How does your Christianity look on Election Day? When it comes to politics and Christianity, there are a whole lot of landmines to avoid. Don’t be one of these seven types of Christians when it comes to politics.
Whether the subject is immigration or same-sex marriage or abortion, Nelly has lots of opinions, but verses? Nah. She doesn’t need verses. If you press her for a biblical justification for a questionable position, she’s more likely to quote Gandhi than Jesus.
Are your politics formed more by your culture than your God? Have you arrived at your positions through careful study of Scripture, or through emotion and the pressure-cooker of a bandwagon society? This isn’t a uniquely Republican or Democrat problem. Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, make sure your politics are Bible-shaped, not Caesar-shaped.
We all have this friend on Facebook. It doesn’t matter what you post, Pete can find a way to turn it into a political debate. He gets more excited seeing someone come to his position on trickle-down economics than coming to Christ. He’s running out of room on his Prius for this election cycle’s bumper stickers.
Look, Jesus interacted with politics, no question (Matt. 22:21; Luke 13:32). However, politics wasn’t his primary concern. Instead, Jesus was primarily concerned with the Gospel. He could have called down legions of angels and overthrown Herod or Caesar, but he didn’t. He set his face towards Jerusalem, towards the cross. The Gospel should be our primary message and value and aim.
Nobody annoys Pete more than Don’t Care Dan. Dan will never get called for jury duty, because Dan has never registered to vote (and he’s 34!). He couldn’t name a senator from his state even if offered a bag of cash to do so. Dan just doesn’t care.
This isn’t the description of a disciple given to us by the New Testament authors. Paul commands (yes, commands) Christians to pray for their political leaders (1 Tim. 2:2), which is really, really hard to do when you have no clue who they are or what kinds of difficult decisions they may be facing. While believers aren’t to be of the world, they are still called to be in it.
Nancy has a utopian view of the past, believing that there was some kind of political utopia in a previous era. In her imagination, Texas in the 1950s was just one degree short of the New Jerusalem. She pines for the simpler times when everybody was a Christian and all of the laws came directly from the Bible.
The small problem with Nancy’s world is that this era and place has never existed. Every single generation from the cross to Christ’s coming has faced and will face the reality that this world is sin-corrupted and fallen. The picture of the utopian 1950s American Christian Empire is a convenient myth, not a historical fact. People are not getting more sinful. That would be like saying that water is getting more wet. People just are sinners. It’s our nature apart from Christ’s renovation (Eph. 2:3).
If every article Sue reposted on social media were true, the world would be a strange place indeed. Sue doesn’t know that everything on the internet isn’t true, so she unquestioningly reposted that article last week that said the US Supreme Court just ruled Christianity to be illegal and approved funding for a new Coliseum.
Very little makes Christians look more unnecessarily strange than trumpeting weird news articles about our oppression that are completely untrue. Snopes is your friend. Make sure you’re not promoting falsehood. Jesus, after all, is called “The Truth” in John 14:6.
Lucy is scared. Between the national debt, the refugee crisis, and Putin’s foreign policy, she’s run out of bandwidth for her terror. Right now, she’s doing a Google search for underground bunker installation and hoping that there is a Prepper chapter in her neighborhood.
Do you believe that God is sovereign or not? Paul says that, while rulers will be held accountable for what they do with their power, it’s God who ultimately decides who sits on the throne or speaks on the Senate floor (Rom. 13:1). Do you believe that even if things get really, really bad, Jesus still wins in the end? Do you believe that no ISIS militant or national debt can hinder God’s ends? If you do, you won’t be Chicken Little Lucy.
Gary thinks the Zeitgeist movie was too conservative with its conspiracy theories. He’s sure that Obama is secretly plotting his third term coup in secret meetings in the Oval Office, and you can bet he picked up on the subliminal Illuminati hand gestures Beyoncé was flashing in her latest music video.
Reality is scary enough without all the conspiracy theories. Ephesians 2:2 already says that Satan has the whole world under his sway, and 2 Corinthians 4:4 calls him “the god of this age.” There is a nefarious plan being cooked up and carried out, but it’s Satan that’s behind it ultimately. That’s why we’re called to fight a spiritual rather than a physical battle (2 Cor. 10:4–6). The enemy is spiritual, and his defeat is certain (Col. 2:15).
Here’s the bottom line. Christians must be salt and light in their cities and states and countries, and that has definite political implications. But falling into these caricatures doesn’t adorn the Gospel. What does? Radically loving our neighbors does. Knowing the issues enough to daily pray for our leaders intelligently does. Trusting our sovereign God to accomplish all of his ends does. May our politics look like our Gospel.
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