I cracked this week. After months of choosing to hold my tongue on our nation’s current political debacle for fear of distracting from my personal ministry, I chose to break my silence and announce whom I endorsed for President. I prayed, sought wisdom from men and women of God whom I deeply respect, and crafted what I believed to be a wise and sensible argument, to be presented what I believed to be a “safe” forum.
The backlash was worse than I ever could have imagined.
I was cursed at, called an imbecile, and told that I was unfit to be a pastor’s wife.
What was most shocking was that the worst criticism thrown my way came from fellow believers. I was called a heretic, told that my soul was in jeopardy, instructed that I should never homeschool my children because I would destroy them, and I kid you not...was quoted verses from Revelation that accused me of being the anti-Christ and even the devil himself.
All because of who I endorsed for president guys. Not because my view on the cross of Christ, or some other critical doctrinal issue…but because of my opinion on who I believe should be installed in a political office.
WORST of all, NIGHTMARE OF NIGHTMARES, I was told by several non believers that my political stance confirmed why they could never become a Christian, and that I had now permanently driven them away from God.
I was CRUSHED.
As a Christian, I believe that my sole purpose for remaining here on earth is to allow Christ to use the specific concoction of talents, giftings, and opportunities He has granted to me to draw as many people to the cross as possible. Success for me is not calculated in the number of my blog followers, but in the amount of souls who have been reconciled to Christ because of His work in my life.
I am here so that when people look at my life, they are forced to stop and conclude, “That Jesus, He really must be something.” I want the spark of His Presence in my attitude and actions to be SO BRIGHT and SO magnetic that people are forced to take a second look at that Carpenter from Galilee and conclude for themselves that..Jesus must be beautiful.
To hear that people had been distracted and turned away from the only Remedy for their souls because of my political musings was the worst kind of blow.
NOTHING, and I repeat NOTHING is worth distracting from the Gospel of Christ.
So here’s my conundrum…all that being said, I believe that the results from the upcoming election could have great ramifications for the Body of Christ in the United States. I cannot predict the future, but a liberal leaning Supreme Court, which shows increasing disregard for the authority of the Constitution, has the potential to squash freedom of speech in a manner that will greatly affect our ability to share the Gospel in an open and public manner.
Speaking out against homosexuality could be labeled, “hate speech.” Following this logic, the exclusivity of the Gospel could one day be considered, “hate speech.” It could affect (at least legally) the way we are able to school our children, the way we approach the pulpit, and the way we hold our events. (I am not saying that this is for sure going to happen, just that it is a possibility.)
Some have countered that I shouldn’t be afraid of persecution. This is absolutely true. I am not afraid of persecution, and know that the Body of Christ always has always thrived under pressure. No earthly authority or legislation holds power over Christ’s church. Christ reigns and He will win, no matter what laws are in place. Even the “gates of hell” cannot prevail against us.
What I am fearful of, is having the opportunity to do something to make it easier for my people to share the message of Christ and choosing to stand still and silent. Christians are never called to sit idly by and watch their nation and culture slide downhill when they had the opportunity to do something about it.
The evangelical vote will COUNT this election, and has the potential to sway the presidency.
So here’s the question, should we speak or not speak? Is it worth it?
And if we do speak, where is the line between heartfelt and passionate expression and “bullying?”
I am not saying I have the answer. I am willingly admitting that I may have made a mistake and genuinely asking for your help and opinion on this issue. I created this blog to be a forum for discussion on this puzzling topic. I covet your wisdom and your thoughts.
Here’s what I know for sure:
1) This election season has been especially difficult for believers, because we do not have one obvious candidate to rally around. Believers who are actively walking with Christ, and sincerely seeking His face on this issue, have come away with completely different conclusions on how they should vote in November.
If you do choose to engage in political debate, let’s be civil about it, and act like the brothers and sisters that we are. Despite our differences, we need to stop eating each other alive in front of the world. Just because someone disagrees with you over who should be president, doesn’t mean that their salvation is in question.
It’s ok to be passionate about your opinion. It’s ok to have differences, but let’s agree to disagree in a manner that is so loving, the world turns its head our way.
2.) The most effective way for Christians to engage in cultural warfare will not be through our civic involvement, but through simple adherence to the greatest commandment to, “Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (1) The reason we find our country in this mess to begin with is due to the American church’s failure to act as the cultural “salt” and “Light” we were designed to be. Do you want to change your country for the better? Strengthen your personal relationship with Christ. Learn what it means to abide in Him daily and becoming a living, breathing conduit of His love. Invest in your community. Don’t be content to keep the secret of eternal to yourself. SHARE the Gospel. The Kingdom of God will not be built through a political office, but through one person at a time, sincerely falling in love with Jesus Christ.
3.) Sometimes we are called to speak the truth, even when no one will listen. Last night, as I prayerfully considered this issue, I was led to Luke 4 (2) where Christ revealed Himself as the Messiah to His hometown. Instead of embracing Him and rejoicing that the Promised One had arisen from among their obscure midsts, they tried to throw Him off of a cliff. What I find most extraordinary about this event, is that Christ knew exactly what their reaction would be before He said a word…and He did it anyway.
This shows me that we are accountable for speaking the truth, no matter how it is received.
The Truth is going to rub people the wrong way.
Don’t always assume you have done something wrong when you are attacked for speaking your Christ-centered opinion. People are going to get mad at us, in fact we are told they are going to hate us. (3) Sometimes our loving motivations are going to misinterpreted, and we ourselves are going to be called haters.
DON’T let that stop us from sharing Christ’s precious, life giving message.
Lastly, as we muse and mourn over what appears to be the demise of our nation, let’s remember that the Kingdom of God and the United States are not synonymous. “Therefore, since we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.’” (4)