Last night I was sitting in my bedroom with my iPad flipping back and forth between the election results and Facebook. As election results came in, Facebook blew up in a million different directions. Politics has always rubbed me the wrong way. There is something in all of it that just bothers me – regardless of political system. The main issue that I have is that we were never made for politics. The best system a theocracy – where God runs the show and we listen. But, as the kings of Israel and Judah have shown us, we’re not always that good at listening anyway. The second half of my issue is, I think, the many ways that the Devil uses politics to propel us into sin. This morning, as I pondered these things, I decided to sit down and think about the ways that politics causes me to sin and some of the ways that I have seen this election process cause those around me to sin. Here is my list so far. What would you add to the list?
The Devil uses American politics to divide our faith between God and government
Sure most of us would say, “oh no, I trust in God 100%”, but if we are really gut-level honest, that’s not true. For some reason Christians tend to think that the right president is going to fix all of our problems – or at least some of them. And here is what will happen. If your candidate gets elected you will thank God. If your candidate doesn’t get elected you’ll flood Facebook with, “God is still in control” paraphernalia. Do you see how that’s backwards? We haven’t yet learned our lesson from 1 Samuel 8.
The Devil uses American politics to divide the local church and the global church
I talk politics with a few people with whom I can disagree well. We can speak passionately, respect one another, and remain close in our Christian fellowship. Otherwise, I’m not willing to talk politics because it divides. As I watch the conversations and comments unfold on social media and even in face-to-face conversations, I watch believers divide. In Jesus’ prayer in John 17 he specifically asks that Father for unity within the body of believers in order that the world might know the love of Jesus. Is it not then true that our division causes the opposite reaction from the world?
The Devil uses American politics to force us into compromising our values
There is not one candidate that fully encompasses my values as a Christ-follower. Not one. And tons of people have explained to me that I need to think about more than abortion or more than the sanctity of marriage or more than fiscal responsibility or more than racism or more than… And my response is always, NO! No I don’t! That’s called compromise and the Old Testament kings do it over and over and over again and every time they do they get their rear ends kicked all the way back to Assyria. Politics in this country forces us to choose the lesser of two evils. Choosing a candidate always forces us to vote for someone who does not fully hold to an orthodox Christian worldview. I’m talking talking about flaws. I realize that all of these men and women have flaws. I’m talking about Christian values – life for the unborn and honor for the elderly, caring for the poor, being good stewards with our resources, honoring the institute of marriage between one man and one woman, don’t lie, don’t slander, don’t cheat, don’t back stab. What candidate holds all of these values? None of them – so we choose the one who’s not that bad – we compromise. And we end up replaying 1 Kings over and over again – and after that (fill in name of ruler) reigned and he did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him.
The Devil uses American politics to ruin our witness
I don’t know about you, but there are at least 5 times a day when I read or hear something that someone says about politics and anger rises in m chest and I have to walk away before I disobey James 1:19 and shoot my mouth off. We get competitive, angry, vengeful, and we start to think the worst of others. Because of their choice of candidate or comments, our opinion concerning people changes. We fail to see them as blood-bought children of God – our brothers and sisters. We start to view them as the enemy. We secretly want their candidate to lose so that we can gloat. We post things on Facebook, Twitter, and in text messages for the whole world to see and they wonder how Christians are any different from anyone else. We lose our saltiness.
The Devil uses American politics to divide and sidetrack our families
I remember when I was young my dad and grandpa arguing politics at family gathers. Hello – remember the whole FAMILY GATHERING that we are supposed to be doing? Yeah, let’s do that. I happen to hold views similar to my dad, so we don’t so much argue as we just talk about the issues. But I see it all the time – brother vs sister, dad vs son, etc etc. And not only the division within the family, but politics totally sabotages family dynamics and robs our time. Guess how much time I spent with my kids last night? Close to zero. Why? Because I was paying too much attention to the stinking election results. Guess what my conversation with my wife was about last night? Yup – politics. Shame on me. Shame on us for letting this stuff rob our family time and bring unnecessary tension to those who we ought to be loving most deeply.
The Devil uses American politics to divert our attention from the Easter season
I’m going to start scrolling through my Facebook feed right now and I’ll time it to see how long it takes me to find a post related to the fact that Palm Sunday is this weekend and that we ought to be preparing our hearts to celebrate Easter….here goes….Chuck Norris video, Trump lover, Trump hater, puppy with baby video, Trump and Hillary meme, CNN video, Prosperitty gospel super star pastors prayer over Trump (ugh), Bear playing with a pink balloon (serious)…okay seriously, it has been about 5 minutes and nothing. I’m guilty. I’m writing THIS blog instead of encouraging the people in my church as we head into Holy Week. *sigh*
So I’m stopping now.
So, there is my list so far – things that I’m seeing most clearly in my own life. What about you? What would you add to the list? Add your thoughts in the comments below.