Christianity Today recently ran an article titled, “Many Churchgoers Want Sunday Mornings Segregated…by Politics.” The statistics the article was predicated on were generated by a survey conducted by Nashville-based LifeWay Research. I found the report unsettling for several reasons.
It seems that America is becoming dangerously and increasingly polarized by what I think are petty political passions. Common courtesy and mutual respect in political dialog are forsaken as we grow more bitterly divided.
This poll reveals…
This poll reveals that the church, which should be a model of unity and civility to the rest of society, may be failing to follow Peter’s admonition to “honor all people” and to “love the brotherhood,” 1 Peter 2:17. Is our culture having a greater impact on the church than the church is having on the culture? That seems to be the case here when it comes to politics.
Responsible Christian citizenship dictates believers should inform themselves on the issues and vote our conscience based on our biblical convictions. But political matters are not our priority, and should never be the focus of the church, nor the basis for worshiping together. Our priority, our focus, our worship should be now and always centered on Christ.
The late Billy Graham, said, “The central issues of our time aren’t economic or political or social, important as these are. The central issues of our time are spiritual and moral.” Politics matter, but they are not our mission; they are important, but they are not our priority.
Politics did not make this country great.
Politics are not what made this country great and are wholly incapable of making this country great again. The practice of biblical principles were the foundation this nation was built on and what made us the economic and political giant we are today, and only a return to those practices hold any hope for our nation to survive much less becoming great again. What our nation needs now is the example of a church united on biblical principles, not divided by the passing politics of this life, and certainly not divided in the house of worship.
Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world,” John 18:36. Worldly governments are temporal entities destined to falter and fail, the only government that offers any help in this life and hope for the next is the kingdom of God.
Our government and society are broken.
It does not take a rocket scientist to see that our government is broken, but that is all a broken society can produce. Only changed people can change things, and only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can change people. When the church becomes more committed to political change than it is to changed lives it only adds to the brokenness we are all witnessing.
It is not what happens in the ballot box that will change things for the better, but what happens in our prayer closets. Believers should not sell their biblical birthright for a mess of political pottage.