Welcome to my first ever (and likely last) political blog post. I want to say up front that I mean no offense, and I don’t expect most of you to agree with me, and I’m truly not doing this to open up a heated debate between sides. But it’s time for me to respond to the statement/accusation I encounter practically every day: “But… but you’re a Christian. You can’t be a Democrat!” I just want to state my case, just once ... just because I can.
To me, the very foundation of Christianity is the right to choose whether to accept or reject God. We choose when to come to Him, how to come to Him, how much of Him we will accept into our lives, how closely we will follow His Word, and if we will come to Him. The ultimate gentleman, He never forces us to receive Him. He could, you know, but He doesn’t. He loves us beyond anything we can fathom, yet He wants us come to Him because we want to, not because we have to. The New Testament teaches us that serving God is not about the law; it’s about the attitudes of our hearts. That’s how we find Him, that’s how He knows us. Throughout our whole lives, God gives us free will and then He roots for us to make the right choices.
So when I look at politics, I take the same approach. If God, creator and ruler of the universe, allows us free will to make choices – choices with eternal ramifications, the most important choices we could ever make – than who am I to make those choices for someone else? I cannot choose whether someone should be able to have an abortion. I cannot decide what someone can or cannot say or how they will express their freedoms. (If I do, they’re not freedoms.) I mustn’t declare that some people have rights over others, and I mustn’t judge that simply because someone lives in a state of sin (according to my standards, or even those of God), they do not deserve the fundamental rights the rest of us have. Christ died for all of us while we were yet sinners. We cannot regulate morality. Even the Lord did not do that. He offers guidelines; He gives us rules; He rewards us for following them. But it all boils down to individual choice. If we, as followers of Christ, will choose to operate within the freeing realm of His will, politics and party affiliations really become irrelevant. When we act right, there won’t be a need to regulate us.
I don’t believe I have the right to make crucial life decisions for someone else. But I do believe, rather than slinging mud and bashing those who disagree with me, I should put my focus into educating people. Teaching them about God. Showing them through my actions and by example that I genuinely care. Helping and counseling them to make Biblical choices. I am more likely to have an impact that way than by voting for a particular party. And I also think about this: who is more likely to effect change? Someone who’s never struggled, someone who shouts judgments at a woman who is deciding whether she can go through with an abortion … or someone who has experienced the same struggle, someone who can say with genuine emotion and empathy that she’s been there, and these are the consequences she’s experienced from the decision she made? I’d prefer, rather than taking it all into my own hands, to give God the chance to work through His imperfect people. As He has always done.
As Christians, we are called to be ambassadors. We are to be Jesus’ hands extended. To me, one way to do this is to feed, shelter, nurture, educate, protect, and nurse the sick and the poor and the underprivileged. We cannot decide certain people don't qualify for kindness, and we cannot take away opportunities simply because there are people who will abuse the system. In my mind, the Democratic party’s approach more closely embodies what we are to do as individual Christians and allows us the freedoms we are granted within our chosen faith.
And no matter the outcome, no matter who ends up in office, I will pray for our leaders’ wisdom and right choices. I will pray for compassion and peace and provision and blessings. And I will thank God daily for putting me in a place and time in which I am allowed to express my views and find my own ways to give glory to the Almighty God.