Illustration by Lacey Patrick
The two-party system was born in the era of colonization and powdered wigs, spearheaded by the Federalists and the Democratic-Republic. The Founding Fathers warned the people of hyper-partisanship and its divisive nature, yet, here we are hundreds of years later still practicing the destructive and exclusive two-party system. The division this system causes is not only seen in the secular world, but within the church as well, and has caused Christians to politicize their faith.
Today, six out of 10 people say they do not feel represented by the Democratic or Republican Party, since each party delivers seemingly extremist ideals. It has become almost standard that Republicans must be conservative and Democrats must be liberal. This is why 73% of Republicans are self-identified conservatives and only 4% identify themselves as liberal, while 49% of Democrats consider themselves liberal and 14% are conservative. We are pressured to choose a side—right or left—and remain loyal to that party despite shifting convictions.
Christians become trapped in an “all in” mentality, often questioning the salvation of their fellow Chrsitians because of their differing political opinions. But don’t we know that a house divided against itself cannot stand?
We should not let our political identities take precedence over our identity in Christ. Yet, people in the church seem to think that politics and faith go hand-in-hand. Some churches have even split due to differences in political views. But aren’t we charged by Philippians 2:2 to be like-minded and united in spirit? As people who represent Christ, we should not be loyal to divisive and extremist parties. Instead, our loyalty solely belongs to the God who created our sense of justice, mercy and morality. This is not to say that politics do not matter, but rather God’s word should be the framework of our political ideals, instead of allowing political parties to dictate what is right and wrong.
Christians often use phrases like, “How can you be a Christian if you don’t support this” or “Jesus would never get behind that.” While Jesus did not engulf himself in politics, he did engulf himself in the kingdom of God and its people, as seen in Mark 12:17. Yet, Christians so often politicize our savior, claiming he is for their party, and their party only.
STOP DOUBTING OTHERS’ SALVATION BECAUSE OF POLITICS
Is doubting your brother or sister in Christ’s salvation over a political view justifiable? No, because you are not God. You are not a part of their sanctification process. If a believer is standing behind obvious political ideals contradicting their faith, God can bring about discipline and change. We need to stop placing ourselves on the moral high ground because we are not called to judge each other.
Despite differences, Christians must be willing to lay down their pride and listen to the other side—especially if the other side is hurting.
Our duty is not to our party, but to loving each other.
Instead of politicizing our faith and idolizing our chosen party, we should follow our convictions as Christians and vote accordingly. In the upcoming election, Chrisitans should earnestly seek God and what his will would be, instead of putting words in God’s mouth and aligning him solely to the Republican or Democratic side.
Let’s start, as Christians, by loving our neighbor and our Lord above all else. Out of that will flow the rivers of justice, mercy and peace.