Ahh, its political season and so the mudslinging continues. Rush Limbaugh calls the President all kind of unflattering names. Vice-President Biden says he wants to strangle the Republicans.
So the question is this. How should Christians react? More than once this year I’ve heard people defend outbursts like Rush Limbaugh’s or something provocative that Sarah Palin might have said. Invariably, they will say, “Yeah, well, did you hear what the other side said?” And then they will cite an egregious instance from the other side.
I think we’re missing something. Personally, I consider myself very conservative politically, especially on the issues of life and marriage. I’m also very concerned about the expansion of government.
I also think Christians must be engaged, because God has given us a rare stewardship in America, to participate in the framing of our country.
But we are still Christians. Which means we don’t check our Christianity at the door. Christians believe in absolute truth, derived from one source, the Bible, God’s revealed Word.
So, when someone with whom we agree politically does something wrong, why do we immediately point out what someone on the other side did that was ten times worse? Isn’t that moral equivalence?
Doesn’t the Bible tell us not to replace evil for evil?
That means Christians should engage in politics, but operate from a biblical worldview, not a political worldview. We must dig in and stand firm on our convictions, but do so with a winsomeness and grace that characterizes followers of Christ. We should love people even as we disagree with them.
I think of three men who were in high positions in government in the Bible: Daniel, Joseph, Nehemiah. Each served monarchs that today would be considered way worse than the worst President we’ve ever had. And yet you don’t once hear them personally attack the person they serve. Part of that is because they lived under a system where such speech would be rewarded with death. They didn’t have the free speech liberties that we possess. But I also think its because they saw things from a Heavenly perspective. Of Daniel it was said, in 60 years, not one bad thing could be found about him. His only vice was prayer.
I think Christians earn more respect and a wider hearing when they refuse to engage in the zero sum nature of politics. When they oppose unbibilical policies, but love the person behind those policies. When they live out the fruits of the Spirit in their lives.
That doesn’t mean backing down, being wimpy, etc. It simply means we tune our spiritual lives according the Bible, not the prevailing winds of politics.