Politics stress me out so much. With everything going on today, the pandemic, fairly claimed and unfairly claimed injustice, the election coming up, we are all in each other’s business when it comes to these opinions. “State your beliefs but if we disagree, you’re canceled” is dramatic, comedic and just agonizing at the same time because of how true it is and how little grace we have.
Now, I wrote something before and I do think it’s good to have these conversations. I may not agree with every single one of the hundreds of Instagram stories I see a day, but it is helpful to know where you stand and where you get your information from. It helps guide my research. I applaud my friends who not only aggressively post their beliefs but follow it up with a “if you disagree, let’s have a conversation about it.” I think that’s great as long as both parties are willing to admit they don’t know everything and are truly willing to listen to one another. Be more willing to listen than more willing to speak.
“19 My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, 20 for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.” James 1:19-20
I say this as I regularly fail to do just that and my attention is mostly focused on “winning” the argument, but I am working on this. Speaking of working on things, one thing that I need to remember and hence why I’m writing is we can have different political beliefs and that is completely reasonable. I think it’s actually pretty dangerous when we all unanimously agree on something; we’re people with finite minds after all. We don’t know everything. However, there are certain things that are objectively wrong and we should continuously work against. Injustice, wickedness, deceit, etc. That lines up well with things God doesn’t like too, in case you were wondering. And since I transitioned to what God doesn’t like, I’m curious if you also hate these things:
“The Lord hates six things; in fact, seven are detestable to him: 17 arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil, 19 a lying witness who gives false testimony,
and one who stirs up trouble among brothers.” Proverbs 6:16-19
Food for thought…but back to what I was saying, I do think there are many things we should actively try to stop and prevent. Your morals tell you that these things are wrong. You know this. But at the same time, I don’t think this smoothly translates to supporting your one specific political party, all the time. I think it’s unfair to conclude someone is racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. because they have slightly different beliefs in how the government should handle things. I’ve heard this unspoken sentence a lot, “if you don’t support Black Lives Matter, you’re racist”, but maybe that’s too big of a jump when we don’t know the entire story. Maybe I’m crazy and maybe this is too controversial but I think someone can hate racism but also not like the entire BLM movement. I think there are people who hate sexism but they also are not entirely on board with the feminist movement. Don’t stop reading just because you don’t like what I’m saying. I think there is so much more to the story that we need to consider, but maybe I’m wrong.
We need to extend grace, forgiveness and most of all love to each other. My arrogant mind will even admit that it’s good to have different beliefs as it leads to hopefully healthy conversations. Christians, this is where we need to have an honest conversation. Non-Christians, stay with me and hear me out.
Christians, we love Christ first and we agree on the Gospel and from that we draw our conclusions about everything else. We don’t love our political beliefs and therefore twist the Bible to “fit” how we see things. It’s always been the Bible first. Jesus never said that Christians are called to be only liberals or only conservatives. We should know our Bible especially on certain “hot topics” and act on them as Christ-followers, not as our political party tells us to.
I don’t know if you’ve ever done this but sometimes with social issues that get brought up by the media, I almost instantly start reading everything that agrees with my political party and draw my conclusions from that. But more recently I’ve realized not only to branch out and read the news from the opposing side, but more importantly, I should look at this through the eyes of a Christian first and draw my conclusions from that. I’ve seen Christians across the spectrum and praise God for beautiful minds that have different opinions! But I urge you, Christian, consider what comes first when things blow up, your party’s opinion or the Bible’s opinion. It’s something to consider. Admit that your party may be wrong about something. Admit you may be wrong about something. I could fill an entire library of books with things I’ve been wrong about. Be willing to have healthy conversations with one another. I’ve been slowly trying to take off the political party label that I’ve been wearing to remind myself that God comes first. Sure, I lean towards one side more than the other, but that should not lead to rushed conclusions. “Because I lean this way, I must side with this party on everything!”, yeah…absolutely not in my humble opinion. And if you’re asking me to consider the separation of church and state, I’m going to point you towards understanding the origin of that, but that’s for you to research, friends.
Let me remind you, I know little about politics so take what I say extremely lightly, more than any other posts. This is me reminding myself. If anything, I think we need to be reminded to extend grace and love to one another. I think the only way to have healthy conversations and create lasting solutions is to have more humility. We’re finite people with finite minds. We need to be willing to listen more than speak. Jordan Peterson, in one of his twelve rules for life puts it like this, “Rule 9 – Assume whoever you’re listening to knows something you don’t.”
My Christian readers, we cannot mix up what comes first, the Bible. You as a Christian and your opinions and actions as someone who loves God matter more than your opinions and actions as a Democrat or a Republican, in my humble opinion. Unless I missed something when I read the Bible, but I don’t see Jesus pointing us to a specific political party and praise God for that. We can love God and honor Him in all our ways AND ALSO have varying opinions. The Bible talks a lot about a lot of things, but it also doesn’t talk a lot about a lot of things. I think we need to be mindful of that. I personally think sitting down and genuinely being more willing to listen to the other person will do far more than we realize. Do your research. Start healthy conversations. Do more research. Pray about everything. Act lovingly. Live humbly. Christian, do all things for His Glory alone. Love and live like Jesus.
Anyway, I apologize for my jumbled thoughts and the inconsistent flow in this post. Thank you for always reading anyway. Thank you for extending me grace as a human but more particularly as a writer. And even if you don’t fully believe me, you are still loved deeply and eternally. Let me end with something Paul wrote to the Roman church that I thought was quite applicable:
“9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. 10 Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another. 11 Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. 13 Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Give careful thought to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. 18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord. 20 But If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.21 Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” Romans 12:9-21