“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority,”
–1 Peter 2:13
The above verse, which instructs believers to submit themselves and pay respect to the governing authorities, is echoed in other Bible verses.
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
Religion and politics
As politics is part of a worldly system, and as believers, we belong to the kingdom of God, which begs the question: Should religious groups stay out of politics?
The Bible tells us:
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,”
Nonetheless, many Christian groups weigh in heavily on the issues and candidates involved in American politics. Priests, pastors, ministers, and preachers often try to influence their congregation and who the members of their church should support.
But is this right? Is this even a message churches should even convey to their parishioners?
There are arguments for and against believers getting involved in politics.
Reasons why religious groups should get involved in politics
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!”
At a time in America when religious freedoms are at stake like never before in our nation’s history, one can convincingly argue that people of faith must be involved in politics to ensure that their rights are taken away.
Our leaders in every walk of government are the ones making decisions that affect the lives of believers.
The administration of President Donald Trump has been one of the most active in history in its efforts to protect religious freedoms, not only in America, but around the world.
The president made a historic speech before the United Nations this year, being the first leader to make such a speech regarding the need for an international effort in defending religious freedoms around the globe.
Many religious people also believe that the blessings provided to a nation are directly in proportion to their faith in God. They believe God needs to be an important component of daily life and belongs in the town square.
“Treat everyone with high regard: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.”
– 1 Peter 2:17
Reasons why religious groups should NOT be involved in politics
Some people will argue that the U.S. Constitution demands the separation of church and state. For this reason, they say that religious groups should not try to influence the government.
Some people, even at least one political presidential candidate, believes religious organizations should no longer be tax-exempt.
At the same time, many believers feel they aren’t part of a worldly system and, therefore, they should simply follow the laws of society and their nation, while putting their focus and attention on God instead of politics and national affairs. Several Bible verses support that thought:
“And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.”
– 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
Recent poll: Majority of Americans say religious organizations should stay out of politics
A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 63% of Americans believe that churches and religious organizations should keep out of political matters.
The majority of Americans, 76%, also felt that religious organizations should not support any particular candidate in favor of another.
On the subject of whether churches and religious organizations held political influence, 37% said they had “too much influence,” while 28% said, “not enough influence” and 34% said, “about the right amount of influence in politics.”