Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

On My Mind #2 – Political Divisiveness and the Church

I can say with confidence that there are few people who really know the entirety my political views.  I understand the importance of politics, I really do.  This article is not about why Christians should or should not participate in politics.  What’s on my mind tonight is the divisiveness of politics in our culture – and how it infiltrates the church.

Whatever the race, the candidate, the cause, or the issue – it seems like every race is highlighted more and more by something that really disturbs me: the vilification of the opponent.  It seems even Christians are doing more than slinging mud – what I’m witnessing seems to go beyond name calling.  And I’m concerned.

So, as the contests heat up over the next several weeks, here are some things I hope all Christians keep in mind as political issues are discussed:

1.  Just because someone disagrees with you, it doesn’t mean they hate you.

Show some maturity, be willing to say: “I guess we don’t see eye to eye on that and we probably won’t.”  Ask questions, be intuitive, listen to others’ viewpoints without formulating your response while they’re talking.  The best witness we can give as Christians is to care about people even if we disagree with them.  This kind of maturity and love will really stand out in times where our culture is dominated by such hatred.

2.  Your relationships in Christ are more important than any political race or issue.

Be sure to affirm those at the end of any disagreement.  And by all means, there’s no need to gossip about people with other believers who agree with you about those who don’t.  That’s just pride.  Jesus didn’t die on the cross so we can secretly hate each other over political issues.

3.  You MUST read the entire issue or candidate’s statement.  And you MUST reasonably wrestle with what people are saying who disagree with you (or opposing candidate’s platform).

Don’t read a website about the issue.  That doesn’t count.  Read the issue or proposal.  Go to the candidate’s website.  Wrestle with it.  Read the opposition.  See if what you are being told or what you are reading is correct.  I am not saying this to belittle anyone.  I have talked to passionate people who didn’t know what the issue was actually about.  I have seen information on a website and Facebook about a political contest that wasn’t true at all.  There are ways to check facts.  Do so.  Then compare them to what people are saying.

4.  Know people’s motives.

Those trying to win a political contest are out for their own good.  There’s money to be saved and prestige to be won.  Period.  They’re trying to win.  And often, they’ll lie, incite hatred, and mislead just to win.

I honestly believe if we keep some of these things in mind, folks in our lives will truly know that Christ is more important than our position on any issue or belief in any candidate.  That’s my hope and prayer for the Christian church – that we wouldn’t lose the love of our witness in times when the world so desperately needs it.

On My Mind #1 – God’s Justice

Usually by Wednesday night I have plenty on my mind.  I’m going to start writing on Wednesday nights to get something on my mind, well, off my mind.  For the first one tonight: God’s Justice.

The main question I have as a Christian is this:  how much do I thirst for justice in this world for criminals, enemies of God, etc.?

I am often intrigued by crime shows, more often than not disgusted by evil people who commit horrific crimes and refuse to show remorse, and always heart broken.  First, I am glad for justice systems.  Lots of times great detectives pin crimes on despicable human beings.  Juries return just verdicts. Recently in our area, a gunman who killed several people was killed by police.  These are all pictures of God’s justice, those guilty paying proper penalties.

But these aren’t the most important pictures of God’s justice.  First off, the above mentioned systems do fail.  Innocent people go to jail, even die in execution.  It happens.  Thus, I don’t thirst first and foremost for earthly justice.  It’s flawed.  Personally, my first concern for every human being is God’s ultimate, eternal justice.  Hardened criminals, housewives, pastors, day laborers, delivery drivers, everyone under the sun past, present and future have God’s true justice at their disposal.

I am truly heartbroken by the most vile offenders.  I am convinced that biblically I am required to be.  Murderers, child offenders, terrorists, anyone else who makes your list of people who make your skin crawl, all fit into this verse:  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Re-hashed many times the world over, some may even tire of hearing this verse.  But there is no qualification in the verse, nor a set list of types of people who can’t be transformed by God’s love.

Simply: we’re all sinners, and I thirst most for God to redeem those He will redeem.  I long for people to know Jesus, the true transforming power of His blood, and NOT just those I think to be worthy of it.  Second, I thirst for those who commit crimes to receive their just due, knowing the system that metes that justice can fail.  I pray for justice this side of eternity.  I trust only though in the one who will have the ultimate say of what is eternally just – the Lord Jesus Christ.