“Daddy, how can you be a Christian and be a Democrat?”
Honest question. Thirty days later I still don’t have the answer.
I’ve read a lot of bible verses about subjects like “work” and
“looking after orphans and widows”.
I even came across this one:
“You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13
So now, I have arrived at this conclusion:
I don’t have THE answer. I have AN answer.
Biblical truths form my belief system.
These beliefs determine my attitudes and my actions.
But it’s been awhile since I had a chat with anyone on the supreme court about abortion.
And I’m still waiting for my opportunity to weigh in on a national level
on matters like welfare and healthcare reform.
For Christians, political parties cannot define who we are.
I assume many Christians fall into a similar category; one party consistently
supports or promotes positions that are exactly
“what is wrong with our country”.
But truthfully, picking a side in politics simply dictates how we might vote.
It doesn’t dictate how we live.
My approach to political discussions resembles the exchanges I have with
someone who has a favorite sports team that I despise.
I dislike everything about the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Louisville Cardinals.
And I don’t know why or how anyone arrives at the point of being fans, but some fine
people and dear friends are devoted fans of these teams.
Our different views provide opportunities for colorful discussion, but
it can never affect our relationships.
If the guy sitting next to me in a pew (hypothetical yes, because I sit alone….
bad singing and all) happens to run for sheriff or mayor as a Democrat in Smalltown, USA
then I can’t really label him as a baby killer and assume that he will fight to the
death for anything and everything that the Democratic party stands for on
a national level.
He could be a 4th generation Democrat that believes in the same biblical truths as me.
Perhaps his interpretation of taking care of widows and orphans differs slightly from my own.
It’s not, and cannot be made to be a huge issue.
What is the huge issue?
I believe it is this: that Christians should be very careful how they
speak and interact with others when it comes to political differences.
It matters not if someone is Republican or Democrat.
It matters only if they are a believer or an unbeliever.
Christians must have an awareness of refusing to water down or compromise biblical truths.
But as we engage with others in interactions of a political nature we must also be
aware of the dangers of our actions and words ensuring
that unbelievers will remain unbelievers.
Live what you believe…….absolutely.
And know that political debate, while it can stimulate intelligent and entertaining discussion,
is not an effective ministry tool. It is a good way to identify with those who believe as you do.
It may not be the best way to change the beliefs of those who do not.
And it may not be the best way to spend your time and energy.