Especially when it comes to politics; is it more important to be right politically or to be in a right relationship with one another?
This question, and post, comes out of a conversation I had with a black pastor friend. Theologically, my friend is as conservative as I am. He loves Jesus as much as I do, and he doesn’t like the direction our country is headed in any more than myself. However, my friend is fed up with the constant barrage against Pres. Obama, and he is discouraged that much of the barrage is coming from white Christians and pastors. To be honest, I’m getting a little tired of if as well. Please understand, it’s not the criticism of the President’s politics, but of the man himself, that is grating. As a citizen of the United States you have every right to question and criticize the President’s policies. But as a disciple of Jesus you do not have the right to attack his person. Everyone, regardless of creed or politics, deserves respect.
My black pastor friend is against same-sex marriage, against abortion, and against socialism. But he is for Pres. Obama, the person. In many ways he sees Pres. Obama as this generations Martin Luther King Jr. Before you jump to conclusions consider the following: As immoral as you think Obama and his policies are, my friend thinks Bush’s were. For every verse you quote about abortion, my friend will quote about greed and neglect of society’s poor. As confused as you may be about his lack-luster support of Obama, he would be as confused about your complete support for Bush. As contradictory as you think he might be, he would see you being just as inconsistent. I guess beauty is in the eye of the electorate.
I think, at least politically speaking, having a relationship with my Christian brother and fellow-laborer if far more important than being right. Building the kingdom of God together is far more important than political correctness or incorrectness. Pointing people to Jesus is far more important than voting for a particular candidate or against another particular candidate.
The election is over; it’s time to move on.
People are watching and reading. What you see as criticism others see as hostility. At the very least, criticize in a more rational, less emotional, way. Above all, don’t let your criticism bleed into hatred. It’s not worth it and it is doing irreparable harm to the body of Christ. Our job as followers of Jesus is to promote His kingdom and the ethics of His kingdom. We are Christians, not politicians. We are followers of Jesus, not members of the Republican or Democratic party. Nowhere are we commanded to vote. But we are commanded to love one another and to pray for those in authority.
“Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world” (Ephesians 6:12).
Friends, don’t let the enemy win by dividing and conquering the body of Christ.