Something Politicians and Christians Have in Common
Have you ever heard the phrase “never trust a politician?” During election season we swim in promises that seem like our last hope, only to find ourselves sorely disappointed once the official is elected to office. Instead of experiencing promises kept, our representatives rarely make significant improvements. It is only a short time before their political term is complete, and we are left with very little evidence of their leadership. Often times their success is measured by changes they have implemented and many times they are left with a lifetime of blame, simply because they did not live up to expectations set by their campaign promises.
It is nearly impossible to come out of a political career unscathed, even if the politician is never elected into office. Have you ever wondered why? Is it reasonable to think that every person seeking a political career harbors ill intentions? With the current political climate, most of us would be inclined to answer this question with an emphatic “yes,” but I cannot resign myself to the idea that every single individual seeking public office is self-serving. I believe a few of our government officials risk everything (from their reputation to their physical safety) because they truly feel they can make a difference.
Perhaps a lack of results in the political arena can be attributed to society’s impact on politics. It seems that government leaders are in the unfavorable position of reacting to the events occurring in our country. Many people believe that the political realm shapes society, but if examined further, it is evident that the actions of elected officials are largely a product of societal norms. With the homosexual lifestyle growing in acceptance and popularity, government leaders are considering laws to acknowledge same sex unions. With unwanted pregnancies abounding, officials are trying to determine the exact moment that life begins.
This reactive tendency is where I begin to notice similarities between politics and American Christianity. It seems that the reputation of politicians and Christians are declining on a parallel slope and this decline may be a consequence of the alignment of the Church with society. Christians have become a passive people, and instead of proactively influencing the people around us, we merely react to (and are often surprised by) our country’s moral decline.
For example, gangs and violence are on the rise in our community. It has become acceptable to pass the blame and responsibility onto our elected officials and law enforcement officers, but how few of us are willing to go on the offensive and disciple young children without positive role models? Maybe encouragement and discipleship is all it would take for the youth in our community to strive for a different kind of lifestyle.
We disapprove of the high number of abortions performed on a daily basis in America, but we passively allow young girls to find comfort and acceptance in the most dangerous places. We then find ourselves outraged with their lack of self-control and wonder why the rate of unwanted pregnancy is so high. Who is willing to take these girls aside and teach them that they are valuable and loved; and that God has a perfect plan for their lives?
Maybe instead of boycotting restaurants and amusement parks because we disagree with their political or moral values, we should be intentional about influencing the leaders of the next generation. It is impossible to predict who will become the next major musician, writer, actor, or politician. Our opportunity to influence the future of our country is eluding us, and many don’t even recognize it passing right in front of us. Imagine what our community and our nation would look like if Christians stepped out of our passive nature and into a position of influence.