Guest Post—Matt Peacock is today’s guest blogger. Matt is the Executive Director for Partners in Hope Lake Travis. To learn more about Partners in Hope LT, follow the link at the bottom of the post.
Presidential elections create a national discussion like nothing else. Even people who never engage in political discussions will get brought into the public dialogue whether they want to or not.
Christians need to enter the political conversation carefully.
Political conversations are filled with opportunity as well as potential landmines.
It helps to remember a couple of things:
First take seriously that we are God’s representatives on earth. The words and attitudes we express reflect God for the world to hear and see. That should give us a dose of humility and pause before letting words fly. The Bible says to be slow to speak and quick to listen – which allows us to run our attitudes and words through the Holy Spirit filter first.
Second understand that our faith should frame our politics and not the other way around. How does Faith Frame Our Politics?
3 Ways Our Faith Frames Our Politics
- Understanding What is important to God.
Politics will create its own list of issues that are important and present the options that you are to be either for or against. That presents obvious problems for a Christian that should be looking to scripture to decide what issues are important to God and how God says we should approach them. For example, the national election politics may say that the economy is the biggest issue and the solution choices presented may be either more or less taxes. For the Christian looking at the scriptures to discern what issues seem to be most important to God – that issue may not be at the top from God’s perspective. So do I stay in the political narrative and try to endorse one of their choices as a Christian, or do I look to raise others.
Another example may be the effectiveness of Government to solve problems. The choice may be presented as either grow and empower government or reduce and limit it. Again from a Christian perspective seeking what is important to God you may discern that God is calling His people to address issues of injustice, poverty, prejudice and others regardless of what government we live under. So maybe a different emphasis emerges like what type of government could best help individuals who are trying to serve the needs of others.
Letting faith frame our politics leads us to questions and paths the political realm will often not entertain until we bring a Biblical perspective.
2. Knowing When to talk and when to act.
God calls us to champion His causes on a continual basis not just during elections. Elections can help bring an issue to the forefront, but any solutions will be long term and take commitment well beyond election day. Christians are called into the dialogue, but more importantly into the work of the solutions. If an issue is important to God – then it is important to God everyday. Talk is cheap during elections. Christians need to talk about the important issues when no one else is interested. Christians also need to work on the problems when the elections are distant memories.
Letting faith frame our politics keeps us involved in a positive way on a continual basis. It keeps us from being talking heads, and lets us be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus. That is when God does His great work.
3. Paying attention to How we talk about politics.
Finally faith frames our politics by how it is discussed. Not a lot needs to be said about the current climate of dialogue in all discussion today in our culture. Its not good. For the Christian, God does not give us the option to be the same as the world. That certainly includes how we discuss politics and other issues. The Bible calls us to speak truth in love. We have a role to speak truth, but it is in an attitude of love which wants the best for all. In Ephesians God tells us: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” That gives us clear direction for our political dialogue as well.
When we let our Faith Frame Our Politics, we influence the world instead of it influencing us.
Partners in Hope Lake Travis connects people who desire physical, emotional, and spiritual help with people who will help. Unlike ministries that organize a crisis response to a housing emergency, Partners in Hope helps families by working to improve living conditions, walking through a season of life, and empowering them to transform over time.
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