We’re heading into a political season where partisan politics, heated discussions, and passionate opinions are the norm. As Christians, we are known for being too political…using our majority power to influence or even dictate the results of the election. And to some extent this is true. When we get out the Christian vote, we are a strong influence in American politics. That political power has declined in recent years, but it is still very potent.
Negative Stereotype: Christians are Too Political
The negative stereotype of being too political, and the disgruntled reaction to it by non-Christians, is based on misuse of our political power. Outsiders believe that we use our Christian beliefs within the political and legal systems to create and sustain laws that impose our beliefs on others. They claim that we apply our morals to their lives. They claim we restrict their rights based on our beliefs. All one has to do is look at the debate over gay marriage rights to justify that claim. It’s true.
It’s a delicate thing to balance: preserving our rights and promoting our beliefs, without forcing them on others with different beliefs
Putting Politics Aside
I’d like to put partisan politics aside for a moment and address an issue I’ve been pondering. As a Christian, where should my allegiance be…with a political party or with my God and religion? Should I vote Republican or Democrat first, and my faith second? Or should I vote with my faith first…regardless of party?
Within our churches, we have both Republican, Democrats, Libertarians, Green party members, etc. We are often called the Religious Right, but the fact is that Christians are actually pretty evenly divided among the parties. We generally lean more republican due to issues such as abortion, but from where I sit…my church has a pretty even split of Republicans and Democrats. So I believe it’s a mistake to label all Christians as Republican, conservative, or right-wingers. It’s just not true.
Putting Your Faith First, Politics Second
Joshua 24:15 (NIV) “as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD”
Putting my faith first allows me to be consistent across borders as well. People are people all over the world. We all just want to be free to live, raise our families, practice our religion, or be free from persecution for not practicing a (or THE majority) religion. Let’s treat each other, even across borders, as God’s children and love one another as God commands us to.
So, where does your allegiance belong? Are you a Christian first, or do you allow your political persuasion to be first in your life?