Politics and Jesus Christ, how is that for a blog title. I have been thinking about all the election hoopla, campaigning and discussions generated. Well if I am honest with all, then I would have to say I have been thinking mostly about discussions generated. Discussion threads on facebook, linked in and twitter. These discussion threads have been enlightening to say the least. I have not participated in any of them because I don’t believe they are very helpful. Mostly because people who have something to say have their minds made up and are not going to change their minds no matter what I say. But also because of the language, the vitriol and the insults that come out of most of them.
What really has me writing this blog (been a while) is that there are people who claim Christ as their Savior who say some of the most mean-spirited things when it comes to people differing with their opinions. I just cannot see how the great commission can be fulfilled by denigrating others opinions/positions. If, agreement with someone else cannot not be reached then why would a Christian resort to such tactics? Don’t get me wrong, it is okay to disagree but it is not a part of our Christian walk to make fun of someone else’s opinion. Stating your opinion and why you believe the way you do is great and is something we as Christians should be good at and is part of how we fulfil the great commission.
The great commission tells us at the end of Matthew 28, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
I do not remember anything in the teachings of Jesus about making disciples through bullying, browbeating, getting the last word, mean spiritedness or making others feel like they are less than yourself. Just the opposite, we are to remember Jesus’s words from Mark 12, “30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The teachings of Jesus give us guidance in our walk through life. Even Pastors sometimes forget “whose” they are and begin to lead out of their own selfish needs and wants. We forget the “love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” part and start worshipping things and people of this earth. Which leads to comments I read on Linked-in on a Pastors group. I was very disheartened to read some of the comments and yes Pastors are human and we do get caught up in political issues but we are called to a higher standard than name calling and denigrating others opinions.
We, all of us, do have a right to our own opinions but should never let those opinions come before “Love thy neighbor” and we should never let our love for or our dislike of some political figure come before “Love thy God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.”
Perhaps we as Christians need to fall back on Deuteronomy 6:4-8. Jesus did and He expects us to also.