Political Involvement as Ministry
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ... Philippians 1:27
What should our "manner of life" (literally, "citizenship") be in political involvement? When Paul commands us in Philippians to let it be "worthy of the gospel of Christ," he is saying something quite profound for us as Christians. Later, he reminds us that our "citizenship is in heaven" (3:20). And yet, this is not because Paul wants Christians to remove themselves from their earthly citizenship in Philippi (which was a big deal in the ancient world). No, Paul is saying their identity in Christ is to make them different "in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation" (2:20) and that this enables Christians to minister humbly and powerfully to those around them. Elsewhere, Paul shrewdly used his own Roman citizenship in the same way--working within the Roman Empire's political and judicial structure to make an appeal to Caesar for the sake of the gospel (Acts 25:11).
In a realm predominated by ruthless pragmatists, partisan power politics, and an unnatural fascination with all things bureaucratic, we must let our manner of life or citizenship be worthy of Christ. We have an opportunity to show that political involvement can be done in a distinctly Christian way that shows grace and truth, justice and mercy, boldness and humility. In other words, our political involvement should be seen as a kind of ministry, where our heavenly citizenship informs and directs our earthly citizenship. May every aspect of our lives be worthy of the gospel of Christ!