October 31, 2023
Voting is a great American privilege and honor and should be taken seriously. November 7 we are called and even privileged to vote. But politics isn’t an emotionally neutral topic. It has the power to divide us instead of bringing us together. Politics can so color the way we see the world that we’re left wondering if someone could hold political beliefs different from our own and still follow Jesus. How would our outlooks change if we filtered our politics through our faith rather than filtering our faith through our politics?
NewPointe is a non-political, nonpartisan congregation. We never ever promote any candidate—that’s just not our primary reason for existence. It’s not the purpose that God gave the church in the Great Commandment and Great Commission. There’s nothing political there. The values and priorities of Jesus are vastly different than political priorities.
The kingdom of politics competes with the kingdom of God for allegiance. Sadly, many Christians have given greater allegiance to their political party than their family of God. Over the past few decades, I noticed that even people who have been Christians for a long time have been seduced into believing that politics rather than our Lord and Savior Jesus has the answers to all the problems in our world. People who claim to be Christians are spending more time watching and listening to political news or political commentary than renewing their minds with Scriptural truth, developing a godly world view.
I believe that as Christ-followers we need to live out Romans 12:2: “Do not conform yourselves to be like the people of this world. Instead, be transformed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you, and you'll know what is good and pleasing to him, and what is his perfect will.”
My prayer and goal for all of us is this: “… we have conducted ourselves in the world … with holiness and sincerity from God. And we've been guided by God's grace, not by the human wisdom of this world.” 2 Corinthians 1:12
Are we willing to put our faith filter ahead of our political filter? Are we willing to be Christ- followers first and Republicans and Democrats and Libertarians and whatever else you might be, second? Are we willing to follow Jesus when following Jesus creates distance between us and our political party, or the platform of our political party, and distance between us and our political candidate?
I’m not suggesting that you not be political. But we need to take our cue from Jesus and not allow the political climate to divide the church. Jesus prayed more than anything else that His church would not be divided, that we would be one. He prayed that we would figure out a way to disagree, because we always will, but at the same time love unconditionally and begin to pray for unity.
Tony Evans said, "Jesus did not come to take sides, He came to take over.” That’s where we need to start—letting Him take over our hearts and spirits.
Andy Stanley says this, “There's always going to be disagreement when it comes to policy, platform, and legislation. And that's okay as long as we are mature enough not to allow it to divide us. If we're mature enough to not allow it to divide us, we will be better for the conversation. It's a step toward political unity and it's a step toward unity in spite of political diversity. Political views and values, like all of your views and values, are shaped by a variety of things, most of which we had or have no control over. If we can acknowledge this and take a deep breath, we will all learn something. We don't change what we believe but we gain understanding about why other people act and believe the way they do. It keeps us from experiencing division.”
We want to believe that all of our opinions come directly from God. But the truth is we are all very influenced by the elements of our environment. We are shaped by what and who we are around. Where we live. How we were raised. Where we were educated. If we were educated. What we've been told. What we've seen. What we've experienced and what we've seen others experience. These are the factors, and these are just a few, these are the dynamics that shape our political viewpoint.
It is extremely easy to over exaggerate and give greater importance to government and politics than what the Scripture says and what Jesus said about their place and role in life. When we do that, we greatly underestimate the place and role of the kingdom of God in our lives.
“But as followers of Jesus, our responsibility, especially in a season like this, is to show our divided nation and our divided world what it looks like—that it's even possible—to disagree politically and to love unconditionally while we pray for unity because at Calvary, at the cross, we lost our right to do anything less than that.” – Andy Stanley.
Let’s be the Church.