Monday, May 09, 2011

Unanswered Question #3: Jesus and Politics

Should Jesus/Christianity be in Politics?

I never would've even posted something like this until after I went to New Zealand.
The idea of "separation of church and state" took on new meaning.
Where our Presidents have always claimed to be Christian on some level, New Zealand's last two prime ministers would more likely be characterized as agnostic(believing that you can't fully know if God is real).
All that to say, Due to our difference in leadership where Americans seemed more comfortable with the crossover of Christian ideas in the government, some of my New Zealand friends seemed to believe that Christianity in the political system could potentially create more blurred the lines.

This came to a head in the last Obama election. One of the big debates was "Is Obama leading us down a road that is contrary to what America has always stood for?" and intertwined in that idea was the fear that by beginning to resemble other world governments more, we were not only moving away from a different way of government, but also moving away from some of the intended Christian values in our system.
Were we making more friends because we were legitimately making progress based on the rest of the world or were we making more friends because less people would hate us for standing up for a potentially different way of doing government where Christian values were attempted to be more intertwined in the workings of the system?
(Given: I have friends who would even argue whether the American government actually acts more or less Christian than others)
So another question that will still seem to always remain in my head with at least some abiguity is how much Christianity should be in the government. I want to believe that if the leaders of the government were all committed Christians, that it would just naturally do better, but i know some of my friends who would say being a Christian does not make you the best leader for a nation.


junicofur said...

I definitely don't have an answer to this question, but I had the random thought ... can you imagine what it would look like if America had a leader who was daily on his knees for his nation? What if his entire cabinet and administration were? Honestly, I unfortunately find this mental picture hard to hold onto. I seriously believe things would be different if prayer at that level were happening consistently on some level.

About Brandon said...

Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

The part that caught my attention was your ending. I think the answer is "yes" and "it depends" to the question of, 'would a Christian be the better leader'.

A. It depends. There are still talents associated with leadership that are important to most often be successful in a leadership position (ie... vision casting, team building, navigating conflict, etc...). An individual does not need to be a Christian to do most of things proficiently.

B. Yes. All things being equal in terms of leadership ability is concerned and with no other significant factors at play (which there always are), the Christian will always be the better leader for the following reasons (and I am referring to a mature/committed Christian, not someone who is merely a church attender)....

1. Spirit-led. God has all wisdom and can direct people to do things that seem irresponsible or not wise, but are actually the best path... like building a boat in the desert (Noah).

2. God's favor. God has all resources as His disposal. His blessing is more on the righteous and God can give amazing opportunities that we couldn't even imagine like parting the red sea with Moses.

3. Fruit of the Spirit. Gal. 5:22-23. A truly committed Christian will more naturally develop (not just on the outside/facade) characteristics that will enable to lead/influence other people more effectively (ie... patience, self-control, faithfulness, kindness, etc...).

Thanks again for the interesting post, Brent.