I’m ever thankful I’ve been tempered, somewhat. Both life lessons and a deepening relationship with Jesus Christ have helped me immensely in this regard. Temperamental by nature, it’s always been easy to let my passion for something get in the way of rationale. However, when a debate is driven by emotion over reason, it rarely ends well.
I’ve noticed this truth so much in the division we all know as politics. It’s no wonder so many people hate the mere mention. No real debate can be had anymore, it seems. When both sides are dug in and focused more on their deeply and passionately held beliefs above any common ground and reason, good things won’t often happen.
By nature, it’s obvious the majority of people choose passion over reason. Just look at our circus of presidential candidates. It’s disheartening to see so little substance, on both sides, create so many blind followers who lash out at any criticism of the candidate they’ve chosen to worship.
Why? Are they your personal friend? Are they family? Remember, these people are all supposed to work for us, not be blindly cheered by us. Their sole purpose in these positions is to serve for the greater good of “we the people”.
My faith leads me to align with many conservative platform principles: Pro-Life. Creating opportunity over generational handouts. Limited government. Freedom of (not from) religion. Biblical based moral truth. Support of biblical marriage and the family, and many others.
What my faith, and the faith of any professing Christian, shouldn’t do, is allow me to choose any of these principles over loving people. Christ didn’t defend himself. His actions spoke for Him. If our actions spoke more than our rhetoric, and validated our beliefs, we’d be reaching so many more. Love is still contagious, even in a dark, cold, morally corrupt world.
I can abhor the murder of innocent babies in the womb, while still loving people. Yes, I have to guard my words in this, as I do condemn the action of abortion, and its legality, but I don’t condemn those who have fallen prey to it. We’ve all fallen into sin and this is no different or less tragic. However, human life has value at conception and to ignore that, doesn’t change the reality of it.
I’ll never believe the preferred answer to any problem is to create more government. As a nation we’re facing astronomical debt. Our post office, which benefits from a monopoly, operates at record deficits each year. Waiting on any federal court date, applying for any license, or observing so many who work in government jobs and hearing their horrific tales of bureaucracy run amok, should deter us all from making this the answer, whenever possible. Government at its best should provide a basic outline and security for the American people to make things happen.
So, while I do believe Christians have a personal right to practice and even display their faith, I also believe that right extends to others. This has to be a level playing field as people are people and any time an extreme develops, a desirable outcome is rarely achieved. Furthermore, as Christians, we have nothing to fear. We know the ending.
I think we, as so-called Christian conservatives or conservative Christians, need to be very careful. When we represent the Christian banner we are called to offer up a life that a non-believer would confuse to be that of Christ himself. How many of us can claim this?
Christians wouldn’t have to be so focused on legislating God’s law, if we as a whole would be more focused on living it. By now, the world is pretty clear what we’re against. Let’s not let what we’re against interfere with when, and how, we love others.
We are all keenly aware that God’s law is for our own good. Just look at our world today. I’m not suggesting we don’t speak up. I’m simply calling attention to the way we speak up. We are not the judge of unbelievers, God is. We are called to be salt and light to a lost world. Remember, we’re responsible for our fruit. Let’s make sure our actions, language, and judgement don’t cause our fruit to be rotten and plagued with a fowl stench.
So, fellow Christian conservatives, I’d like to apologize when I offend you, but I wouldn’t mean it. Often offense is necessary for truth to sink in. Nothing is more valuable to God than people. Not the Constitution. Not guns. Not ending welfare. Not legislating the definition of marriage. Not condemning homosexuality. All of this is second to loving others. If in fact, you can do these things while conveying love for people, then by all means, carry on.
If we can’t avoid vile speech, contempt, judgement and self-righteous attitudes when engaging others, even those who hate us, then let’s do the rest of our Christian family a favor and drop the Christian portion of our conservative banner.
Ultimately, when a conflict between Christian and conservative arises, which are you?