Monday, November 04, 2019

Christians and Politics?






From time to time I post political news or commentary on my Facebook page. I did just that a few days ago. The heated and ongoing discussion sparked this blog. 

As I read through the comments I felt sorrow, disappointment, anger, and pride. There were mean comments written to intentionally hurt an opponent, lies intentionally written to malign someone's character, plus well stated arguments on both sides, and sadly all kinds of evil statements cast about to create destruction.

We people are divided, angry and determined to have our way. We have forgotten that we don't have to agree to be agreeable. We've forgotten that it's okay to disagree. And we've forgotten that we are stronger when we stand together, if not in ideology then at least in purpose. 

I'm a passionate thinking person. And I believe in speaking up about ideas and beliefs I hold dear, and that includes politics. It's not a thing I take lightly. When I post something on my page, especially when I know it might stir up controversy I try to present thoughts with clarity and accuracy It's not always easy to accomplish and I often fall short of my goal. There is so much misinformation "out there" that it's easy to be deceived. And yet, I am compelled to step into the fray from time to time.

When any of us does this, we are sticking out our necks. It's an emotional risk. We can almost count on getting piled on. It can get so bad that we vow - never again. But then there is that tug of the Holy Spirit saying, "speak up, but remember you represent The Father." 

I don't want to become what I detest - a reckless and malicious finger-pointer. May God forgive me when I allow weakness to draw me into such a despicable state.

I sometimes wonder what God thinks when he watches our wobbly efforts to share truth. He sees the larger picture, of course, and I'm sure many times he shakes his head and wishes we wouldn't get so riled up. Certainly, he is sometimes disappointed in us. But that does not mean he wants us to be apathetic or too fearful to stand up for truth and for one another.

There are those who believe we should never get involved in political discussions or causes. I don't agree. Believers have a duty to stand for what is good and right. God's Word gives us cause and permission to do so. I'm not trying to guilt anyone into doing something they do not believe they are called to do. We each must choose for ourselves. But I know there are many who remain silent, some who are gifted and who care enough to take their place in the political field or to become part of the press. We need more voices. 

At the very least we all need to pray, especially for our leaders. If we are praying for someone, it will be more difficult to hate them. First Timothy 2:1-4 says, I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests plead for God's mercy upon them, and give thanks. Pray this way for kings and all others who are in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, for he wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.

These are powerful words. How different the world would be if we committed to pray for one another and our leaders every day, and pleaded for God's mercy to be upon them.There is such earnestness in the word plead. 

The Lord hears our prayers. He wants us to live in peace and godliness. 

When we pray we are better able to speak with dignity and fairness, with strength and clarity, remaining respectful. When I am in the midst of a passionate exchange I must intentionally slow down and ask God what I should or should not say. Still, I sometimes fail miserably, but I won't give up.  

We need to be a positive influence in our world. And as difficult as it is to do, we are to place ourselves under the authority of those God has chosen to lead. 

But we are first to obey God. A clear example is in  Acts 4:18-19. So they called the apostles back in and told them never again to speak or teach about Jesus. But Peter and John replied, "We cannot stop telling about the wonderful things we have seen and heard."  

I love the statement, We cannot stop. I want to have that kind of heart.

We are able to remain steady in the midst of political storms. We are in the midst of one now. Daniel 2:21 says, He determines the course of world events; removes kings and sets others on the throne. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.

God has a plan.

May we encourage and pray for one another. God knows the beginning and the end of all things. We do not need to fear. 

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie

6 comments:

  1. I agree that prayer, mercy, and humility are the key ingredients when we dare to venture into the political realm. If our faith is deep, it will impact all areas of our lives. And it is all right to speak up. The problem comes when we forget the humility, when we think WE speak for God and that those who disagree with us must be against God. I have been hurt by those who imply someone cannot be a Christian because of certain political beliefs or because of the political party to which they belong. Where in the Bible does it say one's political beliefs determine whether or not they are saved? When we presume to speak for God, we step into dangerous territory. AND we push people away from God when we should be reflecting God's love and drawing people toward Him. We can strive to further those things we believe to be right without condemning those who believe differently. And that may be a wise thing to do, because I have a feeling once we get to Heaven, we are all going to find out we got some things wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Susan. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I'm often puzzled by how differently intelligent people who love the same God, see life from such different perspectives. I guess that's something I'll see more clearly when I am home with the Lord. And of course, there, we will be of one mind and heart.

      I'm sorry that you've been hurt by the assumptions of others. I can add my name to the long list of wounded souls. It would be helpful if we spent extra time in the thirteenth chapter of the book of First Corinthians. I especially love the verses 7 - 13, but will include only verse 13 here. "There are three things that will endure - faith, hope, an love - and the greatest of these is love. That's pretty clear.

      I'm thankful God is full of mercy. If not for that I'd be in terrible trouble.

      Love you, friend.

      Grace and peace to you.

      Delete
  2. Thanks, Bonnie. Yes, we all need mercy. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like this...

    "Saying that we should not get involved in politics, because politics has become so dirty, is like saying we should not try to save the lost because they are so sinful."

    Mario Murillo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mario, good point. The world is ugly and it's our home. But it's also beautiful with spectacular vistas and spectacular people. The Lord has us here for a reason.

      Peace to you.

      Delete

ShareThis