It’s fair to say that politics has crept into all aspects of human life. You can’t avoid it. Turn on the TV, it’s there. Watch sports, it’s there, too. But has it also crept into your Christianity?
Politics divides people into us versus them. You see it when people put political stickers on their cars. Some people will honk at them out of support. Others do so because of disagreement.
In the First Century Church, there were plenty of disagreements to go around. One of them had to do with food. Romans 14:15-16 teaches about some who were making an issue of what others were eating. In the Message version of the Bible, we learn that this conduct is considered as being “no longer a companion with them in love.”
The author warns that these are people for whom Christ died. Therefore, it’s considered “soul-poisoning” to make food an issue of disagreement.
Fast forward to 1 Timothy 2:1-3. The scripture teaches that we are to “pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation.” In stark contrast, there’s the political badmouthing and partisan disrespect we see on both sides of the political aisle today.
As Christians, we are not to engage in it. In fact, the world judges us by the way we obey authority and model respect for it.
This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with one party or the other (or any). Rather, it means that Christians have a freedom from political partisanship. Not being of this world means that we don’t have to engage as if this is the only life we know. We don’t have to join the fray of heated rhetoric.
In contrast, we can live quiet lives that do as Christ would have us do. Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. By the way, when Jesus taught this lifestyle, people tried to make him king. In John 6:15, we learn that Jesus had no interest in going down that road.
Therefore, if your politics or your expression of them could prevent someone else from seeing Christ in you, then you’re doing it wrong. You might be muddying the waters.