The blog awakens. The cool thing about having a blog that brings in zero income is that there is total freedom to stop writing in it any time you want. My absence from the blogosphere over the last year+ can be explained by a two main elements: my 2014 free time being directed toward the search for a new ministry, and the fact that I just really…didn’t care to write. But it’s 2015, and you know what THAT means…
2016 is coming.
Ever since the SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage and the troubling news regarding Planned Parenthood, my Facebook feed has returned back to what it once was: a clickbait-infested ticker dripping with logical fallacies that remind me why I’m losing my hair at 31.
At the threshold of another presidential election season, I want to make a case for a Jesus-based approach to politics before things get really hairy in 2016. I realize it’s risky for a mere youth pastor to presume to offer commentary on such an issue, but I’m not here to write about my favorite candidate for the presidency. I’m not here to write about who is at fault for my rent being so high. I’m not even here to comment on the game of red vs. blue (and both sides’ delusions that they are the only two colors in the spectrum). I’m here to defend my first love: the gospel of Jesus Christ.
One of my biggest frustrations is how many Christians will assume a Bible-only approach when entering the political debate ring, and completely manage to leave out the most important element: Jesus. How a person can hold up a Bible, claim its complete authority, and forget the abundance of Jesus-based case studies for political activism is beyond me.
Jesus cared immensely about politics and civil issues. He lobbied for marginalized socioeconomic groups, addressed unfair wages and trade, taught against unjust treatment of widows, and acted passionately against economic corruption. He also began and ended his ministry by rejecting political power. When asked about taxes, he didn’t join the chorus of complains, but suggested we pay to Caesar what is owed to Caesar. To be sure, Jesus did not marry the kingdom of God with secular politics because he knew that clash would divide his people.
Not all of us are called to be teachers, political leaders, or political activists. But the Bible does lend a directive as to the role EVERY Christian is to play in this and every arena:
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth” (1 Tim: 2:1-4, emphasis mine).
When you discuss politics at home, at work, or on Facebook, pull out your Bible and consider the following:
- Harsh words and slanderous comments about past, present, and future leaders are counter-productive to God’s big picture. In fact, it just annoys everyone (James 1:19-20).
- Don’t talk poorly of people in positions of authority – especially those who have been voted into their positions by the public (Eccl 10:20), because you never know who you may offend, alienate, or lead astray (after all, you could be wrong). This could render your influence with more important issues useless.
- Before you take a stand on an issue or administrative policy, ask yourself these three questions:
- “Is my argument coming from a place of wisdom and selfless concern for mankind?”
- “Is my argument based in my own careful research from peer-reviewed, non-biased sources?” And most importantly:
- “How will my taking a stand on this issue help/hurt God’s cause?” (Hebrews 12:14).
So by all means, take advantage of the free speech we enjoy in our country. Just remember that while you’re free to say anything (1 Cor 10:23), not everything is constructive to the big picture (Matt. 28:19), which is infinitely more important than politics.