A Pentecostal Approach to Political Involvement

blogAs Christians, we are sometimes faced with ethical dilemmas in which two or more principles seem to be in conflict. A classic example is the hypothetical Nazi-at-the-door situation. In such a case, should one lie to protect their family, or should one tell the truth and send their innocent family to an unjust death? Christians involved in the complexities of political discourse are often conflicted about the proper position or course of action. In politics it is sometimes difficult to choose between candidates because neither of them fully embrace or represent our Christian values. We may have to choose between the lesser of evils or choose the person who can do the best job for our country overall even though we don’t agree with all of his or her positions. In such cases, we should state our views without endorsing inappropriate statements or positions. We should not treat fellow believers with contempt or create a stumbling block for them but treat them with respect even if they have different views. (See Romans 14:10-13.)

In the United States the principle of separation of church and state is generally recognized. This is certainly to be affirmed and approved; we would not want the government to enforce universal adherence to one particular religion. Also, we appreciate the American freedom to practice religious assembly and speech without governmental interference. On the other hand, however, individual Christians should not use separation of church and state to excuse themselves from conscientious political involvement. We are responsible to live out our faith in all areas of our lives; we should not compartmentalize our Christian principles and our politics.

Christians certainly have a responsibility to promote Christian values in the world; this mandate remains unchanged as we engage in civil and political discourse. The UPCI is committed to promote respect, justice, and dignity for all people; to protect the unborn; to defend the freedoms of religion and speech; to uphold biblical values; and to acknowledge God’s plan for families. We encourage our members to consider these commitments as they participate in political action and discussion. Freedom of speech comes with responsibility, and as Christians we hold ourselves to a higher standard than what is legally permissible, what is expedient, or what is politically correct. As Christians we should follow the teachings of Colossians 4:5-6 in all our communications, including our discussion of politics: “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (NKJV).

Note: This statement is not designed to promote or oppose any political party or candidate. Our comments relate to how we, as Apostolic Pentecostal Christians, should conduct our own discourse as we exercise the individual right to determine which political parties or candidates to support.

A Pentecostal Approach to Political Involvement