“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

Does Religion Mix with Politics?

(Please read 1 Peter 2:13-17)

January 24

It has been interesting in recent presidential campaigns to observe that political pundits who once opposed publicly discussing candidates’ religion have begun to bring the subject up again. It was probably the presence of an Orthodox Jew on a ticket a few years ago that stirred new interest in the subject, especially after the candidate mentioned God a dozen times in 90 seconds in his first public appearance after being tapped as running mate. Then, a few years later, comments by the pastor of another candidate’s congregation brought religion to the forefront again.

It seems to us that open discussion of candidates’ religion is a good thing. People need to know this aspect of their lives along with the mass of other information we receive about them, in order to make an informed judgment about each one. Some of us have the simple idea that a person who is faithful to his Lord will be more likely to be faithful to his oath of office.

Christians have often been appalled by some aspects of politics. We fret over the huge costs of campaigning, the endless appeals for money, the extreme positions taken by candidates and the transparently empty promises they make. But still we want to help select the best leaders we can.

In politics, as in all things, Christians should remember that our first allegiance is to the Lord, for as Paul wrote, “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20, NIV). And even if a campaign heats up to the boiling point, let’s keep our heads, avoid making reckless statements, and vote very carefully, using this God-given opportunity to do good.

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