Monday, September 21, 2015

Should Christians be Republican or Democrat?

With the election cycle in full view and debates raging over who may be the next nominee in each political party, the question of faith and politics will always come up in our dialogue with others. Is there a distinct political party that Christians should be more favorable towards? Can you be a Christian and subscribe to a specific political party? Will God be happy with us if we vote for the Republican candidate rather than the Democrat, or vice versa? These questions are common and reasonable for any Christian who desires to please God in all that they do and in this article we will attempt to answer them from a Biblical perspective.

First off it is important to understand the role that our culture and upbringing has on our political preference. Depending on our background and the political preference of our close relatives and friends we all have an underlying propensity toward a certain political party whether we realize it or not. Many people identify with a certain party on this basis alone and really have no idea what that specific party believes or if they agree with all of the statements in the "party platform." With this in mind we must not be quick to judge people based upon the political party that they claim to subscribe to. It would be unreasonable and unfair to judge the genuineness of a persons relationship with God based solely upon the political party that they have an affinity for.

Regarding political affiliation. As it relates to political affiliation we must begin by reviewing the "party platform," and next the political candidates themselves, comparing their beliefs with what the Word of God teaches. Out of all political issues, the Bible puts the heaviest emphasis on the category of social issues. The reason for this is because God cares deeply about our spiritual well-being as a Nation, I believe every other political issue is secondary to this in God's eyes. BiblicalQuestions.net does not endorse any political candidate who personally affirms the killing of the unborn, and the legitimacy of gay marriage. These two issues are the reason that a large portion of the Republican vote is comprised of Evangelical Christians, because the Republican party generally opposes these two issues. The Bible consistently forbids both of these practices (Ex. 20:13, Prov. 6:16, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-28) and as Christians we are obligated to do all that we can to prevent political candidates who condone these issues from ever entering into office.

The other three issues that many have questions regarding are immigration, foreign policy, and tax policy. Regarding immigration the Bible tells us that we are to treat "aliens" with respect (Leviticus 19:33-34), but it also does not encourage the breaking of laws (Romans 13:1). This means that we should be kind and receptive to those who decide to immigrate to America, we should support working towards a simple process for people to use if they would like to do so. At the same time we should be careful not to condone illegal immigration in "the name of compassion." Regarding foreign policy the Bible tells us that we should "seek justice" (Micah 6:8), and that "Israel is the apple of God's eye" (Zech. 2:8). This means that we should only support war that is predicated on serving justice to wrongdoers (Romans 13:4), and we should oppose all candidates and policy decisions that treat the Nation of Israel with antisemitic contempt. Regarding tax policy the scripture says "give unto Caesar what is Caesar's" (Mark 12:17). This is an area of scripture where God doesn't comment heavily. In the Old Testament people paid tithes to the temple, but no specific taxes to the government were outlined to secular nations. Jesus basically said "pay your taxes." This means that whether you are for higher taxes or lower taxes it doesn't make much of a difference to God as long as you do not encourage tax evasion or encourage people to use tax dollars to avoid contributing to society (2 Thess. 3:10).

 So, "Is there a distinct political party that Christians should be more favorable towards?" It depends on the candidates that are available to choose from, we must all do our due diligence (1 Thess. 5:21) to evaluate the candidates and see if they believe according to God's Word, you may find candidates from any party that do not agree with the totality of their party platform. "Can you be a Christian and subscribe to a specific political party?" Yes, as long as you do so in good conscience toward God and you have studied thoroughly to conclude that the party is fairly consistent in their Biblical beliefs. Prayer and reading your Bible will always help in these matters. "Will God be happy with us if we vote for the Republican candidate rather than the Democrat, or vice versa?"  God is looking at our heart. Nobody can fully trust or know everything about every candidate. God is expecting us to be prayerful and use good judgment, if we do this, He will be pleased. All in all we must be committed to voting our Biblical values as best as we can at election time. Many Charismatic candidates are sure to show their talents off this political season, but we must be careful to vote for the candidates who show character rather than the candidates who show charisma. God bless and happy voting!

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