“Never talk about religion and politics! It causes division.” I hear those words so often that I feel most people subscribe to it. As one person tweeted, “Those are the 2 subjects I never participate in. It never leads to anything good.” And another, “The only thing that it leads to is flame wars.” I understand the reluctance of sparring with others about the two most important things in life, but it is because they are so important that we should be talking about them both.
Most people hate conflict. “Why can’t we all just get along?” is the sentiment of most peace-seeking people. But talking about religion and politics isn’t the problem. The problem which we name conflict comes from a clash of ideas which few people can sort out effectively. There is little chance of reaching any agreement when you have two or more people who share different views on these life-changing subjects. Conflict, however uncomfortable, is inevitable when you talk about anything important with people who have different views on the same subject. But religion and politics matter — they are the only two subject that really need to be talked about if we want to change the world we live in.
For the Christian, the thought of never talking about religion is directly contradictory to Jesus’ command to preach the gospel to every living soul. Do you think that may be the reason the devil came up with those words in the first place? If he can silence people from sharing the good news about Jesus Christ, he’s already succeeded in his goal to silence us. Christians are often reluctant to share the good news that saved them because they don’t want to offend people around them. The offense we experience often goes beyond being given a cold shoulder. It can mean the end of friendship and sometimes even the end of a job. I understand wanting to keep peace with those around you, but at some time the gospel has to be brought up if we are to carry out our Lord’s commission to evangelize the world.
Politics, on the other hand, is something we are not commanded to speak about. Jesus never told us to go talk about politics. But if you want to be an effective witness of Jesus Christ, it is unavoidable. We live in a social-economic-political world. When elections come up in so-called free countries, we have to decide who we are voting for. We want to select the best candidate, even if it’s both choices are not good. The only way we are going to know who to vote for is if we explore what those candidates stand for, what they’ve done in the past and what their character is like. We need to talk about these things, not only to get a fuller picture, but so that we can help others make better decisions when they go to the polls.
Wisdom is the Principal Thing
Proverbs 4:7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Understanding what’s going on is a requirement if you want to be wise. This brings up the subject of “world view.” Christians have a different world view than non-Christians. We believe in a Creator God who loves everyone and wants everyone to come to Him to receive all He has to offer. Non-Christians believe a plethora of other things, and it is those people we want to reach. If we all sit around in our cozy little Christian gatherings, we may be edified, which is good, but we need to bring others into the fold so they can be edified too. The Christian lifestyle is one that exhibits Christ in character first, and then in our words and deeds. A silent Christian who never talks about his or her faith is relatively sidelined in the great work Christ is spearheading.
II Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.
These words to Timothy show us that there will indeed be conflict in presenting the gospel to others. In fact it is we who are to introduce the conflict by correcting and rebuking. Those who believe we encourage. We do all this with “great patience” because we know there will be conflict regardless of how “nice” and “politically correct” we are. The reason for preaching the gospel goes far beyond our petty uncomfortable feelings.
I Timothy 2:1-6 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—
for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
This is good, and pleases God our Savior,
who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.
Matthew 10:16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
Use wisdom on when to speak and how to speak to others. It’s not science, it’s walking by the spirit. I’s not technique, it’s God working within you to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Speak what God puts in your heart to speak and don’t fear mankind.
Separation of Church and State is a Myth
Many people are surprised to find out there is no law in the United States calling for the separation of church and state. People arrive at that conclusion from examining the first Amendment to the Constitution of the United States which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Notice that the amendment does not prohibit religious people from serving in the government of the United States. That “separation” does not exist and neither should it. The amendment doesn’t prohibit the free exercise of religion, even in politics, it guarantees it. The most destruction to our nation has come when non-Christians have governed the helm. I’m not saying every Christian president was perfect for none were and no Christian is perfect. But those who have not been Christian have done their utmost to pass legislation that goes against the very fabric of Christian faith.
Speak About Religion and Politics All You Can
I make it a point to bring up “religion and politics” whenever I can because those are the two most important subjects in life. I love my father God and our Lord Jesus Christ and I want as many people as possible to join us in the kingdom of God’s Son. I also care about our living conditions so we can prosper and be in health so we can move the Word of God over the world. That is obviously the area of politics. But I don’t seek to cause arguments. I seek to invite reconciliation. As long as I keep my attitude on mark, then God can continue to work within me to accomplish what He wants through me.
We are coming up to another election in the United States. Get the facts straight on who is running and get out there and talk about it. We may have to choose the lesser of two evils, but if that’s the only choice we have, we are better choosing the lesser of the evil rather than not casting our vote at all which often assures the most evil of the two wins. We have a strong voice because of our sheer numbers here in the United States but staying silent will do nothing to get that voice heard.
I encourage you to ‘bone up’ in the faith. Stand strong. Be who God has called you to be. Speak my brothers and sisters and do not stay silent. Don’t let political correctness stop you. Don’t let fear captivate you. Speak the Word of God with boldness and the God of peace will be with you.