We live in a strangely spiritual world here in America. On the one hand, we are more spiritual than ever and yet less religious than ever before. We are a country founded on Christian principles, yet we have and still fight over race, gender, and faith systems.
I doubt that a backwoods pastor|author|speaker like me can help that dysfunction, but I’d like to take a shot at what is a gross misrepresentation (maybe) of how our theology can get our faith in trouble when we replace it with politics.
I’m a political junkie. There, I said it. Whew! But I’m so disgusted by the way we have replaced our convictions with policy and politics. Please don’t hear me say that they do not intersect, but listen to me when I say that we have gone way past the point of reason.
I grew up in the home of a politician and pastor. I watched my dad serve as a voice of reason and delineate the difference between the two. Dad never seemed to replace his convictions grounded in his faith with the party politics, even though he was a state chairman of one of the two major parties. He somehow found a way to be a Republican without blindly going along to get along.
Here are the “things” that I fear we “evangelicals” are dangerously close to or have already crossed the line in.
- All policy matters. All policy affects all other policies. To choose a party, person, or policy, we must see the person’s whole and the entirety of the platform.
- The idea that any single person is qualified to run the country is truly a silly concept. The people the person surrounds themselves with are of equal or greater significance than just the person.
- To assume that as a Follower of Jesus, you must support one party and park your brain regarding the immediate contextual concerns is ridiculous. There are extraordinary people of faith on both sides of the aisle.
- We must be confident that we do not worship any person, plan, party, or policy. Let our worship be connected to God alone.
- The voice of American Christians is far more vocal when it comes to our political preferences – or favorite news channel – than we are about the wonderful Christ we claim as Savior. No explanation needed, I fear.
- We must be willing to question our motives when it comes to our politics. The Christian life doesn’t change leaders every four years. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He is not subject to voters and their whims.
- Character and decency matter as much as toughness and savvy. It’s an age-old challenge. But I am confident that the ends rarely justify the means. How we lead is as important as what we accomplish.
Let us not confuse our politics with our faith-filled convictions. We are a great country. Let’s not slip into another political has been and depart from the framework of integrity, decency, and honesty.