Politics, Religion, and How Not to Lose Hope



Politics and religion are two topics that many of us avoid at all costs. They immediately ruin a good conversation, creating vitriol reactions and angry rants. They exhaust us in our scrolling through Facebook and interacting on Twitter. And it seems like every election season gives us a first-hand glimpse into politics doing more harm than good. 

This is especially true in the Church. 

Politics in the Church creates division amongst those who should treat each other as family. It creates dissension amongst friends and family as they purvey their perspectives regardless of the cost. And outsiders watch it all, convinced that they must have to check a certain box if they ever want to join a church. 

Despite all of that, politics is a part of our world. And as we engage in our calling to be Christian citizens, I want to share 3 valuable reminders for us in the election season. 

Voting for [fill in the blank with a candidate] is not a sin or an endorsement. 

Depending on your passion and commitment to a particular party, it can be very easy for to assume that it must be wrong for someone to vote for the other party or a third party. It would absolutely be a sin for you to do what you believe would be harmful for your neighbor, but beyond that be very careful of calling something a sin that the Scripture does not call a sin. 

There’s not an individual candidate or party that is the clear biblical choice. While you can easily point out the harm that the other candidate might do to your neighbors, it is likely just as easy for someone else to point out the harm that might be done by your own candidate. 

When you are asking, "How could a Christian consider voting for [him/her] because of..." someone else is asking the same question about your candidate.

Are you struggling with how to vote? Vote in the way that is most loving towards your neighbors. Vote in a way that is an expression of love "which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." (1 Timothy 1:5)

The Church is filled with all political parties. 

Paul’s words in Galatians 3:28 could be applied to our political season to say, “[In the Church] there is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, republican nor democrat, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” 

@@We are not united by a political affiliation, we are united by the death and resurrection of Jesus.@@ Our faithfulness is not to a party, it's to the Kingdom of God. 

And the problems our country faces don't need political solutions, they need the Church to rise up with faithfulness. Justice is not a task for the right or the left. Fighting to protect life - all ages, races, and religions - is not the calling of liberals or conservatives, it's the calling of the Church. 

"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" - Micah 6:8

This election season may have exposed your idols. 

Uncertainty is excellent at exposing your idols. In the unrest as you await the election, perhaps your uncertainty has exposed that your trust has been in a candidate instead of the King. Maybe it's exposed that your faithfulness has been more committed to a party than to the Kingdom. 

Imagine for a second what things would look like if the election went exactly as you hoped. Imagine that every single candidate you voted for won.

Would the problems of our world be gone?

Would the hearts of parents now suddenly be turned towards their children?

Would fathers no longer abandon their families?

Would marriages now be models of love and faithfulness?  

Would greed be replaced with generosity?  

Would poverty legislated out of existence?  

And what about you - would you, as a result of the election, now be more like Christ? Would you now have the peace you were looking for? 

@@Our hope is not in a president, supreme court justices, or public policies. Our hope is in a resurrected King.@@ When the circumstances of this world are uncertain, Jesus is not. And regardless of who gets elected, Jesus will still be on the throne fighting for you, defending you, and walking with you.

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