Published on October 8th, 2012 | by Nathaniel0
In the past two months I’ve listened to over 25 hours of NPR (I’m an addict), engaged in several political discussions (more like brutal debates), and watched The Innocence of Muslims (I was disgusted). Yesterday, I went to an Obama Fundraiser in Los Angeles where I heard the President himself, rally his campaign platform (In no way does my attendance reflect my political views, I’m still non-partisan). The intersection of religion and politics has never been as relevant as now. America is at a 4-way-stop. We are being bombarded with political rhetoric left and right, conflict in Libya continues to escalate, gay rights have dominated the news, and a video supposedly made in the name of Christianity has ignited numerous protests and even caused the death of a U.S. ambassador.
Religion vs. Spirituality
How do you identify? Religion versus spirituality- this is the ongoing debate. Believers across the board are torn because religious intentions have coerced us to operate in a way that contradicts the word of God. That sounds harsh, right? But it’s true. The Innocence of Muslims, a low-budget film, made by a “Christian” director was and is currently a source of political contention in the U.S. and the Middle East. The comedic take on the life of Mohammed depicts Caucasian actors with deep tans and bad Arabic accents, Mohammed as a child-molester, and homosexual jokes. A 14 minute cut of the film was uploaded to Youtube back in July and by September 11th was the source of more than 50 deaths, numerous protests, and major conflict. It seems like the religious views, not spiritual views, led one man to think demeaning someone else’s belief system would validate his.
Similarly, the debate of gay versus straight has caused a major rift among Believers. Churches are being destroyed, individuals are fleeing their church homes, and a young generation is growing up more confused than ever. This is because the church either takes a heavy-handed approach to this topic or leaves it ambiguous. Does the bible say it’s against God? Yes. But there are Christians who don’t even realize the hate that exists in their hearts. Rather than hating the sin, they hate the sinner- refusing to enter a dialogue over this topic and choosing to condemn individuals who identify this particular way. People who are searching for God cut off their need for a spiritual relationship with Him all because “Christians” think they are carrying his platform when all they’re doing is campaigning hate.
How Are We Supposed Express Our Political Beliefs as Believers?
I think this is a multi-million dollar question and if I had the answer, I would put it on Ebay and retire in the Seychelles Islands. We as Believers have the daunting task of examining our intentions, looking deep into our motives- the same way God would. We also have the responsibility of seeking answers through His word. If God clearly spells out His stance in the bible- we have an obligation to carry that out. Our personal feelings cannot trump what God has outlined in the bible. However, it is our job to carry out His agenda in the most loving, truthful, and compassionate way. Think about it- Jesus came down and brought understanding and healing to the Gentiles (people who were in a different social and political space) in Matthew 16:21-28. He also commands us through Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 to pray for those who are in a position of leadership over our country. I urge you, first of all to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy upon them and give thanks. Pray this way for kings and others who are in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity. So the next time you are using “not so Christ-like” verbage to belittle Mitt Romney or bad-mouth Barack, maybe you should just pray. Happy voting 😉
C.F.E. (Co-Founding Encourager)