As a hyper-animated America settles under a new government, one thing that is yet to settle is the rifted relationship amongst many, particularly that of the Christian faith. The online commentaries were quite interesting as Christian political activism took center stage. Christians accused fellow Christians of falling away from “evangelical theology” simply because they described the religious political movement as a plot to prey on peoples’ deep religious allegiance in order to justify and defend canonized western values.
“When you mix politics and religion, you get politics.” Rev. Gene Carlson,
Citing decay in moral values as the reason for plunging into political activism, many people of faith endorsed a choreographed efforts to engender “godly candidates” and “shape laws”. Pundits in the pulpit slanted sermons to fit self-righteous political profiles not minding if it was getting in the way of the gospel. As a backlash, many frowned at this act of making the church bow to any political party or politician’s talking points. They further described it as not good for faith. There reasons were that politicians will always pounce on opportunities to tout religion as an important factor in shaping and marketing their views, and also raise questions about the nature of their opponents’ religious commitment.
Total confidence in a human institution and political process will have zero impact on end time prophecies.
Christian activism is making us focus too much on what we are against more than what we stand or should stand for (the Gospel which is the good news of salvation). One question I got from a lady who was not happy with the direction the church had taken as regards to politics was ‘who will protect us voiceless Christians from our leaders’ act of politically misrepresenting our beliefs, and presenting their personal belief for ours in order to gather political capital or gain attention? My response to her was that she could re-examines her standpoint then try to square it with the Bible and then work towards acting out what is expected of a Christian from a biblical standpoint.
It is true that Christianity principles frown at same-sex marriage and abortion. However, this is the lens by which we have to view things: It also frowns at so many things our society and politicians do and still do irrespective of party difference. Instead of competing to present the best answers for or against things the Bible equates with life in the last days, we need to renew or draw attention to Jesus’ teachings about personal struggles in the end times, social justice, peace, solutions to our worsening culture divide, and also spark a new interest in public policies that can further address problems of health, hatred, crime and poverty.
The church can and should continually engage the issues of its time and season to help its congregants grown and navigate the times. But it should still be counter-cultural and avoid making public pulpit political activism the main thing that characterizes or defines the Christian faith or the church. Jesus Christ, the scriptures and biblical directives should be the main thing that defines the Christian and their faith.