I had the opportunity in 2006 to serve as a legislative intern for the Washington state Senate, and spent the subsequent summer working on two local election campaigns. While I still consider myself fairly uninformed when it comes to politics, the experience did change the way I think about politics as a Christian.
1. Politics are Reactive Business. The news media seem never at a loss for problems to point out, and politicians are more than willing to solve them. The squeaky wheel gets greased, hopefully with a nice photo op for the politician doing the greasing. Hats off to those who support necessary actions before they are popular. I feel fortunate to serve a God who is always proactive in my life instead of reactive to a swirling sea of demands.
2. What’s Right for Me, and You. I can vote in a way that forces my own conscience upon yours. But if I take away your freedom, am I willing to have you do the same to me (say freedom to worship on the day I choose)? God wants us to worship Him out of free will, not because of legislation. There are certainly other issues to consider when it comes to politics and morality, but I find these principles help me temper my knee-jerk reactions.
3. Render Unto Caesar. With all the conflicts and dangers, should I even participate in politics at all? I still tend to think so. But remember politics are only one way you can be involved in shaping the character of your community and country. Much like the bumper sticker “Preach the Gospel; when necessary use words” we can strive to “Change the world; when necessary use politics.”
I’m CJ Anderson and I generally approve this message from the GLEANER headquarters in Ridgefield, Washington.