Politics is such a divisive subject and I’m not right here to fire up strife, however it’s time for followers of Jesus to look at our loyalties to political partisanship and our habit to tribalism. As a follower of Jesus, I’ve been considering so much about our trendy state of politics within the US, notably on the subject of the polarization of our present political system. It’s debatable that we dwell in probably the most Divided States of America within the historical past of the nation, which is sort of evident in our present dialogue on social media and within the information. Everybody appears to have an excessive viewpoint on all the pieces, even when there’s no actual purpose to be excessive. It’s in our human nature to need belonging, which has led to an infatuation with identification politics within the Church.
I grew up conservative and attended Liberty College—the establishment based by Jerry Falwell Sr. and now led by his son, Jerry Falwell Jr. (who additionally occurs to be a really vocal Trump supporter). After I moved to Los Angeles, I turned pals with Christians who additionally occurred to be politically progressive, which was positively an ideological adjustment for me. But, the extra conversations we had over espresso, the extra I noticed that they’d some legitimate causes for his or her politics and beliefs. The truth is, I began adjusting my views on numerous social issues that I’d by no means given a lot thought.
As scary as discussions like this will seem, it’s unimaginable what could be discovered if approached in humility and discernment. This may increasingly come as a shock, however simply because your pastor or political science instructor advised you one thing doesn’t make it true. The Scriptures even deal with this line of considering in Proverbs 18:17: “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.”
If we’re sincere, a lot of the dialogue within the Church, notably on social media, may be very tribalistic and polarized. It’s changing into extremely laborious to look at our political heroes with out having to justify each political viewpoint or character flaw. We wish to consider that we’re proper, a lot in order that we’re keen to regulate the reality to suit our narrative. A center floor in politics is more and more disappearing, whereas tribes of extremists are persevering with so as to add to their numbers.
It baffles me once I see so many staunch pro-life conservatives who appear to have no qualms about their viewpoints on the remedy of refugees, immigrants on the border, and rising gun violence. It’s neither conservative nor liberal to be pro-life in any context, no matter what the speaking heads in Washington say. But, we’ve sipped the Cool-Support and purchased the lie that we should promote our souls to partisanship.
To be truthful, it’s not simply the conservative Christians who’re more and more tribal of their partisanship. There’s a constant motion inside progressive Christian circles to show a blind eye to their pro-life convictions (abortion, on this context) for the sake of their beliefs on financial equality, gun management, immigration, and the like. Similar to their conservative counterparts, they’re shopping for into the “either-or” narrative that has intoxicated the Church. Why should we sacrifice a few of our convictions once we may reimagine what it means to be politically engaged as a Christian?
The phrase “moderate” makes lots of people cringe, as a result of it’s laborious to outline the beliefs of that particular person. We like handy containers wherein to put everybody. That approach, we will know who’s on our facet and who’s with “those other people”. The concept that we might be something apart from conservative or progressive, Republican or Democrat, completely terrifies us. We love our false identities that we connect to flawed human ideologies, a lot in order that we’ve made loads of enemies within the course of.
If we’re sincere, we’re all so busy defending our camp that we regularly overlook the convictions of following Jesus. We will’t each be loving in direction of the unborn, but despise the outsider and the alien. Neither can we advocate for stricter gun legal guidelines whereas we flip a blind eye to what’s taking place to the unborn. Neither are suitable, no matter what so-and-so says. If we’re voting by conscience moderately than political partisanship, then we’re going to search out ourselves on this bizarre place referred to as “the middle”. We gained’t belong. We all know that and it terrifies us to the purpose of sacrificing our convictions for a way of belonging.
A New York Instances article written by Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui examined identification politics, which dropped at gentle some disturbing realities. One piece of the article caught my consideration after they mentioned, “We’ve always had partisan identities in America. But those partisan identities have come into stronger alignment with ideology and social identities. That’s troubling, political scientists warn, for our ability to compromise. It means that Democrats and Republicans don’t just support different policies today. They’ve also been sorting into two camps that are more and more socially homogeneous and more distinct from one another.”
What’s much more disturbing is the political partisanship and tribalism amongst followers of Jesus who declare an everlasting Kingdom, but who divide over earthly empires. Our discuss and our actions merely don’t line up. We can’t serve each Caesar and Jesus in tribal adherence with out having our identities cut up in two.
To be with no political tribe could also be terrifying to many Individuals, but when we’re actually going to pursue the center of Christ in our world, we should start analyzing all coverage (not simply those our celebration endorses) and voting by conscience, not political celebration. In a Divided States of America, the Church could be a nice instance of what it seems to be like to search out frequent floor and reimagine a politics that’s not binary, however moderately adaptive and fluid.
Think about that: Christians influencing the world we dwell in. Such a radical thought, however one that’s desperately wanted in such a binary state of human ideology.