When I started my YouTube channel WalkWithGod back in September of 2017, Donald Trump had been president for 8 months, and admittedly, I didn't think his presidency was as bad as most of the media had said it would be, or even where I thought it would be.
At the time, I had finished working for 12 weeks at a VA, and learned about some of the positive effects he had on veterans (not all of whom like him, by the way).
I did not vote for him back in 2016, and I do not plan on voting for him now unless there is a drastic change, because “not as bad as I had thought” is hardly a standard for me to vote for someone.
God could change my heart, show me a vision, or Donald Trump could come know the Lord and truly repent like Nebuchednezzar in the book of Daniel (which I thought would happen when he got COVID) - all of these things could convince me to vote for President Trump to have a second term, but as it stands now, I personally do not feel like I can vote for him to have a second term. Nor do I feel right about voting for Biden. Yet I refuse to shame anyone who feels differently no matter how much I don’t get it, but I’m afraid I’m becoming more and more in the minority.
The Problem Voting in the USA has become tough from a biblical perspective as someone who wants to know the Lord better. We all fall short of God's glory (Romans 3:23), but our votes do not encapsulate the fullness of our opinions towards the one we vote for. And it’s too hard with the lives most of us have to live to be able to fully use our voices beyond casting a vote and speaking up on social media. Thus we end up with two parties that are drastically out of touch and struggle with anything other than just getting in line behind a person and their ideology.
But this piece isn’t about my opinions on politics, nor my history in writing – it’s about the gospel and politics. It is about ADVANCING THE GOSPEL. Every decision we make should be about this, the Great Comission outlined by Jesus at the end of Matthew 28, but of course we still have a lot of selfishness in us, so the “should” doesn’t match the reality. Thankfully, the grace of God covers that, yet we should still want to be conformed to the image of our Maker so that we can make every decision about the Gospel while falling short when we don’t.
And many on all sides have reasons for why their political decisions are about the Gospel – many of these are true or have some truth. But what I think God is showing me is how much we worship the ideals and not the One who made this all possible. Listen to how the politicians discuss things, then listen to how we Christians discuss things, and tell me if you don’t hear a lot of similarities. Too many similarities.
We get concerned about the Ten Commandments being removed from courthouses, forgetting what a privilege it was that they were put there in the first place. Listen to how we talk about all the ideals our Founding Fathers fought for, forgetting that they’re just that: ideals. And God is bigger than the ideals, and again, the whole point of the Gospel is that we can fall short of the ideals because of GRACE. If we believe that, we should see that in our conversations and conduct – do you see that in our conversations with those we disagree with or about those we disagree with?
When was the last time you really felt grace in a discussion about politics?
I confess that there is envy in my heart for anyone reading this who has had or witnessed graceful conversations about politics in the last 4 years. Because my perspective is that it’s been like the Biden-Trump debate for the last 4 years in nearly every conversation where people disagree. And when they do agree, it’s just constant attacking the “other”, and building up the “hero” that they agree with. Often, it’s like the Pence-Harris debate, where the talking points of the preferred candidate are repeated without really looking at what’s actually happened. Even among Christians, it’s so hard for us to admit the faults in the candidate we’re willing to vote for. Disagreements are contentious even among brothers and sisters in the Lord, so it’s easier to not talk about these issues rather than hash them out in a mature fashion.
And admittedly, I am aware that many people are reading this article and mad that it’s not explicitly liberal or conservative, because a centrist who votes 3rd-party is not the kind of guy who fits in well in this present duopoly. Whether or not you’re Christian, this is a contentious viewpoint, and not the easiest to have because of how alienating this can be for me when it comes to discussing politics. Politics used to be one of my favorite topics to discuss, but somewhere along the way, this country has become prideful about its views. In Proverbs 3:7, Solomon says, “Be not wise in your own eyes – fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.” It only took me several read-throughs of the Bible to realize that being right in your own eyes is the opposite of fearing the Lord our God, for how can you be in awe if you’re that convinced you’re right?
So you might be wondering where I’m going with this. You might be wondering if I plan on just venting and saying things you all already know without any solutions, but no, I actually do have something here.
Everyone reading this article is fearfully and wonderfully made. God is still doing things to draw you to Him, and I hope that this is one of those things that helps you to advance in your walk. I believe that we, as the Church, are meant to help advance the gospel of Christ, and that by talking to people in a more civilized way, we can change the political climate over time. Remember, in the Greek, “church” is “ecclesia”, which refers to a group of PEOPLE. We are the church, the Bride and Body of Christ. Making the difference is up to US. Standing out of the crowd that is the world is our responsibility in every area, including (right now especially) in politics.
But we need to start with ourselves, so …
Step one: Examine your own bias
Odds are good you’re somewhere on the scale of Christian Conservative/Nationalist or Christian Liberalist. A conservatist/nationalist mindset focuses on the ideals of this nation and wanting to have political influence to make things very biblical in politics with an extreme focus on the things that are bad and making sure bad people get punished. Liberalist perspectives tend to hyper-focus on race issues and making sure that justice, and often vengeance, is served institutionally. Neither hits at the actual gospel of Jesus Christ fully.
Don’t think about changing your heart in these areas just yet, though the time WILL come when that should be on the agenda. For now, just knowing is enough, and once you know …
Step two: Pray to God to challenge your biases
This is probably going to be the hardest step for most people. It’s straightforward, but takes a lot of humility to pray honestly. When you do, though, it can really help your relationship with God and others – you may have to pray for the humility to even pray this in the first place. Ultimately, it’s your willingness to take this step that’ll help you the most with the next three in making a difference for the gospel.
Step three: Pray for those who you disagree with the most
Whether or not you realize it, on some level the “us and them” mentality does make us think of people who disagree with us as enemies to SOME degree. Yes, as Christians the main people we should be interacting with are other Christians, but we are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:34). Active love tends to not mean giving someone everything they want, but it does often mean that we ought to be gentle, kind, patient – re-read 1 Corinthians 13 for a list that’s better than what I’d think of. Yet we often make people who disagree with us into our enemies, and it’s clear from Luke 6:27, Matthew 5:43-44, Romans 12:14, and Proverbs 25:21 (among others) that we are to pray for our enemies. Not in a passive-aggressive way, but genuinely, and it may take some time for you to get to this point.
Step four: Pray to God for compassion towards those you disagree with
If you felt at all frustrated reading that we should be praying for those who we disagree with, that’s fine. But that also means that this next step is for you, because how can we actively love without a desire to actively love? How can we want to actively love someone we have no compassion for? After all, Colossians 3:12-13 tell us to put on COMPASSIONATE HEARTS and bear with and love one another. Thankfully, God has answered this prayer for many people over the years, myself included, but it may take some time and effort on your end. I would encourage you to supplement these prayers with reading the Word of God, especially the Gospels, Romans, and 1 Corinthians. Bonus points if you’re able to spend time with people who you disagree with and may or may not explicitly think of as your enemies so that you can gain that compassion.
Step five: Love those you disagree with
“Love” for a lot of people, including Christians, stops at feelings. It may be that the only way you’re able to actively love someone like this is through prayer, and that’s great, but if there are tangible ways for you to care for that person, then I would encourage you to do those as well. That’ll really build compassion and, ultimately, really advance the gospel. Not just for them, but for you, too.
The changes this country and world need will not come right away – it may not even be tangible to us how we are making a difference.
We may not even make a noticeable difference – but God has given the world over to Satan. Even if we made no difference, it would be the faithful thing to do for the One who gave it all to save our souls to live for Him. Living for Him often involves sacrifice, including of the things we hold dear, such as our need to be right in the midst of this crazy world in a crazy age and time.
I mentioned earlier that most of us will likely need to repent of an excessively nationalistic or liberalistic viewpoint, but neglected to mention when that’ll happen. That’s because it’ll be different for each of us, but somewhere along this step of taking on greater compassion and love for those we disagree with, as you read the Bible and pray, it’ll happen. I didn’t say specifically when because it should be organic, when God convicts you.
I hope this article was able to bless you with conviction and a call to action that grows you in your relationship with God.
This article was written by Joe from “Walkwithgod." Visit www.youtube.com/walkwithgod for more