“Pray for One” Politics
Politics are important. I realize we grow tired of the constant bantering between candidates and certainly the current presidential campaigns have presented us with several embarrassing moments. Yet, the outcome of any election, and our ability to decipher the truth, is critical to our future. Politics matter.
However, regardless of the passion we feel for a candidate or a cause, we need to be wise. Actually, “because” of the passion we feel, we need to be wise. It is easy to forget who is listening and watching, and if we aren’t careful, we can do irreparable harm to our Christian witness and God’s “one” in our lives.
Do we want a president who has backroom conversations about grabbing women’s genitals? Probably not. Do we want a president who uses a non-profit foundation to launder money given for political favors? Not likely. Will a candidate guilty of one of these sins be in the White House? I am certain of it.
Until the dust settles I would like to suggest some things we might want to keep in mind as followers of Jesus:
Show care in the way you evoke the name of Jesus. We should be aware of where candidates stand on important moral issues, and the power our next president will have in selecting Supreme Court appointees makes this election a matter of great concern for believers. However, Jesus doesn’t have a candidate. Remember, He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Act on your spiritual convictions, but don’t exploit Jesus for political purposes.
Don’t violate biblical principles in your attempt to support a candidate. I have seen words on Facebook from my brothers and sisters in Christ that would have led to certain and swift punishment in my home as a kid. We have lost our filters, and our children are watching. They are reading our Facebook posts. I have heard obvious misrepresentations of the truth, and outright lies from supporters of both candidates. I understand hyperbole is one way we get our ideas across in our society. There is also a temptation to counter lies with bigger lies. But we must recognize what we are doing to our character and our ability to lead others to Jesus when we behave badly. The generation that is emerging in our country is already detached from the church. When we spew hate we don’t make ourselves very attractive, and honestly, we probably don’t help our candidate.
Remember, the soul of a culture is sustained by faith, not politics. This doesn’t mean a president can’t represent our collective soul and inspire us to honor God. However, the best candidates and laws upholding morality are very transient unless a critical mass supports them. Our best hope is and has always been the kingdom work of bringing people to know Jesus. He is the one who changes our neighborhoods, workplaces and homes. Jesus heals the broken-hearted and sets the captive free.
Demonstrate an ability to articulate your views without malice. Are you a conservative? Carefully craft your Facebook posts and find a way to share your convictions in a concise, logical manner. Do you believe in more social programs and regulation? State your reasons and make some comparisons and contrasts. Does your past have a lot to do with why you feel the way you feel? Share specifics. Talk about the consequences of government overreach or the failure of our government to intervene in your situation. Don’t just pass along what you hear, and don’t repost hateful opinions on Facebook on issues you haven’t researched for yourself.
And do all of this without malice. We turn to hateful words when we have nothing left to say, and people notice.
There is nothing wrong with having strong opinions and sharing them in the public square. I disagree strongly with those who think Christians should “stay in their lane”, as if faith has no place in politics. There is a time to shout. There is even a time for civil disobedience. But there is never a time when we should forget we represent Jesus.
People who don’t know Jesus won’t forget how we have acted. The dust usually settles, but it always leaves a film.