The other day someone asked something like, “I know I don’t have the same political views as you, but could you pray for me?” As if their political beliefs would somehow change something for me, or for anyone. It broke me. When did politics get in the way of loving our neighbors? What place do politics have in the Church? These are some of the questions I began asking myself, ones that I hope to answer today.
Politics Inside The Church
While it would be easier if everyone in the Church agreed when it came to politics, we don’t.
Sadly, it seems we’re just like the world outside the Church when it comes to this topic: divided, defensive, argumentative, self-righteous, arrogant, etc. But I might go as far to say that we’re worse.
We become hurtful, mean, insensitive, and even hateful when it comes to discussing politics with each other. News articles, and even Bible verses, are being used as weapons instead of tools.
Why does that make us worse than the rest of the world? Because we supposedly love Jesus.
Loving the People Who We Disagree With Politically
Jesus didn’t say to love our politics.
Jesus didn’t say to love only the people we agree with politically.
Jesus didn’t say to love only the people who voted for one politician or another.
He said to love God and to love others.
That’s kinda hard to swallow. And I’m about to make it harder.
Jesus says to love that neighbor who you disagree wholly and entirely regarding politics. He says to love that person. Have someone in mind?
The truth is that people in the Church will never unanimously agree on politics. But our job isn’t to agree on politics; our job is to love people. We’ll never all agree but this should not cause us to stop loving.
That means we can discuss politics, talk about our opinions, ask each other questions, even challenge each other in order to grow and learn from one another— but, loving our neighbor comes first. Our neighbor should never feel judged, or made to feel unintelligent, or feel like they’re being talked down to… they should feel safe to disagree with you because you’ll love them anyway.
Our words and actions must be done with love.
Jesus said, “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”
And when people see followers of Jesus disagreeing or agreeing over politics, they should see one thing: love.
What are your thoughts on politics in the Church? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!