Faith & Politics: What to do?
The political season can invoke many different emotions. Some people feel confused. They do not know what to do. Neither party tells the truth, and it is hard to discern between what is fact and what is fiction. Both sides believe they have a monopoly on the truth, and neither will give an inch. Most people are frustrated. They are frustrated at the whole political process. They hear politicians on both sides make promises they will never keep. Everything a candidate says is put through a filter, and if a slip of the tongue does happen it is exploited by the other side for months. Other people feel anger, animosity, apathy, and many other emotions. Tensions are high and saying the wrong thing, or posting the wrong thing on Facebook may cause a friend or family member to go off, or worse yet they may quit speaking to you or unfriend you. How do Christians navigate these treacherous waters? Here are a couple of suggestions and a few articles that I have found helpful.
Facebook and politics do not mix. If you think you are going to sway a person to vote for your political candidate via Facebook, Twitter, or any other form of social media, think again. Surveys have shown that people are not persuaded by social media posts. They are turned off by them. You are much more likely to lose a friend than you are to gain a vote. Before you post your political rant, cartoon, soundbite, etc. ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” Is posting something to Facebook worth losing a friend?
There are red Christians, blue Christians, and everything in between. I know many people think they are right and a Christian could only vote the way they vote. The truth is the other side feels the same way. There are Christians on both sides of the aisle, in the aisle, and some outside the building. Is it wrong for some to be red Christians and some to be blue Christians? I think so, but the goal is not to get all the blue Christians to be red Christians, or all the red Christians to be blue Christians. The goal is for everyone to be Christian without any qualifiers attached to the front. Our Christian bond should be stronger than any worldly distinctions. If we allow any worldly things, such as politics, to divide us, then we have misunderstood what it means to be a Christian.
Here are a few articles on faith and politics I have found to be helpful. I do not agree with everything in each article, but I have found them to be challenging, thought provoking, and more right than wrong.
A Vote That Counts by Shane Alexander
7 Reasons Christians Should Change Their Political Tune by Jonathan Merritt
Why I’m a Christian Non-Voter by Christopher Smith
7 Things Christians Need to Remember About Politics by Bryan Roberts
“History Never Sits Still. Thus Neither Can Our Politics.”: Lee Camp on the Powers and Politics
When Does Patriotism Become Idolatrous? By Tim Archer
Christian Politics – Speak Truth. Be Truth. That’s It! by Kurt Willems