On Faith and Politics

Since I live in a conservative city and am part of what could certainly be labeled as an evangelical church (shudder), I encounter a lot of Trump supporters, so when I came across this Jon Voight video the other day, his message was unfortunately far from surprising. That said, it may be new to some of you, so (with my deepest apologies in advance), please take a moment to watch it:

You cool? Need a moment? Believe me, I get it. Take your time.

Back? Stretched your legs? Punched some walls? Good. While it’s difficult to cut through the crazy, he does parrot a few far-too-common evangelical talking points:

  • The “left wing” lacks truth, and are afraid of “Trump’s truth” (which will save the country)

  • If the impeachment proceeds (spoiler: it did), America will fall (spoiler: it didn’t)

  • The “extreme left” are destroying this nation’s glory and have “evil intent”

In other words, those that are left-leaning are not God’s people, they’re against “saving the country” and they want to pursue evil goals. Yikes!

What’s even scarier is that church leaders aren’t exactly going out of their way to rebuke this type of rhetoric. While they tend to offer extensive frameworks for dealing with the intersection of faith and many other parts of life (finances, marriage, career advice, raising children, etc.), the intersection of faith and politics continues to remain taboo.

To be clear, I’m in no way advocating for churches to take political stances. This is inappropriate, ugly and divisive (as evidenced by the above video).

However, in a reality where an incredibly immoral (and, most importantly, unrepentant) man has risen to the highest office in the land while Christians practically trip over themselves to share hyper-partisan misinformation, the current “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” or “bad men have always been used as a tool by God”-style passages just aren’t cutting it, and are in fact making things a great deal worse.

When political behavior flies in the face of your faith’s core lessons, not doing serious public soul searching around the relationship between faith and politics sends a strong “all of this is ok with evangelicals” message.

It’s far from ok, and we should all feel incredibly ashamed.

A long while back, our local church’s global movement (the ICOC) went through a bit of an upheaval (including issues with an unhealthy/creepy focus on extreme evangelism). They wrestled through it, however, making changes and (in my opinion) emerging stronger as a result.

It’s time to get back in the ring.