When I was growing up I was taught that you don’t talk politics or religion. At least, not with strangers. Better to keep these topics “in-house.” Only bring either of these up when you know the people you are conversing with already agree with you.
If you’re not careful these two topics can be polarizing. It can get heated pretty quickly.
After becoming a Christian, I found out that followers of Christ are commanded to talk religion. It’s the Great Commission. We are supposed to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.
We can’t do that without opening our mouths. We have to talk about it. We have to tell people about Jesus. Who He is. What He taught. Why it matters.
I also found that when followers of Christ are humble and loving in their evangelism that many people – even strangers – don’t mind the conversation. Surely, some people still get pretty upset whenever someone talks about Jesus. But this isn’t new.
Experience has taught me that politics can sometimes be much more treacherous territory than religious talk. That’s not what concerns me.
What concerns me (as a Christian) is the nature of the political talk I hear from many professing Christians. Based on what I hear, you would think the Scriptures teach Christ-followers to go into all the world and complain about our politicians.
But the Scriptures don’t teach this. (I checked.)
The Scriptures also don’t teach Christians to fight with each other about which political party Jesus would endorse.
It’s true. Search the Bible for yourselves.
How did we become so deceived into thinking that it is beneficial for followers of Christ to fight with each other over the laws of the land while people in our country perish without anyone proclaiming the gospel to them? No political party or politician is able to save people from their sins. Only Jesus is able to do this.
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12, NET)
So what does the Scripture command Christians to do?
We’re supposed to pray for our political leaders.
Even when we disagree with them. Even when we don’t like their policies or their personal life decisions.
This isn’t popular. It can be hard. I know that it is much easier to complain about people we disagree with than it is to pray for them. I know this because I have a human nature just like you.
God tells Christians to pray for our civil leaders so that Christians can live peaceful lives. As we live the Christian life in the midst of a dead world, people can come to know Christ.
First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people, even for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. Such prayer for all is good and welcomed before God our Savior, since he wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4, NET)
If you desire change in our country – pray for repentance and revival. Then, live as Christ has commanded you. Do this for the praise and glory of His name.
Living in accordance with God’s Word does not include grumbling and complaining.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish though you live in a crooked and perverse society, in which you shine as lights in the world by holding on to the word of life so that on the day of Christ I will have a reason to boast that I did not run in vain nor labor in vain. (Philippians 2:14-16, NET)
In our politically charged climate, we can shine like lights by simply refusing to complain – publicly or privately! – about politics and politicians. We can make positive change in our communities and nation by humbling ourselves before the Lord and earnestly praying for our leaders and our nation.
God is able to change even the hardest of hearts.
The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD like channels of water; he turns it wherever he wants. (Proverbs 21:1, NET)
Pray for our leaders and our nation. Pray that those who are not following Christ will come to know Him. Pray for those who are following Him that they will walk according to His will.
And always remember: no matter who is President, Jesus is King. That is good news indeed.