Good morning Church,
This past week, we talked in the Gathering about how we are to face this polarizing political season through the lens of the Gospel. In this Blog, I want to re-emphasize the points that I presented and elaborate on a few other thoughts because I want to equip our Church well in proclaiming and demonstrating the Gospel of grace. My goal is not to persuade you to a political party, but to encourage you to live your entire life (including your vote) in faithful submission, trust, and joy in the Gospel.
On the subject of politics, our vote and political stance does absolutely matter. As Christians we are called to “seek the welfare” of our city (and country). One of the ways we do this is by studiously and prayerfully involving ourselves in politics in a way that proclaims the Gospel and benefits the people of this nation. Presidential leaders influence our country tremendously, and our choice to vote should not be done flippantly.
I would contend though, that politics are not the best way to seek the welfare of our country. Even a godly, or “moral” president is limited in his influence of a nation. He (or she) creates laws that govern our people, and sets the political tone for our nation. Politics, however, do not change our sinful, human condition. We will still have homelessness after our new president. We will still have abortions (illegal or not) after our new president. We will still have all the depravity of man after our new president. We are in desperate need of something to change us, not just our laws.
Politics change laws, not hearts. The God of all existence- the star shaping, life breathing, soul creator changes hearts and has acted with grace by sacrificially giving his only Son for corrupt humanity! The best way to seek the welfare of a city is to introduce people to Jesus by graciously, sacrificially serving others and heralding the Gospel. This changes the nation, because it actually changes people. This does far more than any elected official could do.
I will give an example of this shift in attention. Voting pro-life is a good thing, but what is even more impactful and precious in the sight of God is discipling a pregnant teen in the love of Christ. Imagine, friends, if every family in Taproot discipled and cared for one pregnant teen. Generations upon generations of babies could be saved through the conversion of just one of these girls! Future social, political, or church leaders who are filled with the Holy Spirit could be in the womb of one of these teen moms. When we allow Christ to use the whole of our lives (not just our vote), we get to see the most effective, joyful change in people, cities, and nations that extends to shores of eternity.
Jesus is the greatest good we can give to people, and we get to extend to others his love. So instead of posting about the corruption of an earthly politician on Facebook, use social media to exalt Jesus as King. Instead of arguing for a political party with your co-worker, invite them over for dinner and speak the Gospel to them. Instead of bemoaning the ideologies of a certain party, humble yourselves and love others with the sacrificial love of Christ. Instead of worrying about our countries tomorrow, rejoice that you are a part of a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, with a King whose reign will never end! Preoccupy yourself with this good Kingdom that is coming, and pray that it comes soon. Our preoccupation with Gods Kingdom growing isn’t neglecting the world, but instead it is doing for it the greatest good!
So, in light of this, Christians are to be:
- Gracious toward those who think and believe differently. (Colossians 4:16)
- United in Christ, not our political bents. (Ephesians 4: 1-3)
- Prayerful in our political decisions & for those who govern. (1 Timothy 2: 1-2)
- Hopeful in the sovereignty and love of God in Christ. (Romans 8:37-39)
Gracious. United. Prayerful. Hopeful.
Father, forgive us. We repent that we have put our hope in men and our government to change America. We know, as Peter said, that you alone have the words of eternal life. You alone have the power to change the heart of a nation. We pray that you would change the heart of our leaders and our people to you. We pray that Christians would point to your finished work, and not a flawed leader or political party. Lead us to show your love to others through both our politics and the whole of our lives. Help us to be preoccupied with your beautiful kingdom that is coming, and toil to see it come. Help us to be gracious, united, prayerful, and hopeful. We put our trust in you in this election season, and submit ourselves to your working in our nation. Thank you for the hope of the Gospel and the promise for eternal life. Amen.