Question from a reader:
Randy, you talk a lot about giving and how much good we can do by giving to other people. I'm curious to hear your opinion on giving to political campaigns. The vast majority of politicians I would not want to give to, but there are certain conservative Christian politicians that I think would make great leaders. Do you think giving to political campaigns is worthwhile? Or do you think our giving is best reserved for other organizations?
Answer from Stephanie Anderson, EPM staff:
I’m responding on Randy’s behalf. Your question about whether Christians should donate to political campaigns is an interesting one. I don’t think there’s a clear “yes” or “no” answer, as this seems to come down to wisdom and asking the Lord for direction. (I’m so glad He promises to give us wisdom when we ask; see James 1:5.)
In his article Generous Giving: 40 Questions to Ask God, Randy shares this question: “Am I giving Your money to people of weak character and materialistic values? While they may be good causes, are the Humane Society or opera as close to your heart as evangelism, church planting, and helping the poor?”
I think the same principle could apply to political campaigns.
Years ago, Randy wrote about Mike Huckabee and publicly supported his bid for president. However, in this blog, he shares a story about why he remains quite skeptical even about so-called Christian politicians. You might like to read what he wrote.
After the last presidential election, Randy wrote:
I don’t mean that politics don’t matter and certainly I know that moral positions such as abortion and racial justice matter very much. But the fact remains, when people put their hope in political parties and beliefs, these can become gods. Christians sometimes view political leaders and their platforms with a degree of faith that should be reserved only for God and His Kingdom. And sometimes they display a degree of hatred and scorn that should be reserved for Satan and his demons.
Neither the judicial, legislative, nor executive branch of our government is the ultimate solution to America’s problems. Isaiah 33:22 tells us the solution: “For the LORD is our judge [judicial], the LORD is our lawgiver [legislative], the LORD is our king [executive], it is he who will save us.”
Personally, if my husband and I felt greatly compelled to contribute to the political campaign of a candidate, we would do that after we’ve first given to our church, and also beyond our giving to any other worthy parachurch organizations. It seems that in light of eternity, this sort of giving is in a completely different realm than giving to support the work of groups ministering in Christ’s name.
God bless you.
Photo by Sora Shimazaki