"The Fruit of Righteousness Is A Tree of Life, And He Who Is Wise Wins Souls." ... Solomon's words may strike a chord in the heart of any well-intentioned evangelist in the Lord's church, but what difficult ground we must trod during the political season. I've had friends who encouraged me to stay as far from politics as possible, even to the extent of never utilizing my voting rights. Yet others, just as close to me, have been on the other end of the spectrum, sending significant contributions to political figures and campaigning diligently to get them in office. But what of me, and other evangelist like me? Is there a clear cut line I must choose? Is there a fine line to walk in doing what's right for the Lord and what's right in terms of my civic duty as a citizen of my country?
Many denominational groups have plunged themselves into the political landscape in recent years. Groups like Focus on the Family are frequently seen lobbying in Washington for leaders to uphold their religious views on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, etc. I've even heard the rhetoric that our most recent President, George W. Bush, only got into office because of "those evangelicals." While we could look at these recent facts as well as many others and debate the extent to which a Christian should be involved in the political landscape, I'd like to make a few practical comments regarding our role as Evangelist that can help us keep our REAL mission front and center, that being the mission of saving souls.
(1) It is not ones political views that are going to change the world or that God prescribed as the source for solving the worlds greatest problem, that begin the problem of sin. It is through the GOSPEL ALONE that mankind receives it's greatest blessing. And so the Lord commanded, "God into all the WORLD..."
(2) While some are in politics to affect the moral good of our nation, others are involved to affect other, less moral and more subjective areas of politics. And, as is I think most often the case, the two go hand in hand with a fine line separating the them. I think as an evangelist it is wise to adopt a "push the morals and not the man philosophy." Ultimately, we want others we interact with to see we wish to see people who will make decisions "with Christians best interest in mind" occupying our nations political offices.
(3) Democrat...Republican...How about, Christian! Labels mean different things to different people and wearing one can bring different reactions from different people. While we may be more inclined to favor one political party over another (such as right now, the Republican Party for Christians) we ought not be so hasty in wearing our feelings in this regard on our shirt sleeve. Again, we want other to see that we hold the views we do because we are God's children (Acts 17: 29) and we wear the name of Christian (Acts 11:26) and we want the world to see Christ living through us.
We could say much more about this topic, but these are just a few thoughts to keep our minds in check during this political season. Always remembering that glorifying God and saving the lost is the highest office to which any man could attain. And so we have in Christ Jesus!