Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Doing Good in Politics
I came across this excerpt while reading Wayne Grudem's Politics According to the Bible (page 48):
"Clearly, if we are here on earth to glorify God, we will glorify him (in part at least) by obeying the command, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself' (Matt. 22:39). But that means that I should seek the good of my neighbors in all parts of society. 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself' means that I should seek good laws that will protect preborn children. It means that I should seek good laws that protect marriages and families. It means I should seek good laws that protect children from the corrupting moral influences that want to use the classroom to teach that all kinds of sexual experimentation outside of marriage are just fine and that there is nothing wrong with pornography.
"One reason why Jesus left us here on earth is that we should glorify him by doing good to other people in all areas of life. 'So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith' (Gal. 6:10). Certainly that means that we should do good to others, as we have the opportunity, by being a good influence on laws and government and by having a good influence on the political process. Paul says this about Christians:
"'For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them' (Eph. 2:10).
"Jesus left us here on earth in part because he wants to allow our lives to give glory to him in the midst of a fallen and sinful world: 'Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven' (Matt. 5:16).
"So, should churches teach their people how to do 'good works' in hospitals and in schools, and in businesses and in neighborhoods, but not in government? Why should that area of life be excluded from the influence of the 'good works' of believers that will 'give glory to your Father who is in heaven'?
"I conclude that Jesus' command that 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself' means that I should seek the good of my neighbors in every aspect of society, including seeking to bring about good government and good laws."
I share Professor Grudem's perspective. Here is a link to a post that complements his views on this matter:
A Disciple's Thoughts: Political Decisions: