I have to be honest. As a Christian, sometimes I really struggle with the current political state. I see friends of shared and unshared belief throw many of the morals they typically live by right out the nearest window.
I get it. As writer, Christian, and avid Texas Rangers fan, Bryan Roberts, wrote: “Political discourse is the Las Vegas of Christianity — the environment in which our sin is excused. Hate is winked at, fear is perpetuated and strife is applauded. Go wild, Christ-follower. Your words have no consequences here. Jesus doesn’t live in Vegas.”
Sadly, for Christians and non-Christians alike — for those sincerely attempting to honor both their Creator and all of mankind — many of us seem to have concluded that some morals matter less. But we forget that the political process is dirty and broken.
Think one party is always honest?
Think one party is more moral?
Allow me to humbly ask the pervasive elephant in the room: what are you overlooking in that party in order to conclude such?
I am thus attracted to more words Roberts wrote. Let me gently caution you now, as they will be hard to hear based on what each of us may currently be overlooking. Seven years ago Roberts suggested seven things to remember about politics:
- Both political parties go to church. There’s a Christian Left and, perhaps even less well-known, there’s a secular Right…
- Political talk radio and cable “news” only want ratings.
When media personalities tell you they are on a moral crusade, they are lying to you. These personalities get rich by instilling fear and paranoia in their listeners…
- Those who argue over politics don’t love their country more than others.
They just love to argue more than others. Strife and quarreling are symptoms of weak faith and are among the things the Lord “detests.” We need to rise above the vitriol and learn to love our neighbors the way God commanded us. We need to love our atheist neighbor who wants to keep creationism out of schools; our Democrat neighbor who wants to keep gay marriage and abortion legal; our Republican neighbor who celebrates death penalty statistics and gun ownership; and yes, even the presidential candidate from the other side.
- Thinking your party’s platform is unflawed is a mistake.
The social policies of your party were constructed by imperfect politicians fueled by ambition. It’s nearsighted to canonize them…
- Scripture tells us to pray for our governing leaders and to respect those in authority.
Translation: if you’re mocking your governing leaders on Facebook, the Holy Spirit is grieved. We should spend more time honoring our leaders and less time vilifying them. This doesn’t mean praying the President will be impeached; it doesn’t mean praying your candidate will win. God commands us to pray for our leaders — for their wisdom, for their hearts and for them to be led by Him.
- Don’t be paranoid.
The country is not going to be destroyed if your candidate loses… America has functioned—albeit, at varying levels of success — for years under the direction of alternating Democrat and Republican control, and at every flip, the other side thought it was the end of the world. It’s not. And if we’re a Church that believes God is in control, we have to believe that He is the one in control of the end times — not whoever’s in office now, and not whoever succeeds them.
- Stop saying, “This is the most important election in the history of our nation.”
It’s not. The most important election in the history of our nation was when Abraham Lincoln was elected president. Before that, we thought it was OK to own people. Every generation thinks it’s living in the most important moment in history. We’re not, our parents were not and our children probably won’t be. And that’s OK.
Again, I get it… this is hard to hear for Christians and non-Christians alike. So as one who sincerely struggles with today’s political state, I humbly ask again what I must ask myself: what are we currently overlooking?