I spent years fighting the bad fight, its time to fight the good fight
I graduated from university in 2015 with a degree in political science and a minor in philosophy. At the time, I had every intention of getting a job in Washington DC and immersing myself in the world of politics. My plans, did not work out the way I had envisioned. I never got to go to Washington for work and I never got that job in politics that I had been craving for years. God had other plans.
After the 2016 election and the mess that it caused in Washington and beyond. I was thankful and knew deep down that it would not have been a good environment for me to be in. God always has a plan, even if they are not your plans. I accepted the path my life had taken.
Despite that, I continued to immerse myself in current events and politics. I wrote about the subject extensively. I debated my family members. I preached to my coworkers. I got into fierce online debates. While God had planned to keep me away from politics, I had dragged them with me.
Then, recently, amidst the coronavirus and the coming election, I realized something terrible. For every second I spent praying or reading my Bible, I spent ten or more on consuming the news and talking about politics.
I decided it is time for a change.
Recently, politics feels like it has consumed everything. It has seeped its way into the news, into sports, and into our entertainment. Everything is political and everyone is jumping on board in the race to get political. For someone like me, it was a feeding frenzy. It is so easy to get caught up in it all because it is everywhere.
Politics feel so important. Politicians layer themselves and their rhetoric with heaps of weight. In some cases their word is law. They are fighting an existential battle for the soul of the nation or the future of the planet.
The harsh truth of it is, politics do not matter at all.
God Above All
But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. — Titus 3:9
Titus begs us to avoid foolish controversies and quarrels about the law because he knows the truth of it. They are worthless. Since when does arguing about politics advance the will of God or His Kingdom? I know that in my experience, it usually has the opposite effect.
In consuming politics and current events so heavily, I was not giving God the respect He deserves. Is God not above all? Psalm 113 says that God is exalted over all nations, and that includes ours. Daniel 2 reminds us that God raises up kings and deposes kings.
He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding — Daniel 2:21
Throughout the Old Testament it is made known that God raised up Cyrus the Great in order to do his work on Earth. Yet he was not Jewish or an ardent champion of the Lord. He was used as a tool just as Daniel reminds us.
If that is the case, why do we waste our breath arguing about who should be the next president or about what policy is better for people as a whole? God knows best and His plans are not our plans. Meddling in politics and letting them get our emotions up, we are denying that God has true and full authority over this world. If we are so concerned about what the men in government are doing, we are showing that we think they have more power over us than the Lord does.
Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. — Daniel 4:32
I realized that obsessing over politics shows a lack of faith in the absolute power and sovereignty of God. As someone who prides myself on my faith, this realization came as a shock and it stung.
Live For the Next Life
Getting caught up in human governance means that we are getting caught up in this life and not living for the next life. Paul says that he groans under the weight of this life and yearns to enter the heavenly dwelling. Politics does the opposite. It makes us groan alright, but it makes us groan for this life and not the next.
The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. — Ecclesiastes 2:14
Whether we live for this life or the next life, we are all going to perish either way. From dust to dust. If we spend our life toiling and arguing about the things of this world, we are going to miss out on the things of the next world. God is going to judge us on our spiritual converts, not our political ones.
Despite this, Christians seem to be more and more caught up in politics today. They are considered a voting bloc now and it has started to be more noticed how vocal Christians are being online about everything from President Trump to the coronavirus. They have become political activists instead of spiritual ones and they are spreading information about worldly things instead of Godly things.
I find myself wishing for a surge in activism for Christ instead of government. That is part of the reason I felt moved to write this to you today. Imagine if the Christian voting bloc that has become so instrumental in American politics, acted so passionately and vocally on behalf of Christ. Or if they acted so passionately and vocally on behalf of the widows, orphans and sinners. I think America would be a much better place if that was the case.
If evangelical Christians preached the Gospel as much as they defend the president, maybe they would reap better fruit.
Our political mission should be that of Christ. Love God first and foremost, love your neighbors as yourself and spread that good news to the world. Jesus says a lot and demands a lot but if you take it in its most distilled form, that is all he asks of us. It is far simpler of a message than most of the things in politics today.
Our energy should not be spent on debating about taxes (Matt 22:17–21) and it should not be wasted on things like healthcare (Rev 21:4). It should be spent primarily on the commandments of our Lord Jesus.
In the end, God wins. The righteous will be judged alongside the wicked and this world will pass away. The faithful will receive eternal life with God and his sovereignty will reign forever. Politics in the interim will never change that fact and they will never affect the outcome.
They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end. — Psalm 102:26–27
Christians should know this simple fact. In the end it will not matter who the president was in the 21st century or any other century. It will only matter if you did as was commanded by God and not men (Acts 5:29).
God knows our attention and loyalty is pulled in two directions: Him and men. He warns us extensively about this divide.
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. — Matthew 6:24
The verse says this is about money, but politics and money are very similar if not the same thing. One of my professors said the definition of politics is the process of deciding who gets what, how much of it and when. Politics is the process of distribution of earthly things.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. — Colossians 3:2
Step Away With Me
Don’t think that I am rebuking Christians from a place of wisdom or strength. I struggle with this fight every day. I was also co-opted into the political realm but am realizing how foolish and empty it truly is. There are people out there who want to use our faith, use our goodwill and our way of thinking for their own, earthly ends. I do not have all of the answers but I am committed now, more than ever, to refocus my life as an American Christian on God rather than the men and women who wish they were God.
It is hard though. Politics has become almost religious in America today. You will have people cheering on your Facebook posts and political views far more than you will ever have someone cheering on your faith. Once you are part of the tribe, they let you know. You get defenders who will have your back and enemies to persecute and judge with abandon. It is intoxicating.
But if the past few years have been evidence of anything, it is this. Politics are a bad fight. They are not the good fight.
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession — 1 Timothy 6:12
Timothy reminds us that the good fight is the fight of the faith. Not for politics.
As election season in America begins to ramp up in conjunction with all of the other things going on in the world today, I implore you to take hold of your eternal life and remember what we are called to. Step away from politics with me.
I am going to strive to disengage from politics this political season and refocus on what matters in my life. I ask you to join me. At the end of the day, how we treat others, how we yearned to be with God, how we love is far more important than any fight about what is going on in the world today.
Let others yell and scream about these things. Let Facebook posts pass you by without a second thought. Let the dirtiness of politics be washed away by the sovereign power of God.
I will leave you with this, one of my favorite verses from my favorite book of the Bible.
Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind. — Ecclesiastes 4:6
If anyone wants to talk, or help, or refute, or join me in this new journey please feel free to reach out.