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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Christian Faith and Political Participation

I recently had a debate with a friend over whether it's ever good for Christians to participate in or even discuss politics. Here are some brief thoughts on the matter.

If you agree that some form of government is necessary (as most people do, including libertarians) and yet refuse to participate in politics or even discuss ways to ensure that the government performs this necessary function effectively, then you are being a free-rider. If you go even further and oppose political participation on the grounds that it is intrinsically sinful, then you believe that other people must sin for the sake of your well-being. Even if such a bizarre notion could be reconciled with Christian theology, we should rush to be the ones to sin for others' sake, imitating St. Paul's willingness to be cut off from Christ in order to save his brothers (Romans 9:3). Yes, politics mustn't ever become an idol. But I don't see how political inaction could be considered compatible with Christian theology.