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.

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