Ah ’tis the season. Well, of course since Facebook opened itself up to the masses, seems that every season is the season for political rants on Facebook. Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives: everyone has a platform there. Arguments for or against legislations, whether done politely and well-informed or with vile words and supported by rumors. Unapologetically, we post our side, sometimes with Scripture to back it up.
I will not post my political views here but I will tell you why I’m not posting my political views, and why you will not find me posting them on Facebook.
1. I will not let my political leanings alienate any who might be won for Christ.
I will stand up for the Gospel. I will stand for Biblical truth. But I will not allow my standing for the Gospel or truth to take the context of political rants. There are Christians who do not share my political views. There are non-Christians who do not share my political views. God forbid that I post a political rant on a social media status that would cause someone to leave my church or lose trust in my witness. Regardless of your political leaning, I can assure you that there are people in your church who believe otherwise. And I can assure you that there are people outside your church who believe otherwise and may take your political post as a good reason to find somewhere else to hear about a Savior who bled and died for them.
2. I am an itinerating missionary.
Here’s a small window into the life of a missionary for you. I have heard stories of missionaries being dropped from support because they posted how they felt politically or about a controversial issue. While I have every bit as much a right to my views as you do to yours, it frightens me to think that anyone would let politics play a role in their determination of whether or not to send one who is called. The people I am called to are more important than my right to publicize or debate my political views on a public forum. And for this reason, you will not find me sharing them publicly.
3. I don’t want to emphasize our differences.
In an oft-quoted section of 1 Corinthians 9, Paul asserts that his political and national background come second to sharing the message of the Gospel. Paul was great at disarming his audience by focusing on what they had in common, what he understood about them. When we rant and yell about things we hate, we deepen the divide between Christians and non-Christians and even between ourselves and our brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to be known by the things I love, not the things I hate, and I want to share with you the things we agree on, the things we both have in common.
4. I will never change your mind.
My spewing of hatred for political figures or my perpetuation of false information will not bring you closer to realizing ‘the error of your ways’ or bring you to my side of the table. Arguing is like one of those finger traps. The harder I fight, the harder you fight. Even if one of us realizes the other is right, our pride keeps us from admitting it, and we will surely not change our minds. My political posts might relieve a sense of self-satisfaction in me, and the likes and agreements I get on it might make me feel great, but it’s not convincing anyone.
I can’t do anything about your political posts, and whether or not I agree with you, I will not start a fire on your page. There are men and women of God who are called to political positions to influence government and national decisions. I am not one of them. I vote, yes. In fact last year I was without a car on election day so I walked to the polling place, about two miles away, slipping on ice half the way there. I have contacted my senator over an issue I felt strongly about. But posting on Facebook will not sway one person nor one political decision.
May we remember to focus on that which we are called to and keep our eyes on eternity.