The Way of Jesus in Politics

Politics is often a divisive topic, yet as followers of Jesus we are called to engage in the political process in a way that honors him. In a recent message, pastor Kyle Idleman explored what it means to live out the way of Jesus when it comes to politics.

Idleman began by acknowledging the baggage and visceral reactions the word “politics” often evokes. Yet he emphasized that as Christians, we cannot avoid engaging with politics, as it is an inescapable part of life.

The key question Idleman wants us to consider is not who to vote for, but rather how to engage politically in a way that glorifies God. He shared four important points to keep in mind:

  1. This series aims to equip people to engage politically as God leads them, not dictate how they should vote.
  2. It will challenge perspectives across the political spectrum based on Scripture.
  3. It will not simply parrot partisan talking points or what people want to hear.
  4. If you disagree, engage in respectful dialogue rather than reactive criticism.

A significant danger Idleman highlighted is allowing our political ideology to shape our faith, rather than the reverse. He rejects artificial categories like “conservative Christian” and “liberal Christian,” arguing that Jesus never created such divisions. Our primary identity and highest allegiance must be to Jesus above any political framework.

To illustrate this principle, Idleman pointed to Jesus’ warning in Matthew 16 to “be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” He explained that while these groups were experts on God’s law, their rules and interpretations ultimately blinded them to recognizing Jesus. Their commitment to a certain religious worldview kept them from following Christ.

Likewise, Christians today can become so devoted to a political ideology that it distorts or compromises their faith. Idleman said our political opinions should be influenced by our faith in Jesus, not the other way around.

Expanding the yeast metaphor, Idleman said whatever fills our lives – be it partisan teachings left or right – will shape what we become. But as Christians, we are called to become more like Jesus. He is the mold we must pour ourselves into, not any human ideology.

Idleman emphasized that following the way of Jesus in politics begins with asking what we want to become. If we allow partisan voices to be the dominant influence, we will miss becoming what God created us for. Only by pursuing Jesus above all else can we be shaped into his image and engage the political world as he would.

The “bread” of a political party will always leave us unsatisfied. But Jesus is the bread of life who alone fulfills our deepest needs. In this divisive election season, Idleman challenges Christians to fix our eyes on Jesus, guard our hearts against ungodly influences, and embrace his way of engaging the political process.

When partisan voices are clamoring loudly, it can be difficult to stay grounded in God’s Word. But this series provides wisdom for engaging biblically and resisting compromise. May we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying and pursue Christ above all. He alone can satisfy our hunger and transform us into His likeness.

Here are 4 questions to help you go deeper with the sermon:

  1. Jesus warned his disciples to “be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matthew 16:6). What do you think Jesus meant by this? How can political ideologies sometimes have a negative influence like “yeast” in our lives today?
  2. Pastor Idleman said Jesus rejects categories like “conservative Christian” and “liberal Christian” because our identity is in Christ alone. How does Galatians 3:28 speak to this issue of finding our identity in Christ rather than political labels?
  3. Idleman states that our political views should be influenced by our faith, not the other way around. How does Romans 12:2 reinforce this idea of not being conformed to the pattern of this world?
  4. The pastor says Jesus is the “bread of life” (John 6:35) who alone fulfills our needs, in contrast to the false bread of political parties. What does it look like practically to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8) amidst partisan bickering?

Check out our website for more information. We always welcome new friends to worship with us. Find a location that’s close to you!
You can learn more about our beliefs and visit our video library to explore more topics like this one. You can also check out our events page to find out what fun new things we’re doing this season.

About the Author: Tony Johnson
Tony Johnson is the lead pastor of 2|42 Community Church where he is helping people take next steps with God. Prior to his time at 2|42, Tony served for 15 years in various capacities within the Methodist denomination. He has degrees in broadcasting and marketing from Vincennes University and Ball State University, and he’s also a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary. Tony is passionate about helping people discover and embrace their God-given purpose and potential. In his spare time, you can find Tony cheering on the Miami Dolphins or camping and fishing with his family.

Subscribe to get the latest messages

Leave A Comment