Missional Matters #14 - The political Jesus

Some Christians say, 'Jesus was not political…'

However, this misrepresents both Jesus and politics. Jesus’ life and teaching was concerned with all of life, personally and socially. He showed how we should live and the type of society to promote. As Jesus followers, we want to see people, their families and community thrive. This requires that we be involved in a political or group decision-making process, working with others for the best future. This happens in churches, communities, countries and globally. Ideally it will help ensure opportunities for all, especially the poor and vulnerable.

Churches don’t advise their congregations who to vote for. But, we do need to work towards a biblically balanced framework to assess political parties’ intentions. The USA National Association of Evangelicals publishes a framework - ‘For the Health of the Nation - An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility’. This presents eight criteria with Bible references:

  • Protecting freedom of religion and conscience

  • Safeguarding the nature and sanctity of human life

  • Strengthening marriages, families and children

  • Seeking justice and compassion for the poor and vulnerable

  • Preserving human rights

  • Pursuing racial justice and reconciliation

  • Promoting just peace and restraining violence

  • Caring for God’s creation.

This 50 page booklet is also summarised in a 2 page discussion guide, Health of the Nation. This provides a useful starting point for a respectful discussion.

I wonder who Jesus would vote for?

Julian Doorey

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