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Engage in the rhetoric of love

OpEd

 

In 2017, Pew Research released an article sharing that 84% of Americans believe the country is more divided on politics now than it has been in the past.  These are not enigmatic statistics. A google search of the phrase “Political Worship in America” will show total of 29.3 million results. Government, politics, patriotism and power are culturally imbedded issues in the United States. In many cases the core motivation amongst Christians is the fear of losing a position of power.  Jesus never taught His disciples to cling to power. His message was not about inaugurating a presence of political stability. The church is losing a culture war that it should not have been engaged with. When fear grips the church there is far more at stake than wrestling with ideological differences. 

The Church in America is in danger of disrupting its core commitment to Christ when it allows politics to become the reference point for spirituality. Christians have become obsessed with defending their current political positions over seeking to do the work Christ commanded.  Exchanging Christ as our center and replacing it with government, politics, patriotism and power is “the slippery slope” that leads people away from Christ.

All throughout history Christian leaders have had opportunities to influence the politics of its day. The Apostle Paul himself had the opportunity to influence the political officials and he used the opportunity to preach the gospel.  Instead of declaring his disagreement Paul stayed focused on the vision and command of Jesus to make disciples… not enemies.  

In the 1960’s Martin Luther King Jr. used a vision of hope and love to motivate the nation toward change. When our hearts are committed to Christ we live in a way that inspires change. 

This is where the solution to the Church’s obsession of politics begins. The Church in America must seek to reorient itself to Jesus as the reference point.  Jesus needs to be at the center of the Christian and the Church. Being anchored in the hope and love of Jesus is what propelled the church for thousands of years, not “winning” politically. Being and staying committed to a Christ centered life is what will allow the Christian to weather the political storms that seem all to threatening. That is because Jesus has power over the storms. 

Creating a New Future Requires:

•Watching what you say on social media. If our statements will reflect who God is, we must be careful with what we say.

•Ask yourself what your highest priority is and determine if it is in conflict with your faith.

•Consider your fears and responses to it. Are you allowing fear to lead your responses to life?

•Seek to make Jesus the center of your life. Now is the time to make Jesus the reference point for your life.

•Love your neighbors. Regardless of their politics, love your neighbors in Jesus’s name.

For the Christian, love must lead the way.  When the watching world casts its eyes on the Church it must see Christ and not a political party. When the Church is known more for its love rather than its politics, it has incredible influence.  The Church must cling to its directive to make disciples of Jesus and not disciples of political parties. It must engage in the rhetoric of love so that all people can see Jesus for who He truly is. 

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