- - Monday, February 29, 2016

I read a fantastic piece by Michael J. Kruger, a professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary. Mr. Kruger gives an answer to the perennial question, “Was Jesus Neither a Democrat Nor a Republican?

Well, the political season is upon us again. And it’s time for all sorts of Christian stock phrases about politics to be used and reused. One of my favorite is the phrase, “Jesus is neither a Democrat nor a Republican.” This is one of those phrases that is used so frequently that no one really bothers to ask what it means; nor does anyone bother to ask whether it is really true. But, I want to take a moment to analyze this phrase as we head into this political season. What does it really mean?

The entire article is worth your time. Mr. Kruger outlines his answer like this:

  1. The phrase could simply mean that the Bible doesn’t speak to politics.
  2. The phrase could simply mean that neither political party lines up entirely with what the Bible teaches.
  3. The phrase could simply mean that there are good Christians who are both Democrats and Republicans.
  4. This phrase could simply mean that Jesus would never join a political party or that he would never have allegiance to a political party.

Mr. Kruger makes the following conclusion:

…So, if the “Jesus is neither a Democrat nor a Republican” approach is flawed, where do we go from here?  I would suggest a different course of action.

Rather than spending our energies trying to keep the Bible out of politics, we should work to let it back in.  What I mean by this is that we need to stop telling Christians that whatever voting choice they make is as equally valid as another, and instead we should encourage them to apply Scripture to these political questions just like we apply it to every other area of life (whether it be economics, art, or medicine).

No doubt this will create debate and disagreement about whether Democrats are closer to biblical principles or whether Republicans are closer to biblical principles (or whether another party is closer!).  But that’s Ok.  …  A vigorous, deep, and thorough debate about what the Bible teaches about politics would be a refreshing change from the postmodern “no political position is better than any other” approach currently en vogue in the modern church.  At least then the focus is in the right place: what the Bible teaches.

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