I recently shared a post on my Facebook timeline applauding a certain political candidate’s great speech and how she may persuade me to change my vote. That post generated a Facebook fight between friends. The posts became so vitriolic that I had to delete the thread of comments.
Another friend, “Susan” posted about how we needed to come together as Christians and not let politics divide us. “Bob” replied that if Susan was to support a certain political party then she was a host for demonic spirits of deception and was going to hell.
Susan had a friend, Ann, considering going to church. Ann was following the thread on Facebook. Ann texted Susan that if Bob was a member of her church that she didn’t want to go to her church. Bob’s kooky comment about demonic spirits in a political party turned off Ann who was exploring Christianity.
Telling your non-Christian friends that they are hosts for demons and going to hell if they vote a certain way isn’t the best way to win them. The 2016 elections is dividing Christians while making us look like kooks to unbelievers. My pastor recently addressed this in our church service by reminding us of Romans 13.
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” Romans 13: 1-5
This scripture was written during the rule of the Roman Caesars who believed that they were literally god. The Caesar had the power to have you killed at whim. Paul was reminding the new Roman believers that Caesar was placed in authority by God. Even though we may not agree with Caesar’s policies or tactics, God was at work and the ultimate political authority.
Regardless of who gets elected, God put them in that position and we need to honor their office. The quarreling among Christians saying they are following a certain leader is a sign of worldliness and immaturity according to 1 Corinthians 3.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?” 1 Corinthians 1: 1-4
Election season brings out our passionate support for certain issues. Let’s remember that we are Christians first before we’re American voters. I thank God for the gift of voting, but let’s not bring division or act like the world during this season.