SixEight Life

justice.mercy.journey

A Little bit Liberal

Image Credit: Ron Cogswell (creative commons)

Image Credit: Ron Cogswell (creative commons)

Consider this my confession: I’m a little bit liberal. It probably comes as no shock to some of you, especially if you’ve had any lengthy policy discussion with me lately, or observed me and my husband discussing politics.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t consider myself a Democrat, or a Republican for that matter. I’m a moderate independent, which essentially makes me a bit liberal. And where I come from, liberal might as well be a four letter word. I grew up in one of the most conservative cities in America (George Bush Sr. paid Woodstock a visit in the early 90’s cause it had the most per capita registered Republicans in the country, or something like that)

So this has taken a lot of bravery on my part. I’ve been working towards this point in my life for seven years and have been writing this post for two months.

I thought about spending the next six hundred words by explaining a few of the political opinions I have that result in me falling into the happy middle of the road zone on the spectrum. I was going to rant about the Farm Bill and minimum wage and give you my opinions about welfare reform, abortion, the death penalty, gay marriage, taxes, war- the whole nine yards.

But then I thought, why?

Why do I feel so inclined to explain my political views in detail? What am I trying to prove to you? So I figured I’d just talk from my heart about this whole messy political issue topic.

For years I’ve grappled with my opinions and felt judged. I’ve read posts on social media from fellow Christians that called me an idiot, stupid or a pagan, just because of some of my opinions, my questions, or who I voted for. Likely they didn’t know that they were addressing me, but it still hurt. I kept quiet, because I didn’t want to cause a fight. But those posts aren’t making me change my opinions. In fact, they’ve made my passion stronger. I am a moderate, and I am a Christian. I follow the words of Jesus and pray over my decisions and opinions. I know conservative and liberal Christians who do the same.

I’ll never forget the Sunday after the 2012 presidential election. I went to church, and one of the first things my pastor Louie said went something like this:

“Some of you are really happy today because of what happened on Thursday. Some of you are disappointed. You probably prayed about your vote and really felt like your guy was the right person for the job. But remember, there is probably someone sitting on the same row as you who prayed too and felt like the other guy was the right person for the job.”

I don’t remember word for word, but that’s essentially what he said. And it was so good for my soul. I have voted for candidates from a variety of parties in the last ten years, and it was so refreshing to be affirmed from a church leader that we are about Jesus and making Him famous. Politics are just another component of the world, God is so much bigger than that. And Jesus was not a white middle class Republican.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all different. Some of us are traditionalists, some of us are charismatics. Some of us are Calvinist, some are Armenian. We represent every race and nearly every tongue. And some of us are conservative, and some of us are liberal. We are different, but our differences make us beautiful. They make up the body.

We are not representing Jesus when we yell at each other, either in person or on social media. We are not representing Jesus while we twiddle our thumbs and demand for reform without working towards it together. We are not representing Jesus when we devote more lip service to arguing about politics or theology than we do sharing Christ’s love or advocating for justice.

However, we are representing Jesus when we set aside our differences and serve the poor. We are representing Jesus when we advocate for justice and listen to a neighbor’s painful story. We are representing Jesus when we think outside the political agenda and understand that political parties are man made and are flawed. We are representing Jesus when we come together to work towards social reform that is Biblical, even if we don’t always agree on the other details.

You can have your opinion, and you can feel strongly about your political party. But please don’t confuse politics with faith. And please remember that there are probably other followers of Jesus who believe a little differently than you. Remember your insults and the things you post and say can either point people to Christ or away from Him. Let’s keep the conversation going, let’s ask the tough questions and dig into the deep issues. But we can also keep it peaceful.

 “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Rom 12:18)

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3 thoughts on “A Little bit Liberal

  1. I love this. Last political season did get really bad… As it did after the Zimmerman verdict. Dude, we can disagree, still love each other and work together for the cause of Christ.
    And on another note, but somewhat along the same vein, I can’t stand when Christians are complete aaaa… ummmmm… Jerks about their favorite sports teams or against their rival teams. You can cheer on your team without being a jerk. Kinda hard to win people for Christ when you’re such jerk about sports (politics, social issues…) So yeah, I get this post 🙂

    • Thanks Kendra! It really does seem to have gotten worse in recent years, I’m not sure if we’re more divided or if the constant access to media and social media has fueled it. Either way, it’s crazy.
      And I agree about sports teams too! People can be so mean!
      Thanks for reading! It means a lot.

  2. Cheryl H Bledsoe on said:

    There are some of us older Christians who have seen how the extreme liberal, anything goes people seem so passionate about people being able to choose being gay, killing unborn children, and taking away from those who work hard to give to others. I believe in helping those who are having a hard time, I grew up in a family who had very hard times and very, very little financial resources. But I also grew up being taught that you needed to try your best reguardless of the outcome, just keep trying. We also seen that same group who want everyone to be able to do what they want (many which are listed as sins in the Bible) wanting to prohibit Christians from expressing their beliefs. If you take away someone’s reward for accomplishing something, then you take away their desire to improve. Our country was founded on Christian principles, even if our leaders say we aren’t a Christian society. Christian principles are the driving force of all good things that have happened in the world. People don’t have to believe as Christians but following the banned Ten Commandments will make this a must better world. Our society has loss all respect for people and their personal property, including their life. Living for today and not believing in a hereafter has not improved life in the last 20 years. There are more killings, robberies, beatings and I believe it is because a larger number of people don’t believe in a Loving but unmoving God. We just want you young people to have the possibility of being the best productive person God mad.

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