Many Christians, especially Evangelical Protestants, believe Christians should avoid “politics.” The quotes are there because the underlying concept is ill-defined. There is just a prejudice that Christians ought not to waste time on it.
The traditional Evangelical argument is this: When people become Christians they will naturally support a proper social order, so we should only do what we do best: evangelize. The presence of enough individuals having right beliefs will naturally lead to a proper social order. Politics is ruled by politicians, a slippery and deceitful lot. Better to stay entirely away from them and their craft.
This belief is mistaken. Here is why:
The Woke are destroying traditional American culture. By “culture” I mean everything that gives order to how we live. All the customs, traditions, habits, rules, laws and so on that govern the ways that we relate to each other. “Culture” also means all the ideas and beliefs that allow us to understand the world and that indirectly give rise to our social arrangements.
In short, culture is the way we live.
The Woke are destroying our culture. They are changing it from the traditional Christian-friendly American culture to a new anti-Christian culture.
Since mankind cannot live without culture, the Woke have no choice but to establish a new culture. The only way to destroy a culture is to replace it with a new one. Our culture is being remade and will continue to be remade.
So if Christians don’t remake a Christian-friendly culture then non-Christians will remake a Christian-hostile culture. There is no third option.
God cares about the cultures of the nations inhabited by His people. Good culture honors God and bad culture dishonors Him. Therefore preserving or establishing good culture is a Godly activity. Not all Christians have the gift for this activity but those who do must act.
Politics as the word is commonly understood is only one way culture is preserved or created. Politicians are wily and the processes of politics are often deceitful, but politics can sometimes serve godly ends. Especially because politics concerns the application of power, and culture is ultimately preserved or destroyed by the application of power.
Culture does not occur naturally. It is created and maintained by deliberate action, by the application of power. We Christians must exercise power to influence culture. We must be wise about when to act in the political arena and when to withdraw, but we must build good culture.
Culture is the way we live. If our culture is being destroyed then our lives are in danger. Christians must defend themselves culturally through politics and other means.
Often, the traditional political activities undertaken by non-politicians – – voting and influencing government officials – – will not, by themselves, make things better. The current political system is designed to preserve the status quo, although occasional outbursts of political virtue do occur. The defense or creation of proper culture will often occur independently of politics. But politics in the traditional sense will sometimes be valuable, especially at the state or local level.
The word “politics” is derived from a Greek word meaning “things having to do with the city,” that is, how the city is ordered and run. In its general sense, “politics” is concern for the culture. Christians must be involved with the culture, that is, with politics.
In summary: Culture is the order of society. Politics in the broadest sense is any activity that influences culture, including, but not limited to, elections and legislation. The Woke are destroying traditional American culture and therefore American culture will be rebuilt. If it is rebuilt by non-Christians, it will be a non-Christian culture, which is not acceptable. Therefore Christians must be involved in politics, that is, is all the ways culture is maintained or built.
No doubt somebody will say the following thing: Our enemies control the punishment mechanisms of society and therefore openly defending or creating godly culture is difficult or impossible. And conditions will likely get worse.
This rejoinder is broadly correct. But there are always victories that can be won. And the rejoinder does not touch my argument. In any possible world it is unacceptable to us Christians for non-Christians to create the culture. What must be done is what must be done, regardless of the difficulty.