There is a lot of talk about politics these days. Especially in the church, we have some very passionate conservatives. We have people that:
- Actually believe that President Obama will bring our nation down.
- Think it’s OK to disrespect our president and others who GOD has placed into leadership.
- Are more passionate about who wins the Governor’s race than whether or not we are being an honorable witness to those of another political stripe.
- Believe that one party is more righteous than another.
Right now a few of you are fuming. That fact that I’m even trying to place this stuff in a spiritual context will get your goose in a gander. But with humility and a passionate conviction, hear me out.
Did you know that one of the top six reasons that unchurched people will NEVER go to church is because Christians are too political? Here’s what this means–we Christ-followers may mean well, but all of our talk about this candidate or that party or their policies means that we will never even have an opportunity to reach about 60% of the population. Those of another conviction would never come because they don’t belong! We raise the value of our politics over our calling to reach the world for Jesus.
Did you know that within our congregation there are people of different political views? And did you know that they are Christian too? Do you know what it does to them when people are raving mad and waxing eloquent about their “holy convictions” on politics rather than honoring those GOD has placed in positions of leadership?
Did you know that maybe God will put people in office to bring our nation down…and that the best thing in God’s big scheme of things is to bring our nation down? The church would come alive if that were the case. Trust me on this. So if God wants to bring us down (and I’m not suggesting that this is His plan), then we need to get behind GOD’S PLAN! After all, the activity that should characterize us more than anything in relation to politics is 1 Timothy 2:1-3:
1First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,
2for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
3This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.
Of course, it’s very easy to play with this verse–to dissect it to say what we want it to say. Instead of taking the spirit of the passage, we actually can convince ourselves to pray against our leaders. This was not the intent of Paul when writing to Timothy at all. In essence, Paul was saying, “God has established these Roman rulers who hurt us, persecute us, abuse us and blame us. So let’s pray FOR them–that God’s will is done through them.” By the way, the early church experienced exactly what they were supposed to from it’s government–hardship. It made that early church REALLY strong. We could use some of that….
Is God really so small that our president or anyone else enters office outside of His will? Do we really think that rallying against a certain party will accomplish God’s work better? Most of the time, we’re only wanting our agenda accomplished rather than God’s. Because the truth of the matter is that we don’t know what God’s agenda is.
Here’s what we know:
- Dividing the Body of Christ over personal political convictions is wrong. (“Do everything possible to maintain unity in the Body’)
- Promoting our political agenda cancels out God’s agenda to make disciples.
- Our earnest longing for one politician over another is much like the Israelites who wanted a King. They placed their hope in a person rather than in God. Their misplaced passions ONLY brought them pain. I hope we can learn from their mistakes.
Yes–we need a political revolution. But that revolution needs to happen in our hearts. No where else. We just need to make sure that Jehovah God is King of Kings and Lord of Lords in us. That’s what REALLY MATTERS.