God’s Indifference About Our Politics

By Graham Glover

God doesn’t care. Not one bit.

Democrat? Yawn. Republican? Yawn. Socialist? Libertarian? Liberal? Conservative? One big giant yawn from the Lord.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being extremely interested, my guess is God is about a -47 (and that’s probably being too generous).

Seriously folks, God doesn’t care about our politics. At all.

So please, for the sake of our public discourse, as well as our waning attempt at maintaining our democratic republic (to say nothing of our right understanding of God), stop trying to make our political issues sound like they are formed by church doctrine. They aren’t. While some believe otherwise, there is simply no such thing as a Christian position on public policy – and that goes for those on the right, the left, and everywhere in-between.

Yet many of us are tempted to make our politics out to be divinely inspired. In our efforts to make our nation and our society more “Christian” (whatever that means), we try so hard to be “righteous” when taking political stands.

But why do we do these things? Why do we naively think that God cares about our politics?

The easy answer is that Christians regularly confuse the proper role and purpose of the church and the state. We comingle them when we shouldn’t. We use them to support the other when we know the dangers in doing so. More often than we ought, Christians fail at maintaining a right understanding of the ecclesial and civic realms.

But there’s more to this story. There’s a deeper reason Christians make these absurd political claims.

We’re intellectually lazy – politically and theologically.

Instead of forming political opinions based on sound reason and empirical evidence, we default to what we think sounds (or at least comes off as) “more Christian”. We claim that God is on our side, that it is un-Christian to support our opponents bill or vote for their candidate, and voila, we’re doing God’s work. In our intellectual laziness, we jump to quick conclusions about public policy, failing to fully understand the nuances of how laws really affect people. Second and third order effects seldom cross our mind.

So, we continue join the choirs of the right and the left who sanctimoniously stand atop their political pulpits as though they are 21st century prophets sent by God Himself to remake the state (and the church) into the image of their particular special interest group. And as we make our case, we deceive ourselves and those that listen to our ill-informed banter into thinking that there is a Christian answer to our political ills.

This isn’t mere confusion, it’s outright laziness.

Our intellectual laziness has made us political morons and theological duds, and it’s tearing apart Christians and Americans, ransacking our churches and corrupting our republic. And all the while we think God cares about our politics.

I’m not telling you to stop championing your political causes. Keep marching for liberal issues. Take your stand for conservativism. Vote Republican. Support Democrats. Become a socialist. Embrace libertarianism. Just remember, God doesn’t care. He’s indifferent about our politics.

Your theology however…now that’s different issue altogether.

5 thoughts on “God’s Indifference About Our Politics

  1. Who says God does not care about your political views? Is He not concerned about right and wrong, and does He not weigh your thoughts and choices? God is indeed deeply concerned about politics as it affects His word. Throughout the Old Testament, Scripture has much to say about spiritual adultery and the relationship to the politics, practices and morality of God’s people at various times and periods. Furthermore, a person’s political views and one’s voting history reveal the character of one’s heart; one who willfully chooses to support miscreant political leaders and enables unbiblical causes and movements reflects an attitude in which faith has no real personal or practical impact..To the secular humanist and the moral relativist, this is an acceptable and expedient way to interpret political opinions, but to the Biblical Christian, it is entirely misguided. Of course, in the desire of some to separate their politics from their faith, and appear fair and intellectual, they prefer to remove it entirely from the political arena. It evidently works for many Americans, who place their faith and convictions on a dusty shelf, and for political expediency, lend their support, encouragement, and financial resources to political parties and politicians whose platforms advance abortion, homosexuality, and immorality. Without faith to guide your politics, the Gospel finds no platform or evidence of your beliefs, and one is left with a hypocritical and false religious witness. If the church is a light on a hill, it must be visible and yes..it must address the politics of the world directly and indirectly.

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    1. John, first of all, glad to have you back! I’ve missed your comments!

      I didn’t say God doesn’t care about my thoughts. I said He doesn’t care about my politics. This is an important distinction.

      To that end, I don’t think we should ever say a particular political creed is “right” or “wrong”. Now, there are some obvious exceptions to this (Nazi Germany under Hitler, Communism in the USSR, etc.), but I’m not concerned with these. My post is directed primarily at Americans and could be applied to most, if not all other democracies at well. My concern is with Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, Libertarians, Liberals, and Conservatives who all, to some degree or another, make claims that their positions are more “godly” or more “righteous”. This is simply not true and is, I think, the root of many problems we have with our public discourse and our ability to govern.

      A few questions based on your comments above:
      1) Are you willing to make a judgment call on the character of someone based solely on who they vote for? If so, what issue or issues should be the basis for how we ought to judge our neighbor?
      2) Is it possible for a secular humanist or a moral relativist to be a good politician, judge, or for that matter, a citizen? (I think so, even if I find their theology abhorrent.)
      3) For arguments sake, would you be willing to concede that an orthodox, confessional Lutheran could be a loyal socialist? Or how about a proponent of a monarchy?
      4) What issues ought the church speak to? We seem to default to life, marriage, and religious liberty. Are there others?

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  2. Your points are well taken, and many Christians would agree with you. However, in my view, politics and faith are not entirely something one can consider separately. Faith should guide one’s political opinions, as it should influence the position one takes on social issues. In this fallen world, we have a more narrow path to follow than a non-believer, that is, if we are concerned with honoring the Lord of glory, whom we serve and follow. This is not to say we should reflect spiritual pride or condemnation towards others holding to different religions or viewpoints. But in the act of expressing our faith in our words and views, we will find we ourselves being condemned and judged by the world anyway.
    In answering your 4 questions, let me respond as follows: 1. Am I willing to judge someone on the basis of whom they vote for? I do not judge or condemn their person, as I also am a sinner in need of grace, but I can and will criticize the views of a professing Christian who actively supports a political candidate who is advancing abortion, the willful and ruthless destruction of helpless babies made in the image of God. For what reason should any Christian see virtue in a political leader who defies the Lord and promotes the funding and butchery of children in the womb? For what crime is the child worthy of death? Are 50 million destroyed children enough to satisfy the blood lust of this nation. Remember that the reliable statistics of the Guttmacher Institute report that 93 percent of abortions are for convenience alone. Christians who support abortion cannot claim there is any virtue in supporting such policies.
    2. Indeed it is possible for a secular humanist or a moral relativist to be an effective judge or politician, but expect at some point he or she will rule or govern in a way that is contrary or even hostile to the faith you follow.
    3. A a Lutheran can be in favor of socialism or a monarchy, but the devil is in the details. What values and positions are fostered in this political environment. Tyranny has been prevalent in both.
    4. The issues which the church must visibly stand against are abortion, homosexuality, immorality, and persecution, as well as injustice. This must be done peacefully and civilly. It will almost always bring upon the church great animosity from the culture, and so what! Either we stand for the right reasons, or fall for the wrong ones.
    I realize there are other views, and I make no claim to being the only voice. In humility of spirit, we must all make our own stand, and each of us must answer to God and our conscience.

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  3. John, I think you summed up my point in your last sentence: “I realize there are other views, and I make no claim to being the only voice. In humility of spirit, we must all make our own stand, and each of us must answer to God and our conscience.”

    In politics, there is, more often than not, no right answer. Even on those issues where we agree (life and marriage) and on which I think there is a clear biblical answer, how that plays out in the public realm is not so easy.

    I want Christians to take stands on issues. I want Christians to be active in the public realm. I absolutely want our faith to continue to inform our politics.

    What I don’t want, what I think is dangerous, is for us to make claims that our politics are divinely inspired, that God prefers one type of government over another, that one party is more “godly”, or that we should never compromise in the civil realm.

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  4. Graham, my brother in Christ, a good write up. As you well know I am pretty conservative in my politics and yet I also do not believe that someone is going to hell because they are liberal. What concerns me is the “theology of the left” and the “the theology of the right”, when it comes to politics, as both tend to be autocratic and would seek to impose their own theological beliefs, disguised as political views (which is one reason I had such a hard time supporting Ted Cruz with his “dominionist” views) I would oppose both. The good news is that God’s love, grace and mercy are so awesome and comforting. Too know that I can go to Him through Christ, confess my sins, and know that I am forgiven is what is important and comforting. I think that if we were to engage others who think differently both from a religious and political point of view with that message of hope, things would be much better. Some will react in a bitter way, some will not. but still the seed has to be planted….anyway…good to see you back writing. Hope all is well in Hawaii. By the way our brother Brent Smith is going to be living in Omaha and working the central US for Mission Central in Iowa. It will be good to have him back in the area…peace brother…Mark

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