Politics and Religion: A Few Suggestions

In a day of political polarization, Christians should be among those who are calling for and living out a spirit of kindness. Angry Democrats, arrogant Republicans, and mean-spirited Independents… none of these represent Jesus well. Is it possible to hold different political opinions and still get along? I can tell you that it is not only possible, it’s beautiful. One of my enduring memories of Process Church is the diversity that we enjoyed. We had far right wing conservatives in community with lefty liberals (and many viewpoints in between). Shoot, even in my own house we don’t always have unanimity.

More Than One Perspective
If you find yourself leaning more to the left on political issues, listen to and/or read from a source that is clearly leaning to the right… and vice versa. What’s the point of that? It gives you an opportunity to better understand where “the other side” is coming from. It’s Research 101. I don’t even think you can truly call an opinion your own when you’re just repeating what ____________ news source has mentioned as its talking points. Hearing the opposing view point allows (forces) you to better articulate why you have drawn the conclusion that you have.

How Is As Important As What
Especially because we follow Jesus, how we communicate may be as important as what we communicate. When we speak in anger or arrogance or mean-spiritedness our words are drowned out by our attitudes. This is what I was getting at with this post – http://rethinkxian.com/2013/03/21/just-be-nice/.

The Hard Question
Ask yourself this difficult question, “Have I equated politics and religion?” How do you know if you have? The answer is probably “yes” if you think that the position you hold on an issue is “the truly Christian position”. While there may be times when some political issues (and a Christian understanding of them) are spelled out clearly in Scripture, there are many others where the Scripture seems to give us a breadth of options and differing viewpoints.

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