For most of us politician is a dirty word. Or at least, it’s a necessary evil.
But I think those feelings are a hijacking of the true meaning of politics. They’re more a reflection of who our politicians have become than the function of politics itself.
At its essence politics is simply relationships on a mass-scale.
This is not the same as popularity. Popularity is a one-way street. Tom Cruise is massively popular and doesn’t do a thing for me.
But politics is a two-way street. The late Huey Long, Louisiana’s famous (or infamous) Governor gave the people schools and roads. And for that the people kept electing him.
In our political world, it’s easy to sink our hopes in an official. But, strangely, it seems just as easy to flush it all and tune it out. The latter is the cynical route.
But the bigger question is: what should we as Christians be doing?
Where does Jesus want his followers in all of this?
Was Jesus a Politician?
Relationships are the essence of politics.
If a politician is one who fosters relationships on a mass scale, then yes: Jesus was a politician. He was complete, honest, and pure (and maybe the only true politician that ever lived).
But his entire ministry was about re-creating that two-way street between us and him. Between us and God.
He did this by becoming a servant and first building the road. But it’s not automatic. We have to get up and walk down that road.
And for Politics?
While we do not share the same core values as the world (John 17:16), Jesus has left us here with a simple message and a clear task: be the light (Matthew 28:18-20 and 5:14-16).
So should we engage in politics? Absolutely.
Why? Because how else are the people going to know about the truth?