“I’m fed up with politics.” I wearily commented to Norma Jean the other night after being fed more political baloney.
Then what did I do about it?
I tuned in last night to watch the Republican debate. Yes, another one! At one point during an exchange of charges and counter charges over their record and positions on the issues, Norma Jean turned to me and asked, “How do you know who is right!?
Good question. Unless you spend a lot of time fact checking every statement, it’s difficult. Finally, we both grew tired and bailed out before the debate was over.
So, this morning, I’m thinking this is only January and there are 10 more months of this before the Presidential election. I need some balance. Direction. Some reminders of what’s right and important. And thought maybe you do as well.
Here’s 7 things Christians need to remember as things heat up leading to the election.
(1) There are Christians of all political persuasions. Republican. Democrat. Libertarian. Green party. Constitutional Party. And no party. Some vote. Some don’t. But politics should not divide Christians in an election year. Or any year.
We go to church together. Worship together. Serve the same God. We’re all bought by the blood of Jesus. We’re walking the same spiritual road and share the same hope. Let’s not allow political differences to destroy the unity for which Christ died (Gal. 3;26-28; Eph. 4:1-3)
(2) Don’t confuse patriotism with spirituality.
Loving our country does not make us more spirituality minded. Nor does our brand of patriotism make us more spiritual than others that we deem less patriotic. What makes us spiritual minded is thinking on things that are above, and not on things of the earth (Col 3:1-2). Prayer. Bible study. Fellowship. Discipleship. Worship. Outreach. Ministry. These strengthen our spiritual lives, not political activism or patriotic allegiance.
(3) Remember that your party’s political platform is not perfect.
Every four years the platform is tweaked and changed. It’s formed by ambitious and imperfect politicians. The Democrat party is not the same as it was 50 years ago. But neither is the Republican party. The only platform that is perfect is the one given by God and revealed through His infallible Word. (2 Tim. 3:26-17) And, it will provide for us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3)
(4) Stop saying “This is the most important election in the history of our nation.”
I’m hearing it. Again. In fact, I’ve said it in the past. But I was wrong. Every election has its own importance. I’ll leave the debate of the most important election to the historians. But I suggest the election of Abraham Lincoln might be difficult to beat.
Christians, however, need to be more concerned about their spiritual election by God’s grace. Be diligent. Make it sure. Stay focused. (2 Pet. 1:10-11)
(5) Pray for the elected leaders regardless of who wins.
The Bible commands prayerful respect for governmental authorities. “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Tim. 2:1-3).
Mocking, jeering, and vilifying our elected officials on facebook grieves God and is a stain on our Christianity.
(6) Your candidate is not the last, best hope for America.
Yes, I know you really like him and his politics. But he’s imperfect. He doesn’t share all of your spiritual values. And if he loses, America is not doomed. The best hope of America is Jesus Christ. A return to faith. And the gospel message of salvation from sin. (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor 15:1-3)
Our hope transcends the policies and politics of this country, or any other country. Furthermore, the leaders are not in control of our destiny. God is.
(7) Remember your favorite talk show host and cable news channel is all about ratings.
Don’t allow the news celebrities to fill you with fear, or instill paranoia. Few, if any, are unbiased. They all have some agenda. And, they all want you to watch or listen to their program.
You might want to turn it off and spend time with your family. Or read a good book. Go visit a friend. Read your Bible. And pray for God’s guidance, strength and patience during this heated political season.
It’s good to be informed. Champion a noble cause. Work to make our country better. And vote your conscience. Just don’t lose perspective. Stay focused on what’s most important. And live godly in this ungodly world.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman