Church and Politics

It’s happening…already. I’m getting a fairly steady stream of mail from both left and right (mostly from the right), and even some church members asking me and our church for either an endorsement, or to preach on political topics of interest.

In California, some people wonder if you can be a Republican and a Christian. In Texas, people wonder how a person can be a Christian and a Democrat. Obviously, this is a generalization, and there are both in each. The truth is that I have seen Christ-hearted, thoughtful people endorse the basic platforms of both parties for different reasons…that spring from their Christian convictions. Most of the time, the difference in Christian voting patterns has to do with how passionately they feel about specific issues, and, even more often…disagreements on policy.

For instance, GENERALLY not equally, all Christians (and I do mean all) understand the gospel’s call to care for and love the poor. They do not agree on how to do that. All Christians value human life. They don’t see eye to eye on the implications of such a belief…whether it comes to the abortion debate or war policy.

I realize that some will disagree with the generalizations above. That’s fine. My question is this…how do we help Christians understand one another better and head into the election year peaceably rather than saddled on a war-donkey or war-elephant? 

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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3 thoughts on “Church and Politics

  1. We’ve never met but I am a member of HOCC. I feel compelled to tell you how you changed my life. My husband (a PK) brought me to God when we got married (at the ripe old age of 35). But it was you who made God accessible to me. You make Christianity relevant to my day to day life. I always found myself at peace and ready to take on the world after a Sunday sermon. I will miss you greatly. THANK YOU!

  2. Great questions Tim. I’ve been wrestling with these issues as well (and I’m a political junkie). I just finished reading Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and I would highly recommend it. It challenges notions of allegience and political priorities on both sides of the aisles. It really blew me away.

  3. Tim, Don’t miss J Ortberg’s blog (and the comments)on Leadership Blog: Out of Ur. I certainly hope we will rise above political party politics in our preaching/teaching while ever holding up Jesus’ truth to “render unto Caesar,” which, to say the least, should at least get an ever-four-year nod that we are responsible to hold and express opinions at the polls. rtrr