Leave it to politics to bring out the best/worst in us. I’ll never forget the time I intimated casually in one of my CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) magazine columns that Jimmy Carter might have been a better President in terms of true red-letter Christian values than Ronald Reagan and you would have thought I’d lost the faith and was suggesting people come over to Satan. Cards and letters streamed in (this was before the Internet) and I couldn’t help but think of all the articles I had put out up to that point, painstakingly trying to connect faith to life, and not a peep from anyone. What is it about politics that can boil our blood so quickly? I’m sure you’ve heard it said that if you want to get into a bitter argument, bring up religion or politics.
Yet political solutions are so limited. Biblical solutions are widespread and eternal. We can agree on one and disagree on the other, and get along just fine. The things we scream about make so little difference in the long run, and especially in the kingdom of God. You cannot vote in the kingdom of God anyway. Is there a “Christian” agenda politically we can all agree on? I don’t think so. That’s why a strong sign of our unity in Christ is our ability to be all over the map, politically, but be in full agreement when it comes to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Any Christian leader who advocates one political candidate or agenda as “Christian” over another that is decidedly not, is misguided. There are brothers and sisters on both sides of the Senate floor. The national prayer breakfast showcases that every year. This is good. This is not advocating confusion, it is merely indicating that politics always deals in compromise, and will not solve the basic issues of human existence. Only God can do that. Therefore, we can disagree over whether everyone has a right to own a gun while agreeing on the sanctity of human life, and the fact that everyone is made in the image of God.
And here at the Catch, disagreement is bound to happen. This, of course, is one of the things that makes America great. I would be far more concerned if all Christians ended up in one political camp than if we disagree politically. That we disagree and still love each other, and agree on the core truths of the faith, is healthy. Churches should hold their own debates over politics, with all sides represented, instead of issuing a voters’ guide that spells out the “Christian” or “biblical” vote. There just are no straight lines from the Bible to politics.
The only straight line in the Bible is the one that goes to love.