I have always heard that in order to live peacefully with friends and even family, that you should avoid both. Perhaps that is good advice for peaceful relations, but is it possible to love one another and be a Jesus follower and not engage these most important aspects of life when we have different convictions?
Today Ellen and I listened to a January Sermon by Andy Stanley on the topic of religion and politics. In it he makes the point that politics should be secondary to our faith. And that we should always place Jesus’ John 17 prayer for unity ahead of politics, because it is this unity that allows the world to know of God’s love. But then Andy threw us a curve. He stated that both political parties could feel that they are following Christ in their platforms, and in fact both do claim this. His formula for unity then was to listen, gain knowledge, and perhaps even change our own view. I’m certainly in favor of change, because we cannot grow in Christ without change, but all change is not good. There is progressive change, (and I don’t use progressive in the sense of today’s liberal abandonment of God and His word), and then there is regressive change. Regressive change would be to abandon what you have already learned in order to return to your former state.
We as Christians are to learn from one another. But how can we learn if we do not discuss Religion? And how can we discuss how we should live as believers if we do not discuss politics, because politics has become in America our statement of how we should walk out our faith by and through our laws.
If we are Jesus followers first, then we will chose our politics based on our understanding of what Jesus would have us do. If we love others we will share Jesus and what He has done for us and how He has changed our lives, including our politics.
You have heard me say in the past I cannot justify as a follower of Christ, casting my vote for any candidate who believes in or supports abortion; or Same sex marriage; or open borders; or unjustly prejudging all police as haters, while considering none of the facts or statistics involved.
There are haters in all walks of life, but this country has laws to bring about justice. It’s what makes this nation better than the others. Is it perfect? — No, but neither will what is deemed to be better by young people who are educated to not know this worlds history.
So, discussion is a necessary part of loving one another. Why do we believe what we believe? Why would such discussions not be profitable? People who vote for a party or a candidate without knowing that candidates, or parties current stand on issues effecting our faith, is not following Jesus.