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One of the greatest realities of American life is that citizens are afforded the right to have differing political views.
However, political dialogue has become such a divisive topic today that many Christians don’t want to discuss political issues for fear of stirring conflict. As a reaction, they withdraw from political conversations even though our faith frequently intertwines with politics.
In a time like this, how can Christians engage in political dialogue and not lose our witness for God’s Kingdom?
The prevailing attitude towards truth in America is that everyone defines their own truth which then informs how they live. Thus, we are bombarded each day with worldly messages of what love is, what is right and wrong, where to find hope, etc. Thankfully, in a world so muddled by confusion, we have the Bible and the Holy Spirit with us to remind us of truth. Romans 12:2 states that we Christians cannot “be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but (must) be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” In a society that constantly redefines truth through politics, Christians must be established in their knowledge of the word of God and let that be our standard of truth.
How often, if ever, do you enjoy having a conversation when no one listens to you? Use this rule to witness to other people and show that you are willing to hear the other person first. James 1:19 says, “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak.” Christians do not have to agree or commend everything someone else says, especially in politics. But showing your willingness to hear other people and listen to what they have to say builds trust, which then opens the door for you to speak God’s truth.
It doesn’t take a Rhode Scholar to see that America has lost much of its sense of Biblical morality. Whether it’s our tolerance of abortion, our approval of gay marriage, or our encouragement of lawlessness, America has strayed deeply into evil. But that should not withhold Christians from proclaiming righteousness, something that God values highly. Isaiah 56:1 calls Christians to “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.” As ambassadors of a heavenly kingdom, we have no choice but to boldly proclaim God’s standard of morality and justice to a society that is searching for answers.
All of our efforts will go to waste if we do not speak graciously with others. The minute we come off as condemning, demeaning, or prideful, all the work we do to engage in political discussion will be for nothing. Colossians 4:6 reminds us to, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Our goal shouldn’t be to win an argument alone but to declare Biblical truth to others through our conversations. If we accomplish nothing more than that, we have been faithful to our calling.
Liberty University President Jerry Prevo said, But let us remember this inescapable truth: It is not the politics that cause division but rather the people when they allow their flesh to manifest angry, unfair, and malicious feelings towards one another. Christians have an amazing opportunity to freely proclaim God’s truth and establish his heavenly kingdom while we sojourn in our earthy one. If that requires us to engage in political conversations, let us do it boldly and graciously.