Hi Everyone! I haven’t written a post at my blog site in a few months, and the first post I decided to write in a long time involves my thoughts on Politics and Christianity. Run for the hills!!! No… wait. Just kidding! In all honesty, I wanted to write about this since February. But, I have been pretty busy with my new business, and other responsibilities. I also wanted to overhaul the blog site, since I think the theme is a bit stale. However, I digress.
I have been listening to and observing the most recent topics on the news channels, regarding contraception, gay rights, democrats, republicans, churches, faith groups and Christians. There have been much debate over the years regarding the concept of Separation of Church and State. In recent years, the debate still exists, but it is hidden within the political context of today. Many Christians and non-Christians alike are looking to politicians and legislators to define laws that mix the agenda of the State with the agenda of any number of “Christian” organizations or churches. Leaders of churches, such as pastors and bishops, have been giving public support and endorsements to political figures. When I see this, I ask myself the question, “Where in the Holy Bible did Jesus or any of the apostles endorse or give public support to Herod, Caesar, or any other political figure?” And for those who like to question the Bible’s authenticity, I can extend the question to include any translation of the Bible. I believe that too many Christians today, including many prominent Christian leaders, have mixed themselves up with politics and politicians. We have lost our true goal. Our goal should not be to put Christ into the laws of the land, but to put Christ in the hearts of the people. The last command Jesus gave us was the following:
15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved…”
Mark 16: 15-16a
The mandate was never to reform a nation’s laws, but to reform people’s hearts. However, more and more Christians are aligning themselves with politics. It is so prevalent that now “Evangelical Christians” is now a political term to describe a conservative political group. To me, I think that that is disgraceful. I am in my thirties now, and I remember growing up as a child, the term “Evangelical Christian” was exclusively used to describe non-denominational Christians who preached the Gospel of Christ, whether it was in a church, a village, a tent, or even on the street corner. After all, “to evangelize” (for a Christian) has nothing to do with politics but all to do with Christ. But, it seems that we, as Christians, have lost that identity. As a result of siding with politicians, we have alienated ourselves from a huge diverse group of the population. We can no longer witness to people on unbiased grounds, and our attempts are met with preconceived notions of our beliefs and intentions. And any attempts at sharing the gospel becomes a sparring match of political ideologies.
I, for one, certainly believe that Church should be separate from the State. When we involve ourselves with the State’s affairs, we entangle our reputation and our mandate with the agendas of political groups and this in turn dilutes our witness and influence on people’s lives. Also, separating ourselves also means that the State’s affairs and laws must not interfere with that of the churches of Christ. Our goal should be to convert the people (such as politicians and legislators) that are involved in politics. And by this, I don’t mean for them to use church membership as a platform to promote their political agenda, but rather for them to be truly born again, and live their life daily with God. In that way, they don’t have to talk about God or Christ in their political career, but rather the change in their hearts and minds would be reflected in the political career decisions that they make, and so their leadership would reflect righteous intentions.
Christians should be free to express their beliefs, and practice their convictions. However, the problem we find today is that because of this political polarization and mixing of views, Christians are often accused of either hypocrisy or bigotry. It really makes me sad to think about it actually. If two Christian groups or individuals have different views on something, it becomes a fight rather than a discussion or search for truth. We often forget that the way of Christ was not created on the whim or by a made-up story, but rather, by the recorded life of a person. The wisdom and instructions stated in the Bible, once studied and understood in context, actually opens our mind to God, and His will. We are so far away from that truth of understanding, that we have depleted our understanding of what is “Christian” to only a few “buzz topics”: abortion, contraception, gay rights, conservatism, prayer in schools, and a few others. Is this what Christianity is? I dare say that it is not!
If you are reading this, whether you are a Christian or not, maybe you may think me to be naive, but the truth is that during Christ’s ministry on earth he did not spend his time lobbying with politicians, trying to overturn or institute civil laws, nor run for public office. He spent his time with people who were often disregarded, such as poor people, sick people, handicapped people, prostitutes, and extortionists. When he met with religious, wealthy, and politically-influential people, he preached to them and convicted their consciences. Oftentimes, they were the ones who hated him because they knew that they did many unjust things and Christ was aware.
What example do Christians have today? Are we seen as loving, caring people? Or as people ready to judge and condemn others? Is this what we should be? As Christians in a community we need to always be part of the discussion, but do not put our trust in other humans, such as politicians, or political groups. They have their agenda. It is not God’s agenda. We should love others regardless of political beliefs, but people can only feel and accept that love, if we are unaffiliated with political agendas. Love is God’s agenda.