The King of Kings
Topic: Creeds and Confessions Passage: John 18:28–28:40
The question of how Christians should deal with political issues is a difficult one to deal with. The Bible doesn't explicitly tell us who to vote for, or what position to take on the latest hot-button issue. Indeed, some parts of Scripture appear to contradict each other on this subject; one passage tells us to respect those in authority over us, while another passage tells us to defy those in authority when their commands are contrary to God's will. (Note that Article 36 of the Belgic Confession has been revised several times over the years. This is a reflection of how thorny an issue this can be, and of how attitudes have changed.)
Christians tend to fall into one of two errors when they deal with politics. One error is to try to take over the political process in order to force the society at large to become Christian--in essence, to bring about the Kingdom of God via the ballot box. The other error is to reject the political process as irredeemably corrupt and evil, and to retreat from the centers of power in this world into separate communities. The first error leads to triumphalism and self-righteousness, while the second error ultimately leads to despair.
A safer attitude for us to take toward politics is to always remember that, while kings, presidents, prime ministers and dictators may control this present moment, the future belongs to God. This is the attitude Jesus himself takes towards Pontius Pilate in this passage, and it's the attitude he takes elsewhere in the gospels.
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