Now we all “know” that in polite public conversation, we are never to discuss “religion and politics” because those are things that are deeply held and believed. So I’m about to break all the rules in this regard and suggest that we do in fact talk about religion and politics! But let’s do so carefully and with respect.
This election was hard-fought and there are things happening now that seem to be occurring at a whirlwind pace. It’s hard not to get caught up in the maelstrom of politics and government and it’s almost impossible for each and every one not to have strong feelings one way or the other. So the safe thing is to simply not talk about something that is personal and has for the most part in the past been private. However, the current times call for a different approach.
I am calling for each one of us to have strong positions and feelings... by all means! And take action in whatever you feel is the best way to do this... by all means! But let’s understand that others may not agree with you... and that’s ok. Respect that. And even more important, be willing to listen to another person’s views and positions on politics and government. Nothing is solved by ridiculing or by yelling at “the other side.” However, much may be solved by understanding the fears or concerns that the “other side” has. By discussing these things with civility and respect and by all means love, we can accept each other, learn from each other and grow together.
And I want us to consider carefully how we use social media in this regard. It’s so easy to slip into the frame of mind that says, “I can express whatever I want” on Facebook or Twitter or whatever social media site you can think of. And of course, each person has a right to express their opinion on political and government things. However, I would again encourage us to be mindful and respect the views of others, especially if they are different from yours. Consider asking yourself if you would say the same thing to someone in a church setting as you would on Facebook. And think about those who may disagree with you. Would you say what you believe in that “Facebook tone” to their face? It’s easy to launch bold statements on social media but would you say such things in church over Communion lunch?
Finally, the Bible is very clear on what we are to do about those in authority over us. In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, the Apostle Paul writes, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Whether we are very excited or deeply troubled by the current government, we are all called to pray earnestly for those who are our leaders so that the message of the Gospel may press on! Let’s respect each other and understand each other so that together we can grow as the body of Christ.