I think a big reason that Christians struggle with how to interact with our culture is that our culture is very different from that of Bible times. Duh, right? But seriously, what would Jesus have done in a democratic system? That is the question that we struggle to answer. Some think that Jesus would have been an activist for change. He would have fought to stop the murder of unborn babies, the spread of the homosexual agenda and the destruction of marriage and family. Jesus did indeed oppose oppression. Just read his words to the religious leaders of his day in Matthew 23. He didn’t have much to say about Roman oppression of the Jews, but he, in the role of an everyday citizen didn’t really have the opportunity/responsibility. As God he could have thrown down the Romans, but he didn’t because he was interested in a spiritual kingdom not a physical one, much to the displeasure of some of his “followers.”
But would he have been active had he been given that responsibility/opportunity as a citizen of the empire? Who knows.
Some people believe that we should work outside of the government. Speak the truth: that marriage is sacred and should last a lifetime, that babies should not be murdered, that homosexuality is wrong. Maybe offer help and counseling to those struggling with these things, but don’t involve the government. Don’t ask the government to legislate based on these moral standards. Don’t expect the government to defend the causes of Christianity, and sort of in an overarching theme don’t use the government as a tool to protect Christian morality and defend the oppressed.
This view would seem to reflect the model in Scripture at first glance, but the culture was different, the government was different. There was no voting, the people did not have that venue to defend their beliefs, so how can we know if Jesus would have advocated that or not.
Jesus says “render unto Caesar what Caesar is due.” but what if we ARE Caesar? What does he say to Caesar? When we step into the voting booth we are in a small way at least part of “Caesar.” So what do we do? We have a few options:
- Work to implement Christian morality into government laws
- At least vote to support those causes
- Vote against those causes
- Don’t vote on those issues
- Don’t vote at all
So what do we do as representatives of Christ living in a democracy? What is our responsibility? What would Jesus have done? The answers to these questions are difficult, but pretty important. Any thoughts?