Following Politics Without Losing Your Religion

Hang in there and give thanks—it’s almost over. In just a few days we can get back to commercials with Gronk telling us which detergent will get our clothes cleaner and a little lizard letting us know how to save 15% or more on car insurance, instead of the local Democrat and Republican telling us how the country is going to implode if their opponent is elected. 

I’ve never liked campaign commercials. It’s usually one candidate listing his qualifications for sainthood while claiming his opponent is really Satan in a skirt. It’s the disingenuousness of it all that drives me nuts (admittedly, that’s closer to a short putt than a drive). One Senate candidate and her staff were recently (secretly) filmed admitting that they’re being dishonest with the voters on her positions on issues because she’d never get elected in her state if she told the truth. You know it happens all the time, but hearing it directly just leaves a bad taste. And the levels of anger and hostility in politics are so high that it makes it hard for Christians to be involved and still live Christlike lives.
 
Well, let me give you a couple of tips to help you keep involved without losing your religion! 
 
Give allegiance to biblical principles, not politicians or parties. Cling to godly principles: honesty, mercy, love, compassion, humility; not candidates or parties. Be intellectually honest. Don’t be so married to a candidate or a party or a “side” that you won’t call out those who do what’s wrong, just because they’re on your side or they’re in your party. In fact, you should be the first to stand up and point out things that are wrong. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, Green Party, or what—no party is right on every issue, and every party is made up of flawed human beings. I’ve seen Republican Christians defend the president when he’s said (or tweeted) egregious things, and I’ve seen supposedly peace-loving Democrats excuse and even encourage violence and harassment in the name of righteous anger. We need to stand for biblical principles and be willing to call out wrong behavior regardless of who’s doing it. 
 
Stay focused on Kingdom business, not political change. Our primary purpose in this world is to build God’s kingdom—not to turn red states blue or blue states red. Our purpose in this world is to lead people to salvation in Christ, not to control congress. In fact, when you recognize the eternal impact of leading people to Christ, spending all your energy to temporarily affect the balance of power in one relatively ineffective legislature among the thousands on the planet seems like a pretty insignificant and wasteful use of our time, doesn’t it? Besides, societal change comes when hearts are changed, and political arguments don’t do that—but Jesus does.
 
Sometimes people will ask whether our church is right wing or left wing. I like John Ortberg’s response. He says, “Actually, we’re for the whole bird.” And that’s why we preach Christ, not political parties. That’s why our allegiance is to biblical principles, not politicians. 
 

So let’s give thanks for the end of this round of campaign mudslinging, and the return of regular commercials. I never thought I’d say this, but Flo, I’ve missed you! 


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