Why Do Millions of Christians Ignore Politics?

Let’s get a few preliminaries out of the way. First, there is no doubt that there are few differences between the two major parties. With both Houses of Congress owned by the Republicans, one would think that the claimed differences would have come out and the GOP would have fought for the principles they claim separate them from the Democrats.

This leads to the second observation. Many Christians believe their voted doesn’t make much difference even when their guy wins because their votes are overwhelmed by the GOP establishment majority that dilutes the effectiveness of the constitutionalists.

Third, they are tired of sending people to Congress who promise one thing and then break that promise and offer political excuses for the votes they make. This happened in my district in Georgia. Rep. Barry Loudermilk voted for the 2000-page Omnibus Appropriations Bill even though it continued to fund Planned Parenthood to the tune of $500 million. There’s so much pork in the Omnibus Bill that a devout Muslim wouldn’t touch the paper it’s printed on.

Here’s how a letter-to-the-editor writer who praised Loudermilk’s vote:

“But you can’t beat something with nothing, so our delegation used the only currency they had [to get specific issues related to Georgia passed]: their votes for or against the Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Thankfully, Representative Loudermilk and the Georgia Delegation put their districts and state’s interests first, and harmful provisions were defeated as a direct result of their efforts.”1

This means that the 300+ million people in the other 49 states (along with Georgia) get saddled with the multi-billion-dollar Appropriations Bill because the Georgia Delegation wanted something specific to Georgia taken out that Alabama had put in. Instead of voting for specific issues in separate bills, they are put into an Omnibus Appropriations Bill.

Loudermilk voted for the bill because “the new House Speaker” had “pledged to bring up for votes the other issues that Loudermilk wanted to see addressed in the bill,” issues that everyone knew Obama would veto.

Fourth, millions of Christians are uninformed on issues like economics, education, and foreign policy. They’ve never been taught the foundational principles of the free enterprise system that’s based on the biblical law of “You shall not steal” (Ex. 20:15), even if a majority of people believe it’s OK.

Fifth, then there are the unbiblical theological claims.

We should just preach the gospel (Paul told the Ephesian elders that he did not shrink from declaring to them the “whole purpose of God”: Acts 20:27), politics is dirty (what isn’t?), Jesus didn’t get mixed up in politics, so why should we (Jesus didn’t get married, have children, or own a home either), our citizenship is in heaven (this didn’t stop Paul from using his Roman citizenship: Acts 22:25-29), there’s a separation between church and state (but not between God and government), Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world (but it is over this world), politics is not spiritual (then why does the Bible describe the civil magistrate a “minister of God”?), the devil is the god of this world (actually he’s said to be the “god of this age” that was coming to an end in Paul’s day), we’re not supposed to judge (we are to be consistent in judgment and “judge with righteous judgment”: John 7:24 ), we must render to Caesar what’s Caesar’s (we don’t live under Caesar, we live under a Constitution, and we can remove and replace people in office), Christians should remain neutral (neutrality is impossible), we can’t impose our morality on other people (all law is the imposition of someone’s view of morality), and we’re living in the last days and Jesus is coming soon to rapture His church so why polish brass on a sinking ship? (How many times have we heard this claim?)

I deal with these and other misunderstandings in greater detail in my book Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths.

  1. Don Stevens, “Why we owe Barry Loudermilk a big ‘than you,’” Marietta Daily Journal (January 19, 2016), 7A. []
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