Continuing my streak of commenting on questions Megan from Page Three asks: should Christians get involved in politics? Her comments aren't working (switch to Movable Type), so you all luck out and get to read my thoughts here.
It's an interesting question, and I have a pretty simple answer. Yes, Christians should be involved in politics, but churches should not. As Christians we have to deal with the social structures that are around us, and as I've written before, God intends government to be a tool for good. We have a responsibility to ensure that everyone maintains the liberties and free-will that God has given us. Arguably, as individuals we also have the prerogative of advocating specific policies that we reasonably believe may serve to affirm those who choose good and dissuade those who choose evil. (This prerogative carries a burden, as well, since the results of every policy may not be as clear or obvious as we initially believe.)
Churches, however, were instituted by God for a specific purpose:
Matthew 28:18-20This charge applies to individual Christians, of course, but the local church as an institution exists wholly for this purpose. When a local church takes sides in political issues it alienates those who disagree, and pushes them away from the gospel over purely carnal concerns.
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
In my opinion, local churches should stay entirely out of the political arena. Yes, even when it comes to that issue, and that one.