A Biblical Worldview on Elections: Our Political Engagement Should Glorify God
“The Screwtape Letters” is a fictional book by C.S. Lewis that portrays a perspective of how the enemy may operate. Throughout the book, Screwtape, who is meant to represent a demon, writes letters to his mentee, Wormwood. Lewis emphasized in the preface that “the devil is a liar,” and the book is meant to expose those lies.
As I read through, I found that Lewis touched on several ways the enemy attacks believers that are heavily relevant today. For instance, Screwtape said to Wormwood, “Certainly we do not want men to allow their Christianity to flow over into their political life.” Naturally, as a Christian whose career is quite literally to have her Christianity flow into her political life (and to encourage others to do the same), this single line stood out to me. A lot.
Family Research Council and several other faith-based organizations are rooted in the very thing Screwtape sought to destroy. That is, Christians who engage in the public square.
In contrast to the lies of the enemy, Christians do have a responsibility to take their biblical worldview into the political arena. Do I believe all believers are meant to serve in government or work for political organizations? Of course not. But we all carry with us an ability to have an impact, regardless of how big that impact is. For instance, Christians can have an impact in elections through voting.
On Monday’s episode of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” David Closson, the director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at FRC, said, “I think a lot of Christians are used to thinking about stewardship.” He continued, “But for those of us who live in a constitutional republic … we should think about … voting as a matter of stewardship.” But before voting, Christians are called to know the candidates’ positions on issues and discerning who aligns best with a biblical worldview.
“[A]s a Bible-believing Christian,” Closson emphasized, “I want to know where the candidates stand on issues that the Bible speaks directly to.” And the Bible does speak to “a whole host of issues” directly, he added. Whether the topic is life, the economy, or foreign affairs, Closson stated that we “don’t need to guess God’s opinion or preference on an issue, because … He’s revealed it to us in His Word.”
Perkins, FRC’s president, agreed and emphasized the different categories in which the Bible addresses issues: proclamations, principles, and preferences. As he mapped out, proclamations are what is “very clear” in Scripture, principles are what we apply to what Scripture “doesn’t speak to directly,” and preferences have a lot more to do with the various interpretations on obscure parts of Scripture. Concerning preferences, Perkins pointed out, “[W]e need to give each other a lot of grace on those issues.” But the proclamations within Scripture are what believers must prioritize. “[W]e need to make sure that we’re standing with God,” Closson said.
For instance, Vice President Kamala Harris recently stated that “we are witnessing a full-on attack on hard-fought, hard-won freedoms.” But the “freedoms” she referred to concerned abortion. In her view, restrictions on abortion are the same as restrictions on freedom. But as both Perkins and Closson insisted, abortion is a matter the Bible is clear on. In an instance like this, where Harris claimed freedom is under attack, “Those who follow Christ need to be discerning” to know what she really meant, Perkins explained.
Closson referenced verses such as Psalm 119:13-16 and Luke 1:39-45 that lay out the biblical proclamation of life’s value inside the womb. “[With] the issue of human life, there’s no question where God stands on that issue,” he said. Additionally, Closson pointed out, “I think every Christian, every Bible-believing Christian, needs to know exactly what God’s Word says on the life issue and realize how that translates into the political process.”
Another way Christians can better equip themselves to engage in the public square is by carefully choosing what media outlets they get their information from. “We’ve got to be discerning. We’ve got to apply God’s Word. We need to be listening to the right people,” Perkins urged. “The last place you need to go is the legacy media … because in the midst of this, they’re trying to denigrate, to marginalize, discourage, and suppress [the] Christian vote.” Closson added that it’s only become worse over the years.
Perkins highlighted 1 Corinthians 10:31 where Paul writes that, in all we do, it ought to be for God’s glory, which “includes our political engagement.” But he urged, “It should be done in such a way that it honors God and recognizes His sovereignty over our lives, and … over this nation.”
Closson concluded, “As Christians, we speak the truth in love … we engage passionately, but we should be known [as] salt and light. … [T]here should be a winsomeness and a helpfulness and a clarity about us as Christians” that we bring into the public square. So, yes, our Christianity should flow into our political lives, but we need to keep our eyes fixed on Christ in order to do so in a way that truly glorifies Him.
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.