Guidelines for Political Involvement
As the November national elections draw close, we would like to provide our church family with some guidelines as to how to engage in political involvement while still maintaining harmony within the church body. Here are some pointers to consider:
1. Be involved! As Christians it is our responsibility to influence society to adhere to a more righteous and moral standard. However, as a church, it is not our duty to recommend any political candidate or party. Nevertheless, as individual followers of Jesus, we are mandated to promote Biblical values and let each individual voter decide which candidate best represents those values. “You are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14NIV
2. There is no perfect candidate. Do your best to be informed of the issues, where the candidates stand on those issues, what the Bible says about those issues and vote according to what best represents your convictions.
3. Evaluating and weighing the importance of every issue is a complicated process, and individual Christians may differ as to what issues they deem more important. It may not always be a matter of what is right or wrong, but just different ways of seeing the issues. Ultimately, every Christian has to resolve in their conscience which candidate to vote for, as they trust in God’s guidance. Therefore, we encourage one and all to refrain from judging others based on their choices of political candidates. Rather, we encourage mutual respect for one another’s political positions and convictions.
4. Political involvement is something we encourage everyone to do. However, it must be conducted in the appropriate forum, and in a manner that is not divisive. As a church, we exist to help people meet, know and follow Jesus, and that takes center stage in all our activities. Therefore, we discourage individuals from using the church and its corresponding venues (Worship Service, Bible studies, growth groups, fellowship groups, etc.) as a forum for engaging in political debate, partisan politics, or promoting any single candidate over another. Those activities can be engaged in privately or publicly outside the confines of the church. The guiding principle is to “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” Matt. 22:21NASB
5. Always keep in mind that within the church our desire is to express our unity in diversity. There will always be various social, cultural, and political issues and the corresponding differences in viewing them. However, those differences should only strengthen our unity as the body of Christ, because it shows how much we need one another’s points of view in order to see the big picture. Let us adhere to the guiding principle: “In essentials, UNITY, in nonessentials, LIBERTY, in all things CHARITY.” “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:20-23.NIV
If you have any questions or comments regarding these guidelines, please feel free to reach out to any of the church pastors or leaders. We would be happy to discuss and pray with you regarding this.