Time to Get Political?

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Time to Get Political?

In today’s volatile, political climate it’s nearly impossible for informed Adventists to refrain from engaged and heated political discourse on subjects ranging from same-sex marriage, Muslims, guns, and well, Donald Trump.

 

There’s nothing wrong with being politically informed, and healthy discussion on important socio-political matters evidences our concern for the world we live in.

 

But what troubles me is when we obtain our “facts” or talking points solely from unabashedly biased talk radio entertainment (that’s what it is) and other “news” outlets. In God’s name, ideologues on these shows, use (and abuse) Christianity to promote hate, racism, and excessive nationalism. This inevitably skews one to view others as enemies through categorizations, labeling, and stereotypes. This indoctrination, even brainwashing are leading many to entertain unbiblical attitudes towards minorities, the poor, the rich, and Muslims, to name a few.

 

I’m bothered by right wing ideologues that define, for perhaps millions, what it means to be a true “American.” I’m perturbed by the fear mongering tactics used to scare Americans from healthy discussions on the treatment of immigrants, police brutality, and minorities.

 

To be fair, Christians should also be concerned by left-wing advocates who argue that religion must be relegated to the private sphere having no place in the public arena. Though true our Constitution protects against government “establishment of religion,” it also ensures the right for practicing believers to freely exercise their religious convictions. Just as concerning are attempts to implement legislation that infringes upon the practices and freedoms of believers.

 

In closing, there are several points we should consider: [1] let’s not create additional reasons for dividing church members (through politics); [2] if we’re to engage or voice our political opinions, let’s be sure what we’re endorsing is in line with the spirit and principles of Scripture; and finally [3] let’s remember that our “fight” in this world is not won through means of political power and influence.

 

We would do well to heed the following words from Ellen G. White:

 

“The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses—extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Savior attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our Example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart.”  (Ellen White, The Desire of Ages, p. 509)

[Image via https://i.ytimg.com/vi/HKxer-0sQRQ/maxresdefault.jpg]

Leave a comment below. How involved should a Christian be in politics?

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About the author

Andy Im

Andy Im has a political science degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and an M.A. in Religion from Southern Adventist University. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Michigan Conference.