Faith and Politics: Respect

Last week we started a new Spot of Grace series focused on the topic of faith and politics. I started this series talking about our hope. Today I want to shift focus and think about our attitude towards our elected leaders.

Recently, I attended two meetings of the Morton Board of Trustees. The subject under discussion was video gaming in local bars and restaurants. During the meetings, I became deeply discouraged by the attitude of some in attendance. They treated some of the elected officials like they were enemies. Some of the attacks were personal, some were provocative, and others just played the blame game. I wish I could say that as Christians, our attitudes and responses are altogether different. The reality, in my opinion, is that we are not. To illustrate my conclusion, just Google this phrase - 'Christianity and Politics'. Examine the search results and you will see what I mean. Look at the images that appear and you will see the disrespect, cynicism, and negative images.

It grieves my heart to think about what I’ve seen on my Facebook newsfeed from people I love and respect. In many ways, these friends are Christ-like examples to me, but in the area of politics, they can come across as harsh and unloving.

In contrast to that negative, critical attitude, think about this Scripture from Titus 3:1-2 (emphasis added):

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.  

Think of those words I’ve highlighted - be submissive, speak evil of no one, avoid quarreling, be gentle and show perfect courtesy. Do these words accurately describe you and your attitude towards your elected leaders?

As I’ve talked to people about this concern, a few have responded that they can't submit to their leaders because they don't agree with them.  But as you look at Titus 3 and Romans 13:1 you will see we are called to submit based on our relationship with God, not based on leaders’ alignment to our personal political perspectives. I challenge you to believe God’s Word that our elected officials are in office by God’s will and for His purposes. This is true, even if we don’t understand today what His purposes are for the future. 

I’m concerned about the disrespect that is shown for our leaders. It seems that if we disagree, we think we have the right to mock, gossip, and even hate them. I ask you to stop posting Facebook content and comments that mock and disrespect, and I challenge you to remember Titus 3:2:  

  • speak evil of no one
  • avoid quarreling
  • be gentle
  • show perfect courtesy toward all people