

Zac-Poonen-Quote-Mans-Greatest-Honor1It is our contention that it is the duty and responsibility of every Christian to vote and to vote for leaders who promote Christian principles. God is most certainly in control, but that does not mean we should do nothing to further His will. We are commanded to pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-4). In terms of politics and leadership, there is evidence in Scripture that God has been displeased with our choices of leadership at times (Hosea 8:4). The evidence of sin’s grip on this world is everywhere. Much of the suffering on earth is because of godless leadership (Proverbs 28:12). Scripture gives Christians instructions to obey legitimate authority unless it contradicts the Lord’s commands (Acts 5:27-29; Romans 13:1-7). As born-again believers, we ought to strive to choose leaders who will be themselves led by our Creator (1 Samuel 12:13-25). Candidates or proposals that violate the Bible’s commands for life, family, marriage, or faith should never be supported (Proverbs 14:34). Christians should vote as led through prayer and study of both God’s Word and the realities of the choices on the ballot.

Christians in many countries in this world are oppressed and persecuted. They suffer under governments they are powerless to change and governments that hate their faith and silence their voices. These believers preach the gospel of Jesus Christ at risk of their own lives. In the U.S.A., Christians have been blessed with the right to speak about and choose their leaders without fearing for themselves or their families. In the U.S.A., in recent elections, about 2 of every 5 of self-professed Christians took that right for granted and did not vote. About 1 in 5 self-professed, eligible Christians are not even registered to vote.

In our day and age, there are many who want to drive the name and message of Christ completely out of the public arena. Voting is an opportunity to promote, protect, and preserve godly government. Passing up that opportunity means letting those who would denigrate the name of Christ have their way in our lives. The leaders we elect—or do nothing to remove—have great influence on our freedoms. They can choose to protect our right to worship and spread the gospel, or they can restrict those rights. They can lead our nation toward righteousness or toward moral disaster. As Christians, we should stand up and follow our command to fulfill our civic duties (Matthew 22:21).

Psalm 72

Because government is instituted by God as His minister for good (Rom. 13:4), it functions best when leaders honor and obey Him. Throughout Israel’s history, God commended those kings who obeyed His laws and worshiped Him alone. The course of the entire nation was influenced by each king’s beliefs and behavior. Since this principle is still applicable today, righteous leaders have a tremendous potential to affect their nations for good. The Lord will guide and support those who fear Him and seek His wisdom and direction for their decisions.

As important as rulers are in determining a nation’s future, its citizens also play a vital role, especially in democracies where leaders arise from within the populace. An unrighteous constituency rarely elects a godly leader. Yet Christians who share their faith and raise children in God’s ways can have a tremendous impact on their nation’s values and, thereby, on its choice of rulers.

When both leaders and citizens value the Word of God, laws will be enacted which line up with biblical principles and commands. Every instruction in scripture is given for our protection and benefit. By aligning our laws with God’s, justice will triumph as the helpless are protected, the guilty are punished, and the innocent are vindicated.

When comparing this ideal to your reality, you might feel discouraged. But no matter what the condition of a nation, you can make a difference in your circle of influence by living righteously in an evil culture and reaching out to share the good news of Christ with a world that has lost its way.

Yes, he is…. I don’t think I have lost it. In fact I don’t think I’ve been more sane than this day. All of you, from around the world, who read my posts know I don’t always agree with every denomination, comment or belief. But, Praise God for this man’s message.

I post what I believe to be Biblical truth and of substance for the human soul.  I ask you not only read this article, but to study it closely and then re-blog it. I think it that important:

Today I came across an interview between Chris Matthews and then Cardinal Bergoglio: (Here it is in it’s entirety: I have emphasized those parts I believe have significance to America and our current political leaders.)

Chris Matthews Interview With Cardinal Bergoglio (Pope Francis) That Will NEVER Air

Posted by Chad Simpson on  April 20th, 2013

Francisco_(20-03-2013)The following is a transcript of an interview between, Chris Matthews (reportedly) of MSNBC, an American Journalist and the then, Cardinal Bergoglio. It is very clear, why the interview was never broadcast. This Pope is a breath of fresh air; with a very enlightening, clear understanding of social justice. It is clear that Matthews never understood or learned a thing.

SNOPES.COM, a site run by liberals, claims this interview never took place but since there is no evidence on either side to disprove it or prove it, we have posted it since the ideas exchanged are well worth reading.

~CAMERA ON / BEGIN TRANSCRIPT~

REPORTER: Welcome Cardinal.

BERGOGLIO: Thank you. Happy to speak with you.

REPORTER: Well, let me get into it directly. Last Conclave, you were almost elected Pope. Can this happen again?

BERGOGLIO: What? That I will almost be the Pope, again?

REPORTER: No. Will you be the next Pope?

BERGOGLIO: Friend, I’m only jesting with you. I understand the question. I will not be the next Pope.

REPORTER: Why not?

BERGOGLIO: I chose not to. God has someone else in mind, I’m certain.

REPORTER: But you would take the job if it were offered.

BERGOGLIO: I think not.

REPORTER: Why not.

BERGOGLIO: I believe I’m too embroiled in the secular fiasco. It is a spiritual job, and I’m a soldier. Look at the nature of power. In Europe first and now in America, elected men have taken it upon themselves to indebt their people to create an atmosphere of dependency. And why? For their own selfish need to increase their own personal power. I’ve been a keen observer of the effect this has on the people, especially the poor. They are very good at creating poverty where there is no reason to explain it. My job is try to alleviate poverty and if that means to oppose the cause then I will not be Pope.

REPORTER: But you are worried you would be a spend thrift pope?

BERGOGLIO: Friend, where did you go to school?

REPORTER: La Salle College High School in Pennsylvania and…

BERGOGLIO: And after that?

REPORTER: College of the Holy Cross.

BERGOGLIO: They told me you were Catholic. Once elected, the Pope is by virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error. God would change any spend thrift politician into a responsible Pope. I’m just saying I’m not that man.

REPORTER: So what is your job?

BERGOGLIO: My job is to ask you? Why are men creating poverty?

REPORTER: What do you mean?

BERGOGLIO: I mean that poverty is part of the natural condition and that is bad enough. But my task is to prevent the aggravation of this condition. The ideology that adds to the poverty, must be denounced. I have and this is the reason I will not be Pope. I have a saying for myself, “no more poverty than God originally intended, in the fall from Grace?”

REPORTER: Oh.

BERGOGLIO: It is a spiritual choice, and I’m a political person. I’m sorry. I know you will make more money from this interview, if I’m Pope. Or want to be Pope. But I’m sorry. I can’t help you. God has already chosen someone, anyway. Right? You learned this in school?

REPORTER: Yes. Well? Where are you on the issues that matter most, issues about contraception, women priests?

BERGOGLIO: This might be a surprise to you, but I am Catholic. We are Catholic. It isn’t an issue and for you to pretend that it is being debated, goes against God.

REPORTER: If you were Pope, then you would not change anything?

BERGOGLIO: Certainly God would direct the new Pope to have more compassion for these newly created poor. And if there is any social justice in the Church, the new Pope would have a stern word for the creators of the new situation.

REPORTER: But you are staunchly orthodox on the issues of abortion, contraception, and same-sex marriage.

BERGOGLIO: Yes, I am Catholic.

REPORTER: You were punished for opposing same-sex marriage in Argentina. You opposed free contraception and the government exiled you. What do you have to say about that?

BERGOGLIO: I am Catholic.

REPORTER: In the secular world, as you say, you follow the conservative line. You oppose, uh.., same-sex marriages, very popular with young people. You are conservative on birth control. Won’t that be the doom of the Church, alienating young people who support reality based faith?

BERGOGLIO: Since God created the world, he also created reality. You seem to be arguing that a man can’t be Catholic, in reality. Son, you are a Catholic?

REPORTER: Yes.., of course. I meant no disrespect.

BERGOGLIO: You don’t have to worry about offending me.

REPORTER: Okay, good. Can a, uh.., Pope even be elected, if he is pro-choice or pro-love? I mean isn’t the election sort of fixed in favor of anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage?

BERGOGLIO: Yes, the election is fixed, by God.

REPORTER: Very witty.

BERGOGLIO: Well, you did ask.

REPORTER: It is being reported in America that you are against marriage equality. Is that why you feel that you can’t be Pope?

BERGOGLIO: God chooses the Pope, and God also made men and women different.

REPORTER: But you are… a conservative and oppose abortion !

BERGOGLIO: Friend, the expression on your face, gives you away.

REPORTER: I’m sorry, I’m just trying to do my job.

BERGOGLIO: And what job is that?

REPORTER: I’ve been sent to interview eight men, in line for the Papacy.

BERGOGLIO: And I guarantee you that they all oppose abortion. So?

REPORTER: But?

BERGOGLIO: So, you feel like you need to alienate the eight, from the flock?

REPORTER: That isn’t it. How can the church attract young people, when it is opposed to abortion and contraception?

BERGOGLIO: Young people are just as attracted to the truth, as they are convenience and expediency. So we will call it a draw.

REPORTER: Doesn’t the church need to modernize?

BERGOGLIO: Finally, I’ve met someone who will advocate publicly painting over the Sistine Chapel. with one of the contemporary street artists. Are you sure you support this and in public?

REPORTER: What?

BERGOGLIO: Forgive me, I was rude.

REPORTER: Won’t the new pope, don’t these cardinals realize what they’ve gotta do, if they want to attract young people, to the church? BERGOGLIO: I am a cardinal.

REPORTER: Won’t the new pope, don’t you and the other cardinals, realize what they must do, if they want to attract young people, to the church?

BERGOGLIO: I’ve explained the mysteries of the atom to rural young people and also I’ve explained the Grace of God. And you know what? They can understand both perfectly well. Frankly, I have more trouble with adults, understanding both.

REPORTER: But they have done focus groups; if you want to spread your message, you can’t have this position that’s anti-gay marriage and anti-contraception.

BERGOGLIO: And you treat the church as a political institution.

REPORTER: So we were not gonna see any kind of change when it comes to things that matter, like abortion or gay marriage?

BERGOGLIO: All eight of the men you will be talking to, are Catholic.

REPORTER: Okay, I understand. Let’s talk about your controversial stand on poverty.

BERGOGLIO: You want it to be controversial?

REPORTER: But don’t you blame various governments around the world, for poverty?

BERGOGLIO: Some… Yes.

REPORTER: But you refuse to blame corporations for their role.

BERGOGLIO: Okay, they also told me you have a degree in economics. No buyer, or seller either, enters into any exchange against his will. It is the nature of the economy. Man is frail, and he makes mistakes and sometimes is greedy and they enter into exchanges that don’t help them. Sometimes they become poor, but they made choices. There is nothing the Church can do, except try to educate people, to become good consumers. Chiefly, for me, it is an education solution on that side. And the Church has more schools around the globe, than any other faith. I say teach the people to save their souls, and also teach them how to not become poor. And how not to allow the government, to trick them into poverty.

(Here’s where it gets interesting)

REPORTER: And you blame government.

BERGOGLIO: No, I blame the self-serving, politicians.

REPORTER: So your solution to poverty, is to change the nature of politics?

BERGOGLIO: Please feel free to broadcast this; I don’t want to be Pope. Friend, you are a Socialist and your friends are Socialists. And you are the reason for 70 years of misery in Russia. Europe now, is seizing in pain, from your policies. You believe in the redistribution of wealth and it makes entire populations poor. You want to nationalize everything and bring every human endeavor, under your control. You destroy a man’s incentive to take care of his very own family, a crime against nature and nature’s God. You want social control over populations and incrementally, you are making everything against the law. Together this ideology creates more poverty today, than all the corporations you vilify, have done in the history of man.

REPORTER: I’ve never heard such from a Cardinal. I’m not sure if you are here to help yourself or to disqualify yourself.

BERGOGLIO: Please air this interview. People being dominated by Socialists, need to know we don’t all have to be poor. Some poverty is part of our being cast out of the Garden of Eden. But look at the empire of dependency, created by Hugo Chavez. Promising them, tricking them into worship of government and his very own person. Giving them fish, but not allowing them to fish. If a fisherman does develop a talent today, in Latin America; he is castigated and his catch stolen, by the Socialists. He stops?

REPORTER: You would be the first Pope from the Americas.

BERGOGLIO: He stops fishing. I will not be Pope, but yes I am from Argentina.

REPORTER: And you didn’t want to be Pope?

BERGOGLIO: God didn’t want me to be Pope.

REPORTER: Perhaps he changed his mind?

BERGOGLIO: Ludicrous…

REPORTER: Okay, I’m sorry. I feel like we are getting off on the wrong path. I’m sorry.

BERGOGLIO: Yes, let’s be productive.

REPORTER: You are a classic Conservative Catholic Theologian?

BERGOGLIO: Of course, there’s politics clearly in the Curia, throughout the Vatican, but in terms of church teaching, it’s not a political institution. It’s religious.

REPORTER: I heard people, in fact, media people say, “Is this cardinal, is he a liberal? Is he a conservative?”

BERGOGLIO: Tell them please, “He’s a Catholic.” It’s no more complicated than that. Catholicism, is what it is. You don’t have to believe it; you may not. You don’t have to follow it; you may not go to Mass. But it’s not up to you to modernize us.

REPORTER: You see no room for reform?

BERGOGLIO: It’s not up to any religion, although some do this, ’cause they want the money.’ They want the membership. But the Catholic Church doesn’t do it. It’s not up to them to bend and shape and mold itself to accommodate the shrinking depravity of a worldwide culture. It’s to provide the exact opposite. It’s to provide a beacon out of depravity, Socialism and sin, among other things.

REPORTER: If Pope, you would be bad news for the left.

BERGOGLIO: I won’t be Pope. But I am opposed to abortion. I’m opposed to euthanasia. The Pro-Choice Movement, is a culture of death. I oppose the demonic, same-sex marriage. I oppose gay adoption, on the grounds that it is discriminatory to the child. I was exiled by the Cristina Kirchner government, but I hold no grudge. How is this bad news?

REPORTER: John Paul II rescued you?

BERGOGLIO: He made me the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Yes.

REPORTER: And so you feel like you owe the Right some sort of repayment?

BERGOGLIO: There are many values and many types of people. Perhaps it is my interest in mathematics, but I’m the type of human who is interested most, in the truth. God gave me a healthy love for the truth. Loyalty, is only a virtue, if it is in support of the truth or another important value.

REPORTER: Cristina Kirchner said you held a grudge.

BERGOGLIO: Funny, I’ve never spoken her name. Not once. And it is a battle of ideas, not a battle of two or more people. I’m only concerned with ideas.

REPORTER: She said you refused to speak up for Civil Rights Violations.

BERGOGLIO: As a spiritual leader, I opposed Cultural Modernization, and so, I became a political enemy. I understand politics, as well as, I do mathematics.

REPORTER: And the Jesuits, they were eager to cast you out, which they did.

BERGOGLIO: So, you are implying that I’m a vengeful Priest?

REPORTER: Do you feel that you need to erase the progress recently made in Latin America?

BERGOGLIO: I say poverty. You say progress.

REPORTER: Let’s talk about poverty.

BERGOGLIO: Sure, there is voluntary poverty that is virtuous. Many understood the nobility of making themselves independent of the fleeting things of earth. They are distractions from our pursuit of the truth. I have no problem with this. I only oppose, involuntary poverty.

REPORTER: That is what I thought you would say.

BERGOGLIO: Why?

REPORTER: Because you are a, Capitalist, right?

BERGOGLIO: Yes, I think capital is needed to build a factory, a parochial school, or a church or hospital, all. Do you oppose factories or churches or hospitals?

REPORTER: Of course not, but don’t you think the capital is sucked out of peoples’ hands, by greedy business types, to pay for these factories?

BERGOGLIO: No, I think people agree, through their economic choices, that some of their money goes to build these. Capital building should be voluntary. Only when the politician confiscates their wealth, to build government factories, government schools, government hospitals; only then.., do the people not agree. Money given voluntarily, is legitimate to build with. Money coerced from the people, is not legitimate to build with, because it isn’t given voluntarily.

REPORTER: You are opposed to all government?

BERGOGLIO: No, of course not. But it isn’t the seat of wisdom in any society I’ve seen in my life. The best government, was created by the Americans, in which, they admitted that people are endowed by their Creator and most of the administration of society was left to the relationship between, God and man. However, slowly that has been eroded by the atheists on the left, who would replace man’s relationship with God, with a new relationship with an opportunist like, Hugo Chavez.

REPORTER: I just found it fascinating that you were willing to stand up to an entire government, in Argentina. You where cast aside. Didn’t you care about your career?

BERGOGLIO: Yes, there are people who cave to worldly authority. Even Priests.

REPORTER: But you didn’t?

BERGOGLIO: No, I changed nothing. How did I have the power to change anything in church teaching? My opinion? The Democrats, seeking votes, only wanted me to change my opinion and legitimize their decadence. I did not, as evidenced by the fact that I was teaching high school math, in small isolated town.

REPORTER: I’m sorry that happened to you.

BERGOGLIO: Why don’t you feel for others, oppressed for their interest in freedom.

(pay close attention)

REPORTER: Freedom isn’t punished anywhere, is it?

BERGOGLIO: Certainly it is.

REPORTER: In Latin America?

BERGOGLIO: I’m afraid Latin America is lost. The people of the entire area are controlled by a bloc of Militant Socialist Regimes, in the region, most prominently Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua. They have a gun, pointed at their head. So their heart is now captured. Who will save them at this point?

REPORTER: So the game is over. Checkmate?

BERGOGLIO: Friend, I’ve been studying America this month, before the Pope chose to resign. You must not have fear at speaking the truth. It is for the salvation of souls and the recovery of Thomas Jefferson’s people. America must not fall to the newly painted Communism. Even the low information voters, don’t want America to be sold into slavery. I pray they cast out the money changers, in their government! What manner of government is there, that condones sin? Abomination upon abomination – giving monies for the murder of children, giving monies for the murder of the elderly? You are an American. Your government, my child, has been infiltrated, by men of sin.

REPORTER: These are pretty radical ideas.

BERGOGLIO: No. Perhaps reactionary. Radical means something different. But a very long time ago, Khrushchev warned that we cannot expect Americans to fly from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their, ‘elected leaders,’ in giving Americans small injections of Socialism, until they suddenly awake to find out they have Communism. This is what is happening now in an ancient bastion of freedom. How can America save Latin America, when they are slaves to the government, themselves?

REPORTER: I’m having a hard time digesting most of this.

BERGOGLIO: The truth can be painful. You look angry; do you want to stop or ask a question? But you have created a new type of State, the so-called, “Welfare State.” This has happened in order to respond to the needs of the politically created, poor. However, intervening directly is depriving the original society of its responsibility. Families escape responsibility in the Welfare State. And churches even escape responsibility. People stop giving to charity and see every poor person as the government’s problem. I am a Catholic Priest and there are no poor for me to take care of, they are made permanently poor and have become the property of the politicians.

REPORTER: I’m not sure this interview is going to work.

BERGOGLIO: You asked and now you will listen, my son. The Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic thinking, than by real concern for helping people. Needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them, who act as neighbors and parish members, to those in need. It should be added that certain kinds of demands, often call for a response which is not simply material but which is capable of perceiving the deeper human need. This is not to mention the Welfare State’s, excesses and abuses.

REPORTER: I think we are done.

BERGOGLIO: Wait. If I speak on the Ordination of women, on Celibacy, on Divorce, will you air this interview and my message?

REPORTER: No, we are done.

BERGOGLIO: Partially what irritates me to the core, is the media’s inability to look at anything without looking into the cause of the various problems. People are made poor, so they will vote for the very candidates, that made them poor.

REPORTER: Have a nice day and thanks for your time. ~CAMERA OFF / END TRANSCRIPT~ (2518)

Praise God for his stance and making people aware of our current and future political climate.  Like I said, “I don’t always agree with every denomination or speaker; but this man? I agree fully.”

May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless and keep our nation one under God and indivisible.