It is also a tactic of some powerful people to use political tactics to divide and conquer people, to cause separation and conflict between people who are friends or relatives and cause a breakdown in healthy relationships, which is very damaging to individuals and makes it difficult for them to unity to oppose injustices. And sources like Dr. Chenoweth have shown that you only need ~3-5% of the population protesting or opposing dictators nonviolently, to bring them down in many cases.
So we must be very careful not to join any party or let political leanings prejudice us against truth or facts.
Above all else, it’s extremely important for Christians to remain united and follow God’s principles in daily life. This is far more powerful than what politicians do in spreading freedom and the highest quality of life for all as research shows.
Why should Christians care about politics?
–Politics influences if we have freedom of worship or not.
–Politics influences how much freedom and justice there is in societies.
–Politics influences cost of school, cost of health care, etc.
–Politics influences if families are stable or not.
–Politics decides tax levels.
–Politics decides if wars are fought or peace is followed.
and much more.
And don’t worry if your candidate doesn’t win. The day to day activities of church are far more powerful in bringing decent lives and justice to people than anything else.
Our daily choices as individuals, in church communities and local organizations are the most important way to create thriving for all people. Even agnostic researchers like Dr. Cnaan have found all the volunteer work, crime reduction, suicide prevention, marriage saving, job creation, environment protection and other effects of churches are considered, the average church generates ~$2 million every year. For every $1 contributed to churches, the community receives ~$4.77 in benefits.
Cnaan, Ram. “Calculating the Economic Halo Effect of Sacred Places”. www.endowedparishes.org/download_file/view/2154/.
Academics show that political parties are a method that brainwashes people to ignore evidence and facts in many cases and even wrecks ability to do basic math:
Almost everyone recognizes that there is a lot of division in our society and in politics. Could anything unify us? I believe there are several things. One is that Jesus said truth brings unity. Objective Truth means accurate descriptions of reality according to usage in the Bible and in many cultures. So if we can figure out facts/truth about reality then there will be a lot more unity. Two of the most divisive issues are abortion and racism. But can truth bring us to more unity on even those two? I think so.
Bible principles and research indicate that abortions sky rocket worldwide by between 40-300% and are at the highest levels worldwide when republicans are in power. There are about 15 reasons for this from the Bible and science (see them here: http://blog.truth-is-life.org/politics/abortion2). But it is basically because many of their policies conflict with what God says governments should do even more than democrats. Racism also increases significantly when republicans are in power. The democrat party has some serious conflicts with God’s principles, to be sure as do some third parties. But the party in most flagrant rebellion against God’s principles for governments is pretty clearly the republican party. Some of those principles are here:
Third parties have pioneered a lot of surprising progress, including the right to vote, the 8 hour work day, paid vacations and more.
I don’t align with any party because of Bible principles. I look at which candidate follows the most principles that God said were important for government leaders and nations to follow in order to thrive best and vote that way. This means I have voted for a few republicans (although never at national levels because there they follow greed which causes almost all evil), more often democrats (since their policies are almost always better for families in general), but many times candidates from third parties like the Green Party, the Constitution Party. This year the American Solidarity Party looks closest to God’s principles. But I respect all who vote sincerely.
Some of those principles are here:
Did you know that Christian churches and missionaries are the biggest driver of human rights and freedom across the world, far more than all other causes combined? There are some who made serious errors and did serious wrongs in some cases to be sure. There were some who were arrogant, or racist and sinful in other ways at times. But overall, their highest desire was to empower people to the full potential that God created them to live and they did far more good than harm than any other worldview or organization or entity on earth.
Dr. Robert Woodberry was in a class with Kenneth A. Bollen, a UNC–Chapel Hill professor and a leading expert the spread of global democracy. Woodberry heard Bollen say that he kept finding a significant statistical link between democracy and Protestantism. This intrigued Woodberry and he decided to make it a focus of his research.
Woodberry did exhaustive research. He spent months looking at old maps, history books, missionary travels, etc. Eventually he found a very surprising factor. Rigorous statistics showed was the main reason above all others which has brought democracy, freedom, education, medical progress, printing, scientific development, economic development, civil freedoms, protection of private property, fair laws, etc. to societies around the world was something most people hadn’t even guessed at. He found that the major factor was….protestant missionaries, especially those not connected to governments. Basically, missionaries were the cause of over 50% of countries changing to follow democracy and many other major freedoms. They were the #1 cause, more important than all other causes combined.
In a review, Dr. Robin Greer, professor of economics and international and area studies at the University of Oklahoma says,
“I think it’s the best work out there on religion and economic development. It ‘s incredibly sophisticated and well grounded. I haven’t seen anything quite like it.”
“For [Woodberry] to show through devastatingly thorough analysis that conversionary Protestants are crucial to what makes the country democratic today [is] remarkable in many ways. Not only is it another factor—it turns out to be the most important factor. It can’t be anything but startling for scholars of democracy.” Daniel Philpott, professor of political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame.
Part of Dr. Woodberry’s research talks about a couple of his trips abroad. Woodberry traveled to Togo in 2001 and went to a top university. He found that the whole university didn’t have even 1/2 the books he did.
“Where do you buy your books?” Woodberry stopped to ask a student.
“Oh, we don’t buy books,” he replied. “The professors read the texts out loud to us, and we transcribe.”
But across the border, at the University of Ghana’s bookstore, Woodberry saw shelves lined with hundreds of books, including books by local scholars. Why the difference? The reason was clear: In the past, British missionaries in Ghana had established a whole system of schools and printing presses. But France , the colonial power in Togo, restricted missionaries. The French only wanted to educate a few smart people. This caused the difference.
In the Congo, both French and Belgian colonists had forced villagers to get rubber from the jungle. If they didn’t, they burned down villages, cut off hands and feet and did other horrible things. In the French Congo, no justice was done and it wasn’t even news. But in Belgian Congo, a huge protest started. Why the difference? Woodberry found out that there were missionaries in the Belgian Congo, especially 2 named John and Alice Harris who took photographs of the terrible crimes—including a picture of a father gazing at his dead daughter. They took this evidence all over the United States and Britain and protested the abuses and that brought important changes to the Congo.
This same kind of thing, with Christian missionaries protesting injustice and bringing improvements to the lives of the general population with education, medical care, science and more has happened in country after country around the world.
This fulfills God’s claim that “Godliness makes nations great, but sin is a disgrace to all people.” Prov. 14:34 (note that the Hebrew word for godliness in this text is tzedekah, which refers to all levels of society from individual to the government treating all with justice).
Layman’s summaries of Dr. Woodberry’s research are here:
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/january-february/world-missionaries-made.html http://intersectproject.org/faith-and-economics/robert-woodberry-world-missionaries-made/ https://tifwe.org/robert-woodberry-and-the-benefits-of-protestant-missions/
A longer academic version is here: