Should the Church Dirty Its Hands by Political Involvement?

During the election just passed, many influential evangelicals lamented that the church was stooping to involvement in “partisan politics,” as if that term referred to gross immorality, parallel to pornographic movies or Islamic terrorism. Certainly the church has no business dirtying its hands in partisan politics.

I find that response curious. The definition of partisan is “a strong supporter of a party, cause, or person.” November’s election consisted of a battle between two primary parties: Democrat and Republican.

Refraining from “partisan politics” constituted withholding support from either party. The rationale was that both have imperfections and therefore supporting either requires supporting evil. We repeatedly heard that the political option confronting us consisted of choosing between “two flawed candidates.”

Refraining from “partisan politics” on that basis is erroneous and irrational for three reasons. First, in a fallen world every choice is between two flawed alternatives. When my wife decided to marry me she was making a choice between me and some other flawed candidate. Waiting for the perfect party and candidate will freeze the church into inactivity.

Second, the fact that both parties and candidates are flawed does not make them equivalent. When one party advocates murdering unborn babies while the other is working to spare their lives, when one party advances homosexual rights to the exclusion of religious rights while the other seeks to protect Christians, when one party advocates irresponsible spending while the other encourages fiscal responsibility we must conclude that these parties are not equivalent and therefore the church has good reason to engage in partisan politics.

Third, not to engage is to surrender our country to domination by evil men. An analysis of recent history shows where that path leads. Better dirty ecclesiastical hands than national degradation.

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