Let’s begin with full disclosure. I’m a Pastor at a Local Church. I’m not the Senior Pastor, but I still can’t endorse a candidate. It’s over now, so I’ll just tell you where I stand. I’m Pro-Small Government, less taxes, and less regulation. I think a President should pass a balanced budget. Heck, any budget at all would be a good start. I’m not a fan of government controlled healthcare for lots of reasons, but I wouldn’t throw all of Obamacare out the window. I don’t understand why we don’t thoughtfully harvest the energy resources in our own country like every other country on the planet. I understand the ramifications of the direction I believe our country is taking more than I will say here because I will sound like Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory. I love politics, and I love my country. I love Jesus, and His Bride, the Church. But Christians blew this election.
It has become more than a little unfortunate to see and hear the reactions of people who call Jesus their Savior as it applies to this year’s Presidential election. Many of the ones who voted for the Republican candidate are now fully on their way to spontaneous combustion. After they get done lashing out at everyone they will move into a state of depression. Angry, sulking, and without a tribe is a tough place to be.
In all circles, not just evangelical ones, people have used social media to attack their friends and neighbors over this election. I’ve not seen one post of anyone attempting to thoughtfully persuade someone with the heart of an issue. Just people who want to be right, and who want to WIN at all costs. Here’s the problem, when you equate your Christianity with your politics, and you live in a country that is divided approximately 51-49, you do more than express a different political view. You basically just sent half the country to hell with the inference that they have to choose your politician as much as they need to choose your Savior.
Do we really want to dilute the Gospel message of Jesus and bring it down to the level of American politics?
An openly Democrat neighbor came to our door last week, and asked if everything was good between their family and ours. Evidently, she had just attacked everything that even smelled Republican (oddly enough it’s the same smell as a Baptist Church Fellowship Hall on Wednesday nights) with a facebook rant that used some words I frankly don’t know the definitions of. Why did she ask? Because she knows we are Christ-follwers. Because we have talked politics, and she knows where we stand. Can we still be friends? Yes. Can we have a difference of opinion about politics? Yes. The only thing I am digging my heels in on is that there is only one path to get to God and it is through His Son Jesus. We can discuss that in a loving and meaningful way, but there’s just no room for waffling and tolerance with that one.
A large portion of evangelical Christianity has just ostracized themselves from the opportunity to share the greatest (and only real) message of Hope and Life Change in the history of all mankind by rushing to defend one half of an imperfect political system. It’s more than just a little short-sighted, and the eternal ramifications are much more important than the future of the American dollar.
Some mistakenly say that if Christians had just spoken up louder then their guy would have won. Ironically, the louder the Christian rhetoric gets the more people run the other direction. Our rants are not speaking to people’s hearts and our lives are not displaying a message of Hope that would otherwise be admirable and attractional. The message of Jesus is challenging enough. To try and demean people into listening is enough to cause people to run away from Him never to return. To the 1600 ordained Men and Women Pastors who thumbed their nose at our government, endorsed a candidate, and declared ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ a few weeks ago, please stand up this Sunday and let people know that there are communities of Christ-followers who care more about eternity, the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, than anti-colonialism. Our arms are wide open and we are willing to start extra services to welcome the people you have alienated, and to let them know that God’s love is bigger than disagreement on a political worldview.
If you are a Christ-follower and your boldness about your politics has now gotten in the way of your credibility to be able to share the Gospel then you blew it. Plain and simple. Take responsibility and you can earn back the trust necessary to carry every important message in your life forward.