We are living in one of the most politically-divisive times in our nation’s history. But I want to assert that those types of political battle lines have no place in the church. We must not allow ourselves to be hijacked by a political agenda. We should certainly speak to the issues of our day (i.e. immigration, civil rights, etc.). And we ought to confront moral evil in all of its forms (i.e. abortion, human trafficking, etc.). But political orientation, educational status, criminal history or economic attainment should never be the test of fellowship in the church. We are all sinners saved by grace.
In a July 2016 article in The Blaze, conservative political blogger, Matt Walsh, suggested that one can’t be a genuine Christian and a democrat.* This type of controversial banter might be politically advantageous and might gain him twitter followers. But this type of thinking must never be adopted by the church. Our bond is the gospel—period.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer addressed this very issue when he warned, “Every principle of selection and every separation connected with it that is not necessitated quite objec- tively by common work, local conditions, or family connections is of the greatest danger to a Christian community. When the way of intellectual or spiritual selection is taken the human element always insinuates itself and robs the fellowship of its spiritual effectiveness…” (Life Together, 37).
In order to be recognized as part of the church, a person must acknowledge their sin and give public profession of their faith in Jesus Christ. But whenever we start to separate over additional requirements (i.e. political affiliation, ethnic background, criminal record, etc.), the church is threatened. We might be a political action group, a country club or a gathering of upstanding citizens. But we have ceased to be the church of Jesus Christ.
In our congregation there are those who vote republican and those who vote democrat. I know because I have talked to them. Let’s make sure we find our common ground in our faith and not our political affiliation.
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