Governments and Political Parties

This document reflects commonly held beliefs based on scripture which have been endorsed by the church's Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery.

Does the Assemblies of God endorse any system of government or particular political party?

The Assemblies of God does not endorse systems of government or political parties. The church teaches that civil government is ordained by God and should be supported by all citizens including Christians (Romans 13:1-7). The Christian is instructed to pray for rulers and government officials in order to maintain peace and civility (1 Timothy 2:1,2). From this and Christ’s admonition to be "the salt of the earth," and "the light of the world" (Matthew 5:13,14) the Assemblies of God encourages believers to vote and seek political office in the will of God. Paul discusses this responsibility in Romans 13 when he explains that all authorities have been established by God. Since we as Americans have a participatory form of government, it is the Christian’s spiritual duty to participate as a citizen in that system.

However, government and church each serve different functions. Christ himself recognized that difference. During His earthly ministry Jesus was careful to acknowledge the authority of the Roman empire and instructed the people to "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God, the things that are God’s" (Mark 12:17). In other words, we are to differentiate between the roles of church and government, but to be supportive of each as an institution of God. This does not mean that the laws and moral values of God are not to touch or impact government. To the contrary, when God’s moral laws are observed and applied within government, society benefits. This occurs at two levels – individually and collectively.

While the Assemblies of God recognizes government as God’s provision and is not opposed to political parties as a part of the American political process, it refrains from becoming embroiled in party politics or promoting a particular system of government for many reasons. The essence of the church is not earthly and temporal, but spiritual and eternal (John 18:36). The priority of the church is to preach Christ exclusively (1 Corinthians 2:2). The mission of the church is to proclaim the gospel (Matthew 28:19).

Historically, when the church has become involved in partisan politics, the outcome has been disastrous for both the kingdom of God and the system of government it promoted or attacked.

Today many Christians are members of different political parties in America. Certainly Christian involvement is appropriate and needed. But political affiliation, by its very nature, divides people into competing groups. There is no room for such division in the church. Therefore the church must never promote any party or system that would be divisive to the body of Christ, but rather contend for the faith that unites every tribe and tongue and people and nation into one glorious Church.

The above statement is based upon our common understanding of scriptural teaching. The official delineation of this position is found in the Assemblies of God Missionary Handbook, section 7, #11.

All Scripture quotations are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise specified.