A long time ago John Piper wrote a fabulous book called “Brothers, we are not professionals” , a series of essays to pastors to abandon the professionalization of the pastorate and pursue the prophetic call of the Bible for radical ministry.
Today I’m adapting the title to an area that I believe has become necessary and appropriate to Christians in our feeble attempts to politicize the world.
I made a mistake last week.
In an effort to inform people, I suppose, I posted a conservative article on Facebook highlighting a ridiculous exchange between Bernie Sanders and Russell Voight in which Senator Sanders mocks traditional Christian beliefs and accuses Christians of being hateful and insulting in their narrow view of salvation through Christ alone.
I call it a mistake because as I think about why I posted the article and what effect it had, I find that both my reasoning in posting it and the results I got were expected and useless.
Oh, don’t get me wrong: the article did achieve a reaction. It created a thread of resentful sentiment and harsh opinions that were quickly and strongly shared with anyone who had the energy to listen and engage.
But the ultimate fruit of it? Expected. And useless.
Which makes me wonder once again as to the wisdom of engaging in politics on social media platforms.
In the last year there has been much said about politics and Christians and Christians in politics and how Christians should approach politics.
Many have given their opinions on what Christians should or should not do.
Many have given their opinions on what Christians should or should not think.
Many have given their opinions on what Christians should or should not believe.
And frankly, the more opinions I’ve read, and the more noise I’ve endured, the more I’ve come to conclude that there is an indirect correlation between the absoluteness of our political opinions and our impact on others.
In other words, the more we holler about politics the less anyone is hearing us.
When we yell louder about what’s happening in the public governmental forum, one of two things happens:
- Those who agree with us applaud us more loudly.
- Those who disagree with us stop following us.
And when it comes to making a lasting kingdom impact, Jesus loses.
Now listen, before you get in a huff, let me clarify that I’m not advocating you disengage from the public sectors and lose your opinions.
I’m just asking you – no, I’m urging you, as a follower of Jesus Christ, to consider the cost of your opinions on those who might not walk in truth yet.
Is your dogmatic approach really necessary, or might there be a better way to engage?
If our goal is to win an argument, let’s resolve to stop right now.
If our stance reflects an offensive arrogance unwilling to listen and engage, let’s choose to pull back and wait for a better time to opine.
If others more professional than us have handled the topic more gracefully, perhaps choosing to amplify their voices by liking their opinions and sharing them cautiously and wisely is best.
Or maybe we work behind the scenes: we listen, we learn, we write letters to our elected officials, we campaign and God forbid, some of us might even become professionals.
It might be time for us to remember that the most powerful weapon we have to impact change in our country and in the lives of our friends and family is when we get on our knees and beseech our Father in heaven to move, to break down walls, to soften hearts.
No amount of Facebook likes or retweets comes close to the power of prayer we have in Christ.
I follow several Christians on social media who are diametrically opposed in their political view points to mine. Every time I read their status updates, my ulcer grows and my anxiety escalates. So far I have yet to change my views despite what I glean to be their forceful attempts at changing me. Either that or they’re just frustrated and need to vent.
Yet I can also assure you that if we claim the name of Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives we will be spending eternity together. And that’s a good thing.
Brothers and sisters, let’s remember that we are not politicians.
We are Christians, follower of Jesus Christ.
Perhaps it’s time we act like it.
And speak like it.
And even more importantly love like it.
Hey on a completely different note, let me remind you of the completely positive Faith Boosters I’ve been dropping every few days on Facebook. If you don’t follow me on social media, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here to be notified every time a new episode airs. Here is an example of the latest FaithBooster! You’re gonna love it!