Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In the News: Politics and Faith

Image In the past couple of weeks some have watched with interest the two political conventions that officially kick off what has already been a long and sometimes contentious campaign for the Presidency. In many ways it is the same old same old — with dire warnings of impending doom, fear mongering, and “pie in the sky” promises by both parties.
There is nothing wrong and many things right with Christians participating in the political process. Voting has long been held as a civic duty in our republic, and allows Christians to support candidates who will, at the very least, allow us to continue the free expression of our faith.

There are, however, pitfalls in the process that may cause a Christian to sin. These pitfalls exist in part because of the adversarial nature of the two party system we have adopted, as well as the precious “freedom of speech” that is protected by our constitution. It is interesting that the dangers we face in the process often parallel problems we see in the relationships Christians sustain toward one another (in the church).

Among others they are:

  • Hatefulness. It is always disturbing to note the vitriol expressed by the fanatical at the conventions. It makes one think that if the opposition candidate were to materialize on the convention floor he would be ripped apart with bare hands and teeth. The anger is reminiscent of the Jews who crucified Jesus, and stoned His servant Stephen in Acts 7. “Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him” (57-58a). While our constitution allows us to freely express our opinions and views, God does not allow us to be or act hateful to others.
  • Partisanship. To the partisan, his candidate is perfect, all criticisms are invalid, and the opponent is always morally bankrupt. Such a distorted view of reality takes away all discernment. The partisan can not know the truth because he is unwilling to consider any view other than the party view. In contrast, nobility is found in the man who finds out “whether these things [are] so” (cf. Acts 17:11).
  • Deceit. Also a prevalent tactic of both parties, as their record is distorted to make it seem more successful, while the opponent’s is put in the worst possible light. It has been said that statistics don’t lie, but liars use statistics. This is certainly true in politics. Paul warned about evil men and imposters who are “deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13). Christians should have no part in this.
  • Worldliness. Some Christians feel that politics and faith should not mix. This is simply untenable as we consider what it means to be a Christian. While it is true that voting often means choosing between the lesser of two evils, a Christian should be careful not act selfishly when making his decision. It seems some are more concerned with how their vote will impact them personally, whether it be their checkbook or life circumstances, and are less interested in righteousness and morality. God can not be taken out of politics, at least not by the Christian.

It is not right for a preacher or writer to vet candidates or talk politics in the pulpit, or in this bulletin. That is not the purpose of these things. However, it is a proper admonition to exhort Christians to always exalt their Lord in whatever they do, whether in word, or in deed (cf. Colossians 3:17). This includes the vote.