My being a Republican could kill people. How is it that something so important to me could be so deadly?
1) My identification with being a Republican mars my identity as a Christ follower.
To illustrate, let’s say I head over to my Dad’s house for Thanksgiving. Inevitably, I will be attacked for belonging to the same party as Sarah Palin, or George Bush. We’ll have a heated discussion about something that matters as much as the weather.
If I’m attacked, it should be because I follow Christ. I believe that without a heart changed by becoming a follower of Christ, there will be no real change in behaviour, hence no change in the social structure. Finally, failing to follow Christ results in spiritual death, and permanent separation from God.
2) I give credence to the idea that doing the right thing (being a conservative) makes you a good person.
Fact is, none of us are good people. None of us is perfect; all of us are deserving of Hell. Wearing a Republican lapel pin doesn’t make you any nicer person than belonging to the socialist party or the democrat party. Here’s the strange thing-If you are a follower of Christ, your political affiliation, ultimately, doesn’t matter. You are still fully God-approved, and a citizen of Heaven. (Granted, I’ll fight you tooth and nail regarding the earthly difference it makes).
3) My energy is focused on things that lead away from God.
The book of James says, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
Though my energies as a Republican are much toward this end, still I wonder how much more I could focus on learning about God, and helping orphans, widows and the poor in their distress.
I imagine my wrestling with this issue will be similar to the illustration Luther gives of the Christian balancing grace and law; like a drunk man riding a horse, you tend to always fall to one side or the other.