As the Presidential election draws near it is important that we have some very clear convictions as Christians and how we should think about politics. One of the things I am very grateful for in our church is that we have a lot of diversity. Not just racially, generationally and socio-economically, but also politically. I think it is good and healthy to have different people coming from different viewpoints. Yet, I am aware that this election is going to be one of the most polarizing and divisive elections in modern times. I think our Christianity is going to be tested. Our pastoral team wants to make sure that you are equipped to navigate this tense time with some bedrock, foundational, unchanging, formative and transformational truths.
1. Your identity is not in your politics
If you find yourself agreeing with everything one of the candidates says, you have probably lost your way. If you find yourself always voting for one political party, you have probably lost your way. If you find yourself only watching Fox News, you have probably lost your way. If you find yourself only watching CNN, you have probably lost your way. Jesus transcends political party and has no agenda other than His own. And so if our identity is found in Him, then we should expect to not fully agree with any one person, political party, or news outlet. Identifying with Jesus should result in us being uncomfortable with any other perspective.
- Be open to listening to people who don’t agree with you. You have nothing to lose by seeing things from another perspective.
2. Jesus is the only Savior
Both candidates keep talking about how this election is about fighting for the “Soul of our Country.” Let’s be really clear, there is only one who can save our souls and His name is not Joe Biden or Donald Trump. His name is Jesus. So vote for whoever you want to vote for and do so for compelling reasons. But don’t put hope in this election. No matter who wins, sin will still persist and we’ll still need to preach the Gospel. Jesus is our only hope.
- Don’t let yourself get too emotionally invested in this election. Keep the main thing your main thing and continue to give yourself to sharing about the only real Savior.
3. Don’t forget you true citizenship
A repeated phrase throughout scripture is that we are sojourners and exiles here on earth. This world is not our final destination. We are just passing through. Yes, we should care about this place that we are in. When the Israelites were living in exile, God told them to seek the wellbeing of the place they were living. But He never wanted them to lose sight of where their true home was. Ultimately, while we should want to participate in the Democratic Republic of America, we are really part of a monarchy and our King is Jesus.
- Trust God for whoever wins this election. Even if the election is rigged, God is still ruling over all. No one is going to unseat Him from his throne of ultimate authority. And so no matter what happens here, we can find our peace in trusting Him and looking forward to our return home.
4. You won’t be remembered for how you voted, but for how you loved
Jesus did not say, “They will know you are my disciples based on how you voted”. He said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Joh 13:35) Jesus did not define love as only caring about those who agree with you. No, he instructed us to love even our enemies. If we allow politic differences to divide us and cause us not to love one another, we are dishonoring Christ and not walking in obedience. Don’t let politics ever come between a relationship, especially in the church. Our love should be bigger than our vote.
- Love other people and don’t run away, even if they don’t share your political opinions.
5. Let God’s word be your guiding word
On any given day, evangelical Christians in the U.S. are twice as likely to open Facebook as their Bible, according to LifeWay Research Group. And we wonder why we have lost our spiritual bearings? Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors. My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! (Psa 119:24-25 ESV) If the words you are taking in are shaped by the world we are living in, then you are clinging onto dust. Of course you’ll feel grimey. God’s word is life. His testimonies, His truths, His revelation is to be our counselors.
- When you wake up don’t reach for your phone first, but reach for your Bible. Pick a book of the Bible and go through it verse by verse. Join a Bible study. Participate in small group. Listen to the sermon and discuss it with us. However you can, in as many ways as you can, get God’s word into the regular rhythms of your day.