There are no shortage of political blogs, conservative and liberal alike, filling our news feeds. In my years of blogging, I have been tempted to throw my hat in that ring, to share my specific view on a topic like abortion or immigration or racism during times when one news story or another is prominent in the headlines. After all, in internet world, timing a blog to current events is a sure way to get more post views. And I have also wondered if it is, in some way, cowardly to not express my specific opinions on these types of political hot button issues. Yet, I always end up back to my personal conviction of how I believe God wants me to use whatever small voice of influence I have in the lives of people around me. So, to that end today, here are my thoughts about why I choose NOT to share my personal views on politics and issues on my blog or social media.
The gospel is the only news I have been instructed and commanded to share with others. In Matthew 28:18 Jesus gives some parting instructions before ascending into heaven. Among them are to go into all nations (God is not an American, FYI) and make disciples- which is to say followers– of Jesus. Before I can teach someone all the commands of Christ, the last part of the verse in Matthew, they have to first trust Him enough to surrender to Him and become a follower. His gospel is the news that He came to earth and lived a perfect life in our place, died the death we deserve and resurrected to show us that nothing is more powerful than the love that defeated death! In an effort to make sure the good news of the gospel is not muddied by other non essential issues, I choose to not address them on a public platform. In the family of God there is room for all sinners. All. Every race, every dysfunction, every religious background, every political affiliation. Jesus does not require you to tow some party line in order to come to Him. Actually he is specific to say the only thing you must bring is nothing. You do not come to the Savior with your requirements or demands. You do not come to Him with your “unsavableness” or worthlessness. You come with empty, open hands to receive grace. And I would shudder to think a searching soul missed Jesus because in some way they got into an argument with me about an issue Jesus did not intend to get in the way of salvation. Philippians 3:10 says “I want to know Christ, and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his suffering, becoming like Him in his death and so somehow to attain the resurrection from the dead.” When people think of me, I want the very next thought to be, “That girl is flat out crazy about this Jesus.”
Jesus refused to get off mission by being drawn into political arguments. In Matthew 22, there is a story about some Pharisees trying to trap Jesus into a political discussion about the unfairness of Roman taxes being imposed on the Jews. Jesus refused to bite, though there was plenty to say. The taxes were often exorbitant, unfair and exacted by unethical crooks who lined their pockets while the people suffered. There was plenty of ungodly and unjust behavior that could have been addressed. But Jesus did not come to this earth to make it a better place. Yes, he cared about all people and he practiced treating everyone with respect and kindness and honesty. But make no mistake- He was not here to make this world nicer. He was not here to be some combination of Mr. Rogers and Judge Judy. He came to bring dead people to life. To make a permanent payment for our personal indebtedness to holy God to restore our relationship with Him. The political issues of the day were symptoms of the spiritual darkness men and women were living in. Addressing the symptom without addressing the cause is, in the end, futility. While things may feel better for a time, a new symptom of the same sickness will emerge to take its place. ONLY when we proclaim the message of the gospel will people’s hearts be transformed to be generous and just and loving.
Humility allows others to be at a different place than you in their faith. In Romans 14 and many other places, Paul explains why we should not allow our personal convictions to get in the way of people growing in their understanding of God’s grace. It is not loving or good for them, if we boast and explain all our reasons for believing we have freedom to, for example drink alcohol, when they feel guilty in doing so. In fact, in the NIV version of that passage it says, whatever you think about this issue (eating meat sacrificed to idols in that context) keep between yourself and God. In other words, quit posting on Facebook and Twitter about it! The principal is this- publicly proclaim the message of Jesus’s life death and resurrection; privately share convictions about issues that we may never reach full agreement in until Jesus comes back.
So, in all this, you might wonder- is there ever a place to publicly take a stand about a social or political issue? My answer is yes. But not nearly as often as we see happening. If we can use the energy it takes to argue politics, to instead proclaim Christ AND live as he did among us- in humility, service and love- my belief is our collective impact as Christians would be similar to that of fireworks on July 4th- amazing displays of light in the darkness that draw our spiritual eyes upward and lift the weary souls around us. There is so much good news to share. Jesus came for sinners- like me! We can be completely restored and made new! There is no one political party or issue that has the kind of power found in the gospel, friends.