What we've been reading this weekNick Spencer on the electionContacting election candidatesHow to Show Up Snap Election - How to respond?Thoughts from a Broom CupboardDifficulties getting to the Polling Station?Can’t be bothered to vote? Some reasons why you should….Politics is in need of incarnation, not just demonstration10 Reasons Christians Should Vote in the ElectionsThe election as an opportunityPolitics is dead...When praying for your leaders feels tough...'THOSE WHO SHOW UP' - Every church leader should read this book! If you care about your neighbour, you care about politicsDoes politics really matter?Why the Catholic Church calls us to be "active citizens"Serving God On the Inside and On the OutsideWho would Jesus vote for?5 reasons Christians don't get involved in politicsShifting views on politics from an Ethiopian immigrantOne student's u-turn on politicsTime to get engaged!A call for students to have a go!

5 reasons Christians don't get involved in politics

Here at Christians in Politics, we’ve heard all the excuses of why Christians shouldn’t be involved in politics. Five stand out as the most common. So, let’s tackle those reasons head on, Bible in hand.

1. It’s a dirty game

Think of your typical politician and many people will think of a power hungry and dishonest individual. This is largely due to our current media age which is obsessed by scandal and selling papers. What grabs the headlines isn’t the mundane everyday task of being an MP that serves a constituency; it’s the scandalous and the shocking.

While it’s true that many politicians have acted dishonestly in the past, this is only a very small part of a wider more complex picture. Many more MPs are doing their best to serve others while also being deeply disturbed by the corrupt actions of a few.  

The question we need to ask ourselves is will we simply critique like Pharisees, or serve like Jesus?

2. But I can’t agree with everything that party stands for

That you don’t agree with everything a party stands for should come as no surprise. Indeed, you probably don’t agree with everything your spouse or church or work colleagues think.     

Sometimes you just have to live in the tension, pick a horse and get on it to work for the common good.

The other more obvious point is that if there are policies that we disagree with in a certain party, then how will those policies be changed unless people like us get involved in making the arguments? Your voice is heard much more clearly when you whisper from a place of relationship, rather than rant from a distance.

3. Those meetings are so boring

Jesus never called us to comfortable situations, where there were always soft seats, donuts and ever-flowing fairly-traded coffee. He mentioned something about taking up a cross, which sounds a bit like hard work. He mentioned something about persistent prayer. And he didn’t just talk about it. He fleshed it out in his life. Obedience to his Father and his call always came before comfort.

4. It’s not really the top priority is it?

The argument goes – helping the poor is great but actually what is eternal is more important. Some of us believe this intentionally, while some of us believe this by default from years of presumption.

Now I wholeheartedly believe that people do need Jesus, but I also believe the bigger story needs telling.

Tom Wright says that our idea of heaven has been based more on medieval art depicting clouds and angels than on a biblical understanding. In Revelation 21 we see that the new heavens and new earth combine. Earth will be restored, redeemed and reconciled to its creator, through every dimension of human life.   

Ridiculously, we are called to be partners with God in his mission to see the restoration, redemption and reconciliation of all things. If that is the ultimate goal, then suddenly our involvement in all the structures of this world starts to make sense. If there is to be total transformation, it will involve every sphere of economics, art, science, architecture, plumbing, agriculture.

This place IS the next place. It will be transformed. And incredibly we are called to be part of demonstrating what this next place will be like right now.

5. We’re busy doing a good job here. Look at our impact

Whether it’s debt counselling, youth clubs, pregnancy advice centres, or foodbanks, God’s people are seeking to bring transformation to every aspect of people’s lives.

All of this is crucial. But there is a definite temptation. You see there’s a big difference between charity and justice. We enjoy dishing out charity, as it actually makes us feel good. What is more difficult is being part of the process that makes that charity unnecessary. Desmond Tutu put it this way. “As Christians, we need to not just be pulling the drowning bodies out of the river. We need to be going upstream to find out who is pushing them in.”