ONE doesn’t have to look far to see that the competition is well underway for a chance at the White House, even though the title “leader of the free world” won’t change hands for almost another year. If it’s not a clip of Hilary doing the Nae-Nae streaming across your timeline, it’s a quote from a Donald Trump speech scrolling through a news headline. Anywhere you turn, candidates from all parties are rallying their troops and campaigning with infectious fervor in an attempt to garner the American voter’s support.
American politics, to a large extent, can be boiled down into two cups: the Democrats and the Republicans. The country’s political party system is certainly more intricate than just “right winged vs. left winged”, but these two larger components of the political stratosphere seem to be what help keep our bald eagle in the sky. So as the presidential race itself begins to soar, most American citizens watch at the edge of their living room seats, aligning themselves with the donkey or the elephant.
While the country at large works to keep the affairs of church and state separate, the intertwining’s of faith and politics seem largely unavoidable. What one believes naturally affects how one feels about sociopolitical issues, and how one feels naturally plays out into how someone addresses these issues. Unfortunately, everyone’s natural inclinations and feelings often fall short of God’s expectations. What we think is right, what we feel is right, and what we believe is right can be largely “hit or miss” if left unmeasured by Biblical standards. Therefore, as Christians, our political involvement should be reflective of our personal investments in the government of a King who reigns on the sole principle of love.
Jesus, if alive today, would not have been Democratic or Republican. Not only does neither party completely reflect the principles He taught while on earth, but the Bible shows no evidence of Him aligning Himself with any political group vying for power during His time (Pharisees vs. Sadducees vs. Herod vs. the Roman Empire). It does not show Him condemning one group in an effort to promote another. It does not show Him allowing His feelings regarding political issues to temper how He relates to His family, His friends, or even His enemies. Does this mean that Jesus remained absent from the political spectrum of His time? Hardly. The Bible shows Jesus advancing His Father’s kingdom in the political realm. It tells of Him treating people who saw the world differently than He did with searing kindness. It only shows him using sociopolitical issues as an opportunity to demonstrate a full spectrum of love.
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As the nation prepares for the quadrennial clash of the colors, we’re reminded that regardless of whether we paint ourselves Red or Blue, we belong to a higher cause. As we raise our voices among the chorus of millions in favor of our favored candidates, we’re admonished to lift our voices in a way that reminds the world of the King of a nation that is coming soon. When our Facebook feeds become warzones and when our colleagues and comrades voice opinions we disagree with, we should remember that even still, the world “will know that we are Christians by our love.” Proud Americans, though we may be, it is important for us to always remember -and to always reflect- that we are first citizens of a better and brighter world.[/box_holder]