|Photo Credit: theocean|
As an evangelical Christian and a citizen of the United States, I often need to be reminded that my primary allegiance rests with God and His kingdom and not the country in which I live. While it's important for Christians to be actively involved in the political process, we must also remember that our Christian faith, and not our political affiliations, should inform how we engage with others about our politics.
The manner in which we interact with others about our political convictions says a lot about whether we are "safe" people when it comes to the more important matters of faith and eternity. When we confuse our politics with our faith, we can unintentionally add on conditions to Christian discipleship that were never intended and unintentionally push those away that might be otherwise open to the gospel.
Pastor Dave Bruskas offers an insightful perspective on the effect that a Christian's expressed political opinions can have on other people. He says this:
"My last two pastorates have been in very progressive communities. For eight years, I served as a church planter in the Nob Hill area of Albuquerque, New Mexico. For the last two years, I have served in Seattle. For those who aren’t familiar with New Mexico, it is in the continental United States, and it shows up on a map once every four years on the late news during the first Tuesday of November as a blue state island surrounded by a sea of red states. And Nob Hill in Albuquerque is bluer than the blue New Mexico sky on a crisp, clear November day.
The importance of my political party affiliation came into play when I was sharing the gospel with a young woman in Nob Hill. She told me she was intrigued by Jesus but there was one thing keeping her from becoming a Christian. I asked for her reason, expecting her to cite her boyfriend’s objection because she had already informed him of the change it would bring to their relationship. But she shocked me when she said, “I don’t think I’m ready to become a Christian because I know I’m not ready to become a Republican.” Imagine how relieved we both were when I explained the second category isn’t a mandatory next step from the first! She placed her faith in Jesus.
It was from that conversation that I began to realize how political partisanship, particularly in those who lead and speak on behalf of the church, could become a stumbling block for those being drawn by Jesus into relationship with him. As an evangelical pastor, my intent goal is that the only stumbling block to a person meeting Jesus is the offense of his substitutionary death for sinners."Perhaps we would all do well to consider if the approach we take in sharing our political persuasions with others is more motivated by a commitment to a political party... or a commitment to the King of Kings.
To read the rest of Pastor Bruska's post please click here.