At one point in my Christian life I believed that the best way to change this country was to vote a certain way. If we could just get the right people into office, I thought, things would get better and better.
Although it’s true that we all should vote and we all should support the candidate that best fits with our Christian beliefs, we should do so in the context of building the Kingdom.
So what does that mean?
We go through our lives interacting with our friends, our coworkers, our neighbors, and even strangers. We never know when or where we’ll have an opportunity to share the Gospel. We never know if one of our coworkers is just about ready to ask us about Jesus.
Imagine this scenario.
Your coworker Bob has had a very rough life filled with sin and loneliness and really did some personal reflection the night before. Bob remembers that he’s seen you invite others to the Bible study group that meets in your home so he decides he’s going to approach you and ask you about all of that Bible stuff.
But there’s a big problem.
Bob’s friends with you on Facebook.
And he saw that you posted this the night before:
(Actually you posted something much more insulting to the opposite side, but I couldn’t bring myself to do so even as an example)
But Bob’s a lifelong Democrat.
Just like every single member of his family.
So now, instead of seeing you as a beacon of light, he sees you as a hateful bigot. I’m not saying that Trump supporters are hateful bigots, but you’d have to agree that it is likely that Bob might think that.
By posting a meme you lost the opportunity to help Bob find Christ.
Was it worth it?
You might think that by showing support you’re showing the other side that they are wrong. But is that what God has asked us to do? You’re supposed to be there to show love to Bob. You’re supposed to be loving your neighbor instead of posting messages that push your neighbor away.
My wife and I made a conscious decision years ago (meaning we actually had a conversation about it) to not put any political bumper stickers on our cars. We don’t want a sticker to be a barrier to evangelism.
We also do not discuss politics or other divisive topics in the company of people that we don’t know that well for the same reason. But isn’t that exactly what you’re doing by posting to Facebook?
And what’s your point of posting, anyway?
Do you think these memes would ever convince anyone to change their mind and vote for your candidate? How do you feel when you see memes from the other point of view?
What are you accomplishing by posting these?
All you are doing is re-inforcing stereotypes about Christians and putting up barriers to Kingdom work.
So, stop it already.
I started this article by saying that we should all vote and do so according to our Christian beliefs. But also remember that God’s in control of political leaders and who is in office.
The Old Testament is filled with cycles of foreign rulers being placed in control of the Israelites when they turned away from God until they turned back to God. We read of God hardening Pharaoh’s heart many times in the book of Exodus and God even influenced a foreign king (Cyrus) to allow the rebuilding of the temple (Isaiah 44:28; Ezra 1).
Perhaps the best Biblical support for God being in control of rulers is Proverbs 21:1 (ESV):
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.
God’s going to guide the leaders regardless of your memes anyway so don’t put up any extra barriers to evangelism. It’s hard enough already.
EDIT: An earlier version of this post left off the word not in a key place above.