When Christians Disagree About Politics

The past few years, we have seen how politics has divided America. All you have to do is tune into a talk show, watch the news or scroll through social media. Politics have sadly brought out the worst in some people. What is even more heartbreaking is how politics have divided some in the Church. A place where we should be united as become divided by today’s politics. So how can the Church work through this political division and be united? Here are a few thoughts.

Republicans and Democrats can be Christians. I have been amazed how some people question your faith based on your political  party. I personally do not belong to any political party. I gave up my party affiliation before the last election. It is okay for Christians to be involved in politics, but their political party cannot be more important than their relationship with God. When Christians become more concerned about who’s in the White House than who their neighbor is, that becomes a dangerous and slippery slope.

Arguing about your political beliefs does not make you a better Christian. That only means they enjoy arguing. We need to look past our political differences and love our neighbors the way God commands us. Even if they have a different political opinion.

Admit when your political party is wrong. Guess what?  Republicans and Democrats are not perfect. I know, your favorite political cable news show wants you to think they are, but their not. So do not be afraid to step up and admit when your favorite candidate  messes up.

Take time to talk. I encourage everyone to reach out to those with different political beliefs and talk. Not argue. Not debate. Just talk. I promise, you will walk away realizing you have more in common than you think.

Living out our faith. My heart has been broken hearing how the current political landscape has ended friendships. How politics have driven some people from the Church. I am not sure how we got to this point in American politics, but it truly saddens me. I have a lot of friends on both sides of the political aisle and I respect their right to vote for their candidate. Even if I disagree with that candidate. I have had some serious conversations with friends at church who vote and believe differently than I do. I do not pass judgement. We have respectful conversations. Because at the end of the day, I am more concerned about serving God and others, than I am about who wins an election.

As Christians, we should make the choice to rise above partisan politics. We can still have our opinions. We can still vote our conscience. But it is time we work together to unite this country. Our words and actions should model the teachings of God and not mock them. ~OC

 

 

LOVE

The Bible mentions Love between 500-800 times based on the translation. I guess love is pretty important to God. It’s kind of like when your mom would use your full name. You knew she was serious. So I think love is pretty important, if the Bible mentions it hundreds of times.

Today the word love is tossed around so causally. We love our sports teams. We love the latest music from our favorite artist. Who we love by the way. We love our favorite tv show. And who doesn’t love Taco Tuesday? We love everything. Or do we?

Do we love the homeless person begging for money, food or a job at the stoplight?

Do we love the refugee?

Do we love the person who worships differently than us?

Do we love the person who speaks a different language than us?

Do we love the atheist?

Do we love the addict?

Do we love those in the LGBTQ+ Community?

Do we love the Democrat?

Do we love the Republican?

Do we love the Independent?

Do we love the person who’s opinions are different from ours?

Do we love our neighbor?

How did you answer those questions? Did you cringe a little as you read through those questions? When I read the scriptures, I do not see where God looked down on any of the groups above. I do not read where He avoided them. I do not read where He judged them. No, when I read God’s Word, I see where He loved them unconditionally. Are we doing that? Are we at least trying?

Today, I would encourage each of us to examine what Love truly means in our lives. Are we living out the true meaning of Love? ~OC

Love Over Hate

Hate continues to rear its ugly head in America. We have have experienced four mass shootings. We have experienced more hateful tweets and comments from our elected leaders. It seems it’s gotten easier for people to choose hate over love.

It would be easy to get caught up in all the hate. All we have to do is turn on the tv, open up social media or just walk outside. Hate is all around us. Some of our political leaders have earned their PhD’s in the area of hateful rhetoric. How did we get here?

If you’re a conservative you’re told on a daily basis the liberals are to blame. How liberals are out to destroy America. If you’re a liberal, you’re told on a daily basis the conservatives are to blame. How conservatives want to take America back to the 1950’s. The talking points change daily, but the game has been the same for years; exploit fear and distrust. Make it Them Against Us. My prayer today is that we will make a Bigger Us and a Smaller Them.

We need to stop demonizing people who have different political views than us. We need to stop demonizing people who look different than us. We need to stop demonizing people who have a different faith than us. We need to stop demonizing people who were born in a different country than us. Instead we need to celebrate our differences, because that’s what has always made America great.

So we have a choice to make. We can keep pitting Them Against Us or we can all come to the Table of Love and have real and significant conversations. I believe we will find we have more in common than we realize.

As you know, I love to share take away points in my blog post. Here are some ways we can choose to Love More and Hate Less:

*We have a choice. We make the choice what we believe. We make the choice what we watch and listen to. We make the choice to be part of the problem or part of the solution.

*Replace Judgement with Grace. The world is constantly beating people down. Instead of being the Judge and Jury, make the choice to show some grace.

*Truly Listen. It is so easy to bombard people with your beliefs and opinions. Make the choice to take some time to listen to people who think, act, look and speak differently than you. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but take the time to listen to them.

*Choose Love. Choosing love can be difficult at times. Let’s face it, some people are hard to love. I bet that hard to love person just came to mind. I did not say choosing love would be easy. Choosing love is a daily choice. But I believe it is worth the hard work.

“I have decided to stick with love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

What Side of Racism Will You Stand On?

Another weekend and another round of mean-spirited racially motivated tweets. When will it end? When will leaders on both sides of the political aisle stand up against these tweets and comments? What side of racism will you stand on? I think that is one of the most important questions we need to asking our leaders, our churches and ourselves.

Sadly, the leaders of the Republican Party appear to be staying silent on the mean-spirited racist comments coming out of the White House. Why? I think Republicans are more concerned about having a Republican in the Oval Office than they are about doing what’s right for the country. Before you bash me as a liberal snowflake, I was a loyal life long Republican until the Republican Party sold out and nominated the current President. I could not in good conscience stay in a political party that would nominate a person that went against everything I stand for. So my question to my former party is how long will you support a person that holds none of your values? If the current President was a Democrat or Independent, you would have already run him out of Washington. Stop being afraid of the truth and stand up for what is right.

Dear Church Leaders, will you continue to sell out your beliefs, to have a seat at the President’s table? You are supposed to live with a higher standard. For those religious leaders who continue to stand up for the President, has it been worth it? Can you actually sleep with a clear mind? Have you actually talked with the members of your church who are frustrated and scared about the current state of America? You do not get a pass because your church prays when there is a racially motivated shooting. No, that is not enough. Dear Pastors, America is watching your actions or lack of. What side of racism will you stand on?

I believe there are good people on both sides of the political aisle. I believe there are churches and pastors standing on the right side of history. I want to personally thank you and encourage you to continue standing up for what is right. Even when standing up for what is right cost so much. ~OC

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; Only love can do that.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Love Over Hate

Hate can be easy. Hating someone or something, means you don’t have to learn about what you hate. You don’t worry about finding the truth. Hating is an excuse not to deal with your feelings. Also hate is easy to find. Just turn on the news. Turn on your computer or phone. Go outside. Take a look at our so called political leaders. There is enough hate to go around. But I believe hate is also tiring. Lonely. Have you ever watched a racist on tv? They all look mad, tired and lonely. Why would anyone choose to hate? It definitely does not look healthy.

Love can be hard. It takes time. It takes the choice to actually listen to other opinions. Not to close down when someone challenges your beliefs. Love means you have to be willing to forgive others. Even when your right. Love means that sometimes people will take advantage of you. Your heart might get broken. More than once. Why would anyone choose love?

Even though love can be hard, it is always the right choice. Love brings out the best in people. Love allows strangers to speak up for each other. Love allows us to look past our differences. Love challenges us to be the best version of ourselves. Love forces us out of our comfort zones. People who choose love are full of life. Love doesn’t keep score.

I wish, when we opened up the newspaper or turned on the news, the first stories that greeted us would be full of love. When we scrolled down social media, we would smile/laugh more than we would cringe. That would be amazing. Not sure that’s going to happen anytime soon, but this blessed overcomer is always going to choose love. How about you? ~OC

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