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Representing Christ in an Election Year: Part Three


Amber Fischer August 26, 2020
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For more on this topic, please read Representing Christ in an Election Year: Part One and Representing Christ in an Election Year: Part Two.


In approaching the election, I am a firm believer in prayer being the primary form of Christian activism. As I shared in an earlier part of this series, we are instructed to pray without ceasing. Prayer is one way we partner with the Lord to see change, manage our emotional responses, and guide our hearts to seek the Lord. Now we ask:

 

HOW DO WE APPROACH THE ELECTION CYCLE, CONCERNS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY, AND THE CURRENT CHAOTIC CLIMATE OF POLITICAL DEBATE?

 

In an age where outrage reigns, we seek peace. In an age where division over opinions is standard, we seek peace. This peace comes from seeking the Lord. Many things could terrify us if we dwelt on our current circumstances, but when we put our trust in the Lord, we recognize He is in control.

 

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

 

When it comes to interacting with others about politics, things get dicey. I believe part of the reason our political climate is so chaotic right now is that the majority of it is taking place online. Many of us are stuck in our homes due to the virus and are limited to online interaction. It is easy to let tempers flare and unleash your thoughts on people when you’re hiding behind a computer screen, and they can’t yell back. 

 

I believe, especially in light of the Philippians passage, that our primary goal with prayer is to give thanks, make requests (which can include requests for justice), and experience the peace of God. We make our petitions known to God, put our trust in Him, and allow Him to do the work, thus bringing peace to our hearts and minds. In light of an election, it can be easy to let our emotions take over, and we can feel outraged, afraid, apprehensive, angry, etc. Prayer is the action we take to maintain peace amid this kind of chaos, and the peace we experience can give us a clear mind to make decisions and obey the Lord. This is why I see it as activism; making requests and entrusting God’s outcomes is the best first action we can take in any situation. 

 

Peace is the antidote to outrage and division – it calms the emotions so that we can from there pursue things like justice and mercy and all manner of good things. In my own life, this has been incredibly true – there have been many things in the past few months that have shown me I struggle with anger when the values I hold dear are violated or dismissed, or when I see Scripture being abused and misused, especially in political arenas. I feel like Moses in the wilderness, smacking the rock with his staff when God told him to speak. Moses’ lack of peace at that moment led to outrage. If he had been at peace and trusted the Lord to do good, he would have done as the Lord instructed. I find that when I’m prayerfully seeking the Lord as the Philippians verse teaches, I can focus on all of the things God has called me to focus on.

 

GOD’S GOAL FOR US IN CHRIST

Ephesians chapter four tells us to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” 

 

If you are a Christian, you are a part of the body of Christ. We are one body in Christ, unified in His sacrifice. Now, we ought to walk in the unity He has already provided for us. This doesn’t mean we let others walk all over us and agree with them to “keep the peace.” It means we treat others with love and respect. We speak the truth in love to help our brothers and sisters grow, and we expect them to do the same with us. 

 

Don’t argue just for the sake of argument. Proverbs 26:20 says, “For lack of wood, the fire goes out, and where there is no whisper, quarreling ceases.” Maintaining unity may be as simple as biting your tongue when you feel frustrations rising. 

 

AN OBSERVATION ABOUT POLITICAL PARTIES

One of the most significant divisions currently in the political realm is between Democrats and Republicans. Because of the division seen between the Left and the Right, many Christians have said we want to align ourselves with Christ, not a political party. We want to be unified, so we don’t want to label our beliefs.

 

I don’t necessarily see anything wrong with this view if you are feeling convicted this way, but I will offer an observation:

 

If we are afraid to align ourselves with a political party for fear of that party usurping God in our lives, we may be giving politics too much weight. Aligning ourselves with a party does not mean we are only loyal to that party. We may affirm a party’s platform and also have the room to disagree as well. We can believe the general statement of a particular party and have room to differ.

 

Your political party should not define your beliefs. You should thoughtfully choose your party based on the Word of God and nothing else. Your relationship with Jesus should define your politics, not the other way around. 

 

Political parties are fallible and human. Certain views are less Biblical than others, and we need to be sure we aren’t promoting blatantly unbiblical views. However, as we choose to approach this, our goal should be to represent God and His kingdom well.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

The political realm can be complicated and overwhelming. Dealing with friends who hold opposing views can be painful. I want to end this series with encouragement: this world is not our home. We can do good in this world, obey the Great Commission, follow Jesus, and vote our conscience. However, we do all of this knowing we belong to God’s kingdom, and his kingdom is so much better than our earthly kingdoms.

 

Let’s represent Christ well this election year.

 


 

Although this post is not a comprehensive view of political engagement, it is an encouragement to think and act in accordance with a biblical worldview. Would you like to see more content like this on the blog? Please email us at communications@teenpact.com.

 

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of TeenPact Leadership Schools. To learn more about our Vision & Values, please visit teenpact.com/vision-values/.

 

About the Author

Amber Fischer

Amber Fischer is an avid thinker and writer and former TeenPact Staffer. Amber has lived on the West Coast most of her life, growing up in Portland,… Read More