Why Our Love of Politics is Killing the Church
“Sex sells” used to be the framework on which many businesses built their marketing campaigns. These days, politics rule the airwaves. Everything from our news to our sporting events, to, well, discussions about sexuality are underpinned with political statements. Even the religious world has not been able to withstand the siren song of political commentary and has instead chosen to embrace it wholeheartedly which is unfortunate, because this embracing of politics is killing Christianity in this country.
It’s Only Causing More Division
A poll of 10,000 Facebook users conducted by Rantic found that “by and large, political posts were extremely unlikely to change anyone’s views. However, they were likely to annoy people and even inspire them to unfriend posters” (source).
Think of all the people you, as a Christian, have the opportunity to influence or encourage with Scripture and prayer on social media on a daily basis. Instead, we spend our time posting anger-inciting political articles that drive those people away. “But I’m changing people’s minds!” you might be thinking. Actually, the same study by Rantic found that “94 percent of Republicans, 92 percent of Democrats, and 85 percent of Independents said they’d never changed their view of an issue based on a Facebook post.” It turns out, our political posts aren’t changing anybody’s minds on politics, they are however giving people quite a warped view of politics.
It’s Giving People a Warped View of Christianity
It’s no secret anymore. Everyone knows that the “live faithfully” part of the steps to salvation includes voting for Republicans. Before you think I’m being hyperbolic for the sake of the article, note that I’ve sat across from fellow Christians who have uttered the phrase “I don’t see how you can be a Christian and vote Democrat.” My point here is not to debate whether this sentiment is right or wrong, but rather to point out that many see Christianity and the Republican Party as inseparable.
In the minds of many Jesus and the GOP go hand-in-hand. This opens doors for many claims of hypocrisy. When they hear Christians speak against homosexuality and then see them promote Donald Trump (a serial adulterer) for presidency, people begin to wonder where Christians actually stand on sexual morality. When people hear Christians talking about helping the downtrodden, and then see them promote policies that seek to push the downtrodden out of our country, they begin to wonder whether we really care about helping anyone but ourselves.
The list goes on and on. Again, I’m not here to debate the kind of stances we should take on immigration and sexuality. I’m trying to point out what more and more people are starting to believe when we post about politics online: there is no separating conservative politics and Christianity. Our political sharing has created this link, and has subsequently presented people with a perverted version of Christ’s gospel.
These posts do not only mislead other would-be Christians, they distract present Christians from what matters most.
It’s a Distraction from What’s Most Important
For every political post we share, we eschew something that matters more. Times of spiritual reflection are spent on defending confederate statues. We’ll pray for unity and then jump into the comment section of an article for heated discussion. Sometimes our moments of spiritual reflection and prayer are thrown out completely in favor of sharing a post affirming our political ideologies. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again every time we wage wars over politics. We are not citizens of this place (Phil. 3:20). If we desire destruction for ourselves we’ll continue to think on earthly things (Phil. 3:19), but if we care about Jesus, we’ll turn our attention to spreading His word not political op-eds.
Christians, we’ve got to stop loving politics. It’s bringing us more division, warping the message of Christianity we are trying to embody and is distracting us from going to heaven and taking others with us. We cannot continue our love affair with both Jesus and politics. We must choose one. For the sake of the souls of those around us, I hope we choose Jesus.