Monday, February 04, 2008

Political Passivity - Vice or Christian Virtue?

Note to our readers: We have posted this previously but this excellent commentary is worth running again on the eve of an important primary election...

From "Political Passivity—Vice or Christian Virtue?" by Greg Koukl, posted 4/30/07 at

It’s not only the left that sounds the alarm when Christians “jeopardize the separation of church and state” by engaging in political action. Some Christians object, too. One evangelical leader offered this stern warning: “There should not be even a hint of anything political in our public discourse.”

This may sound spiritual in some circles, but it can be devastating to the public good. Without question the Gospel has supernatural power to change lives, and those changed lives can change the world. William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King, and Mother Teresa come immediately to mind.

Some Christians wrongly conclude, however, that political involvement is therefore a waste of time. This is a mistake. The Gospel is never communicated in a political or cultural vacuum.

“The effective and mass communication of the gospel depends upon the freedom to proclaim it,” wrote Hugh Hewitt. The Apostle Paul told Christ’s followers to pray for those in authority so believers might lead a tranquil, quiet life in godliness and dignity. In a democratic society those prayers can and should be augmented by action.

The doctrine of political passivity is flawed in its understanding of the function of law, the changing definition of "politics," the role of the Christian citizen in the moral education of a nation, and the original intent of the First Amendment.

Read the rest of this commentary.