Politics and Christians

I'm not going to delve into this deeply. I’m just going to share a couple thoughts as I listen to the rantings on the Left and the Right, neither of which I have found across the board to be rational or objective.

First of all, it seems to me that most Christians I meet are more influenced by their politics than by their faith. They seem to allow their political views to shape their faith, rather than allow their faith to shape their political viewpoints, which to me would mean one would have a tough time aligning oneself with either party completely. I sit and watch people on the Left and the Right say such thoughtless things, and rather than admit that their candidate is misstating something or simply wrong in their position, they will find some way to spin it in a partisan fashion. I'll be honest; I don't know how you can be partisan and not be in conflict with your faith. Our ultimate allegiance is to the 'Kingdom of God' and the values of the kingdom, which no political party embodies.

We live in a democratic society and we have the freedom and right to participate in the political process, and we should do so. But developing hatred for the men and women in politics themselves, not just their views, seems completely contrary to the words of Jesus when He says, "Love your enemies." Many see those who hold opposing views on political issues as the enemy.

Scripture tells us two interesting things that apply here. One is that “there is no authority in authority, that God hasn't placed there.” Two that we are to “honor and pray for those in government.” These things were written to men and women who were not living in a democratic society, but under the rule of Rome and the emperors. There are Christian men and women throughout the world who live under tyranny and oppression; they read the same Bible as us and they are instructed to do the same thing. Yet I have a sneaking suspicion that if the wrong party wins this election, those whose candidate failed to win office will have a really hard time with these instructions.

Years ago I was pastoring a church that had a Christian school ministry. In the school entryway there was a photograph of the then U.S. President, George Herbert Bush. Some time later he lost his bid for re-election. Long after he left office, the photo of Bush still was there. I talked to the pastor who was over the school, and I made it very clear to him that I wanted to see a picture of the current President, Bill Clinton hanging in that spot. It took months for that to take place. I felt that the children were being exposed to something completely contrary to what the scripture teaches and was a perfect example of “politics influencing faith versus faith influencing politics.”

I'm not saying you shouldn't be be passionate and concerned; just don't fall into the extremism and fear mongering that fills the airwaves and especially the Internet.

Just remember this: if your candidate wins or loses, God is in control. Oh yeah, and remember in your conversations with others to demonstrate honor and respect for the man or woman in office, whether you care for them or not. And pray for them as the scripture instructs us all to do. By the way the Apostle Paul goes as far as to say that we are to “give thanks” for them.