Jesus and His disciples also demonstrated a profound mistrust of power–especially political power. The focal point of Christ’s ministry–the objects of most of His energies and affections–were the downtrodden, the social outcasts, the powerless. Regarding a Christian’s place in the world, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” None of the disciples led anything approaching what we would consider a political movement, and all of us are urged to be “strangers and pilgrims” in the City of Man. Finally, there is Christianity’s most sacred symbol, the cross–an emblem of agony and humiliation that is the antithesis of worldly power and victory.
History, especially the history of the church, may seem to offer its own reasons for demarcating Christianity from the sphere of politics. According to the social philosopher Jacques Ellul, every time the church has gotten into the political game, it has been drawn into self-betrayal or apostasy. “Politics is the Church’s worst problem, ” Ellul wrote. “It is her constant temptation, the occasion of her great disasters, the trap continually set for her by the Prince of this World.”
Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner, City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era, 25.