Growing up in suburbia, I heard many adults say that there are two things you never talk about – religion and politics. Well, I grew up to and became a preacher, so I was definitely in trouble with one of those. I care about politics and think about it, but would not describe myself as politically charged. That said, I love a good debate, so I was not afraid to talk politics and often at times when I should have just been quiet.
It does not take a genius to realize that both of these topics fire people up and can divide quite quickly. And these days it seems even worse for some reason. It seems to try and talk about these issues at all results in fights. Not discussions, but fights. As this is happening, I see something happening more and more that concerns me. I believe one’s faith should influence, I would even say shape one’s politics. If you believe something, it will and should shape how that thing will show up in the political world or at least how you want it to show up. But my main concern with the crossing of politics and religion is not that people’s faith, in my case and that of many in my life, their christianity affect their politics. My larger concern is how Christians are interacting with the political arena. I read Facebook posts, blogs and hear conversations with people who claim Jesus and are interacting about political topics and I get concerned.
If you are a Christian, please consider the following as you interact with others about the political realm. I know I have been trying to grow with this. So let me ignore the two things I was never to talk about and connect some thoughts in sharing one’s thoughts about these two topics.
- your true citizenship is not the USA or the city you live in or the school district you are living in. your real citizenship is in heaven. live like it. think like it. this does not mean do not care or ignore issues, but focus on the kingdom of heaven and its ways first.
- your real allegiance is to a King. it is to Jesus. not the right or the left. not Rush or Rachel. not Glenn or Keith. you need to care more about what Jesus thinks and wants and desires than your political affiliation. every political affiliation has an agenda, and so does Jesus. get with His.
- the Bible calls you to interact with ALL people as peacefully as possible (Romans 12:9-21). where it is in your control, be a peacemaker. generalities of the other side, rude Facebook quotes, demonizing those you disagree with, etc. is just not Biblical. the church of Jesus Christ looks like morons when we behave this way.
- do not confuse Biblical mandates with your political opinion. what the Bible says is absolutely true. your position on tax cuts or raises or healthcare or social security or unions is not. I do not care what side you are on. people are allowed to have a preference or opinion. quit making your position “gospel truth.”
- put as much energy into the church you attend and into your Bible reading as you do your political reading, watching and listening. how many hours have you given to Rush or the Huffington Post or CNN or FOX versus how many hours have you volunteered or read the Bible or served the least of these.