Debated issues among believers are rational, biblically-based, Christian arguments that are made for both sides of the issue. And the arguments are made (formally or casually) by those who are considered by a plurality of Christians to be mature leaders. Debated issues are not those which are clearly right or wrong. For example, the deeds of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit are not debatable among mature Christian leadership (Galatians 5:19-23).
Three basic questions to consider when debating issues:
1. What is closest to the heart of God?
2. Is this wrong for me personally, or is it wrong generally?
3. Can I state both sides of the issue rationally?
Here is an example of a few basic arguments on each side, to illustrate how we should go about debating the issue of political Involvement.
In the Bible, every appeal for involvement in earthly political matters was for Israel and the Millennial Kingdom, not the church. Jesus and the apostles never commanded, recommended, or even suggested Christians be involved in politics. When Pilate asked Jesus if He was King of the Jews, Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). When asked about paying taxes to Caesar, Jesus said, “…render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Luke 20:24-25). While living under the oppressive insane government of Nero, both Peter and Paul said, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities” (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13). And the lack of political involvement was not because they were unable to do anything about it. Christ and the apostles never avoided the right thing to do, just because it was difficult. The reason they avoided it was because political involvement had nothing to do with the gospel and would only dilute the prime objective of a heavenly focus. For example, if you take a conservative political stand, you will likely alienate liberal unbelievers. Paul told the Colossians, Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth (Colossians 3:1-3). Political involvement only mirrors other religions’ goals of world domination (like the Muslims).
Christ is king over everything and that includes this world we live in. Christians should not be so heavenly minded that they are of no worldly good. Jesus prayed, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Our job is not just to spread the gospel but to bring in His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. That’s a call for Christians to be involved in all aspects of society. We need to have more Christian doctors, lawyers, scientists, and also politicians. Opposing the evils in politics is one of the best ways to take a stand for what is right and wrong. In Exodus 18:21, Moses was told, “…you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.” We should also choose such political leaders who fear God, men of truth.
For more information see study paper Debated Issues on Relational Concepts web page: https://relationalconcepts.org