Christianity, Politics, and the Great Divide

There are many things the Church has faced throughout history that have threatened its existence. The great persecutions of the past were harsh and caused many disciples to flee far and fast. Nobody likes to face hardships, but often times persecution brings people together (Tweet That). and the Gospel spreads. When we are pressed from the outside, we ban together under a common cause. People seek God. 

Christianity has also had its fair share of internal threats. Squabbles on the inside often center around doctrinal issues. Many of these are small and relatively insignificant, but some have led to  church splits and led to the many denominations we see today. Even though we are divided in what we believe, we’re still been able to overcome our personal convictions and work together. I have many Christian family members and friends outside of my fellowship, and wholeheartedly expect to see them when I get to heaven.

In recent years I’ve seen a new threat burrowing its way into the foundation of the Church, a threat cemented in politics and connectedness. Part of this new threat is about the left-right divide that has gripped our our planet. Politics has been around almost as long as religion, so what’s so drastically different with this generation? We’ve entered a time period like no other in humanity’s past. We are connected both instantly and constantly. Personal connection with others is a good thing, and I would even say that we were created to be connected, but the connection we experience through the internet is somehow different. We act differently online than we would face-to-face. Perhaps a bit of road rage. We post and say things without thought, or care of how it might affect others. It’s not a give and take relationship we experience online – it’s about throwing out an opinion. It’s about grouping ourselves with others of similar belief so that we will feel good about “being right.”

Politics has always been divisive, but having a different opinion isn’t bad. Our political system was created to keep itself in check, so some disagreement is unavoidable. But when you take politics, and couple with it an incomplete method of communication you get a recipe for disaster.

The political divide has now begun to permeate all areas of life–even our faith. (Tweet That) Our atmosphere of “being right” is preventing some from carrying out the true behaviors of Christianity–loving others and treating them with patience, respect, and kindness.  Both left and right are using Christianity for their own benefit. (Tweet That) That’s nothing new; Charlemagne, Constantine, and many others mixed religion with politics to gain followers and drive them to action. There is a political force today that is trying to pull every single person to one side or the other, and it doesn’t want you to stand in the middle.

As you read this article I want you to stop and think.  Set aside the talking points for just a little bit. Think Biblically for a moment.

How does the selfish rudeness openly displayed on social media today follow the Apostle Paul’s instructions? “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others

How does it follow Jesus Golden Rule? “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

How does it follow the Apostle Peter’s words? “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”

Christianity is not Republican, nor is it Democrat. Do not allow yourself to be pulled to a political side.  I can guarantee you, political motives are not biblical motives.

I don’t think it’s wrong to be politically active. We can look at Paul’s example in the New Testament, where he spoke often about his Roman citizenship. He definitely used it to further the purpose of the Gospel. I just think, as we participate in the political process that we should always apply Biblical principles in our communication (Tweet That). Our biggest mandate is to spread the Truth. Stand up for what is right, and speak against issues that are immoral.

Stop the name calling. Stop spreading lies. Be respectful when speaking with others about politics or anything else. If we become indistinguishable from the world, then we are salt that has lost its saltiness, but if we hold up the values of Christ, then we win.