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It's Different Here #2 - We know that Jesus isn’t a Republican or a Democrat

By:
Carl Ruby

Young people and others are leaving church in droves because it has become so political. I read a recent essay arguing that many churches today are more political than they are religious. The church has lost much of its credibility by embracing political people and agendas that look nothing like Jesus.

 

On the right are those who assume that to follow Jesus, you must be a Republican, and on the left are some who think that only Democrats walk the path of Jesus. At Central, we don’t support one party over the other, and we don’t spend any time promoting party politics.

Instead, we teach our congregation to think about all social issues through the eyes of Jesus. In other words, in addition to WWJD (what would Jesus do?), we ask HWJV? (how would Jesus vote?...if he decided to vote at all) We address political issues in two ways, one dealing with tone and the other dealing with policy.

In terms of tone, Christians should be known for being kind, compassionate, patient, truthful, and humble. Instead, many perceive us to be brash, overbearing, and selfish when it comes to politics.  Many in the church today need to turn down the heat and turn up the civility and grace.

To be quite frank, we should not post about our love for Jesus on FaceBook and then tell our friends to F&$! the President. That’s true whether they are a Democrat (i.e., Let’s go Brandon) or a Republican. Scripture is quite clear that followers of Jesus are to be known for gracious speech that builds people up. [Gentle reminder to all of us: Facebook posts, memes, and bumper stickers are speech.]

When it comes to public policy, we encourage one another to consider how our policy preferences affect our most at-risk friends and neighbors. Public policy should be designed to help all of us flourish.  We have members (and even Pastors and Elders) with a range of opinions on things like abortion, gay marriage, gun control, and immigration. As Pastor, I won’t tell you what to believe on any of these issues, but I will encourage you to view each issue through the eyes of Jesus and his command that we love our neighbors and do for others what we wish they would do for us.

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