A sin to be a Democrat?

Democrats are sinners, and so are Republicans.

The matter of politics is becoming a hotter issue as more Republican candidate debates are aired on television and as we creep closer and closer to the next Presidential election.  Currently, the Republican nominees are duking it out on an almost weekly basis with the ultimate goal of taking on President Barack Obama for the 2012 Presidential Election.  As we slink ever-closer to the election on the horizon, I thought it necessary to address the issues of politics and Christianity as best as I can from my unbiased and uneducated political perspective.  I do not side with one political party over another.  Ask anyone that knows me, I do not side with either party.  I voted for John McCain in the 2008 Presidential Election.

In politics, as you know, we have a number of different categories of issues.  We have social issues (abortion, education, gay marriage, etc.), economic issues (taxes, taxes, and more taxes), foreign policy issues, environmental issues, and many others.  Which of this groups of issues is most important?  Can we make such a distinction?  I cannot find any reason to value foreign policy over economic issues or value social issues over foreign policy issues.  All seem to be relevant points of concern, and I don’t see any reason one needs to care about one more than the other.

And again, before I get into the heart of the issue I want to address, I need to make it clear that I do not hold to one political party or another.  I agree with each party on certain issues and disagree with each party on certain issues, and when I vote, I am not a confident voter.  I find it difficult to trumpet my allegiance to one party or another, so I don’t voice any preference, nor do I really have one.  Also, you need to know that it may sound like I am attacking the Republican party in parts of this post.  This is not because I am a Democrat or have biases against Republicans, but it may sound like I am attacking the Republican party because it is the party to which most of the Church is attached.  Now that I have made clear my biases, or lack thereof, let me make clear my plea.

Politics and the Church (the body of Christ) and the church (local worshiping place) have a dangerous relationship.  Politics and the church have become too closely related.  Plain and simple.  No doubt exists in my mind that the church and American politics are too intertwined.  I am not an anarchist.  I know that not having a government is not the answer, and I know that until Jesus comes back, a theocracy is not possible.  So then, what is the church supposed to do?  What side is the church supposed to take in matters of politics?  Neither.  Yet sadly, I think we are.  The point is this:  The church needs to maintain a posture of tolerance in relationship to people and their political views, and the church needs to stop ostracizing Democrats from the body of Christ.

This is not to say that the church should become tolerant in its doctrine and theology.  The church need not become tolerant of same-sex marriage, however it need not make a pariah of those who hold the Democratic view in politics.  What makes me sick is that when someone in the Church says he or she is a Democrat, such a person tends to be labeled, whether subconsciously or consciously, a baby-killing, greedy, homosexual supporting tree-hugger.

 Maybe the Democrat in your church is sickened by abortion and knows that same-sex marriage is sinful, yet knows that Democrats are more likely to pass laws maintaining God’s creation and relieve the poor of their sufferings.  

The Church needs to understand that just because someone is a Democrat does not mean he or she supports every facet of the party’s political views.

What if the Church was mainly made up of Democrats and they saw Republicans as creation-hating, war-starting, people-hating bigots?  

Surely Republicans in the Church are not such people, but isn’t that what the Church often does to Democrats?  Labels them based on the worst, exaggerated qualities of their party.  Sadly, I think so.  To the American Church:  Democrats are people too, stop talking about their views as if they’re sinful.  Love them as yourself, and point each other to Christ.  You’re the church for goodness sake!  Stop making idols of your fallible political leaders and spur each other on toward Christ-likeness no matter what your view on the War in Iraq.  Bigger matters exist than those within the political sphere, and the sooner the Church understands that the better.

In short, I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that Republicans make up most of the Church (at least here in the Midwest), and politics invading the local church and the pulpit tend to ostracize Democrats–to the point at which they wonder if they can be a Democrat and be a Christian.  How sad is that?  It has gotten to a point in much of the Church that well-meaning followers of the Risen Lord are questioning their salvation due to their persecution for holding fast to a political party–as if the Republican point of view is any more Christian than the Democratic.  One may think Republican viewpoints and ideologies are, at first glance, most appropriate for Christians–this is undoubtedly due to mostly social issues.  However, one could make the argument that the economic and environmental views of the Democratic party are more “Biblical.”

Christians are Christians no matter their view in political issues.  Because of the grace of God and his love shown through the sacrifice of Christ, we are adopted sons and daughters of God.  I thought it appropriate to address the issues of politics in the church as we continue to creep closer and closer to the upcoming elections–namely the Presidential election in 2012.

To any church leaders that may be reading this:  don’t bring your politics to the pulpit; bring Jesus.  Christ is what people need, not a better grip on political issues.  Don’t ostracize people based on their ballot.  It’s not a sin to be a Democrat or a Republican.

Also, I know that this post was written mainly off the cuff and stream-of-consciousness, so sorry if it didn’t make sense at parts, but I hope you get the main idea.

Don’t let your patriotism turn into idolatry.  Christ is bigger than America, and I think the American Church needs to start acting like that’s the case.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” –Galatians 3:28

-Chris