A few weeks ago I mentioned that I try not to talk about politics much because:
1). I'm not educated enough to articulate my views in an intellectual manner, only short sarcastic remarks.
2). I end up getting into shouting matches with the Tea Party folks.
But there is also a third reason why I try not to talk about politics much: too often politics prevail over grace.
In politics it's not enough to simply explain why your viewpoint and your agenda and your policies are better than the other guy; you have to drag your opponents through the proverbial mud. You have to paint your opponent as not just naive or misguided, but a subscriber to the deadliest ideology since fascism. You have to make people believe a vote for your opponent means a vote to let the bad guys take away your civil rights and human dignity.
And unfortunately, I've seen way too many self-described Christians let their politics prevail over speaking words of love and grace. To them, Christianity is no longer about looking after the widows and orphans (James 1:27), but tearing apart liberals, gays, Muslims, etc.
For example, La Shawn Barber. I know I got into some trouble for talking about her before, so I don't want to say much (plus I'd be a total hypocrite if I tore her apart). But it does disturb me to see some one with such a heart for God use her words not to praise Him and build up others, but to tear apart liberals and anyone else she disagrees with.
Now don't get me wrong, there are times when we, as Christians, need to speak up against things that go against our values. And there are times when we need to gently correct one another. But the keyword here is gently. As the Bible says, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction." (2 Timothy 4:2, emphasis mine) It's so sad that there's hardly any room for this left in politics.
And, yes, I am just as guilty as Barber. It's hard for me to say this, but I sometimes use my words to tear people apart instead of building them up. I've used my tongue to praise my point of view instead of God. I love being right, even when I'm wrong. And anyone who knows me knows this is an ongoing struggle.
So here's my question--is there a way to talk about politics in a loving, graceful manner? Can we forget our political affiliations long enough to act like Christians?
3 weeks ago