Politics and the church – our response
It’s election year. FYI: it’s Leap Year which is always election year – so important for politicians to have that extra day you know.
And you can’t tell me that politics hasn’t affected, maybe even divided, your church. The media would have us believe that this election is the most divisive this country has ever seen. And while it is definitely polarizing, history reminds us of a few others such as President Lincoln’s fight to free slaves or President Roosevelt’s fight to bring in the New Deal. By everything I’ve read both of these, and probably many others, definitely brought out the fighting spirit of Americans, no matter if they were for or against the agendas. Since I wasn’t alive for either Lincoln’s or Roosevelt’s fights, I know this election has reached new heights in polarizing people than any I can remember.
It’s easy to assume that since the majority of the people attending your church have like faith that they will also have like political views. Reality says that is not so. Because the issues are close to our heart; we may find it horrifying that a Christian doesn’t believe as we do. Polls show that we find devout Christians on both sides of the political fence and, particularly, the issues facing us this year.
It shouldn’t be a surprise we can’t agree on politics when we consistently experience an inability to agree on any number of things in church like hymns vs scripture songs, traditional church vs home churches, democrats vs republicans vs libertarians …. Easy to see that “the consensus after an election is that 100% of Americans think 50% of Americans have lost their minds.”
Is there anything we can do? Should we avoid the topic like poison ivy?
Avoiding a hard subject is never the correct answer whether it’s drugs, sex, alcohol, or politics. It’s too easy to be sidelined into rancorous territory when talking specific candidates or political parties, so instead, concentrate on the issues. What does our Christianity demonstrate about us when seen through the lens of our stand on abortion, socialism, refugees, human trafficking, immigration, drugs, alcohol, and welfare?
Hopefully we’ll let these thoughts guide our interactions with others:
- Let our comments be marked by the fruit of the spirit. When someone airs their frustration with the state of America and politics (and I’ve certainly been there) understand it is fear that holds them. Remind them of Proverbs 21:1 KJV – The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water, or Jeremiah 29:7 NIV – Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” I too easily give up on prayer.
- Demonstrating hatred towards the other side exposes the shallowness of our walk with Christ. If we truly believe God is in control, we will pray rather than rant on social media. We have the right to state our opinion; we just need remember to do it with grace.
- Encourage others, (and yourself), by remembering that God has changed the heart of a nation before and can again. Politics and voting are vital to democracy, but in themselves do not change people’s hearts.
This year, cover our nation with prayer. And remember to vote.