One of the core beliefs of my future church plant is that we will not preach politics from the pulpit. What that means of course, is that the church will not have any official position on political matters because we (my team and I) believe that politics can create obstacles to the gospel.
What a hypocrite I have been. I have repeatedly posted political memes and news articles on social media because “my friends know me” and “this needs to be said” completely disregarding the potential divide that I have created. If a “no politics” position is my stance for my future church, then it should be my stance at my current one.
I personally have sat in church while a pastor has preached a political position that I disagreed with and it was a challenging experience to say that least. Likewise, I have heard messages telling congregants how to vote, celebrating or denouncing a proposed law, praising (or admonishing) particular politicians or candidates, and much more. I hated it, and yet, on social media, I am doing exactly that.
I am passionate about politics, social justice, and equal rights, and I absolutely LOVE a good debate. However, if any of this impedes the message of Jesus Christ and/or my role in spreading that message, then I have done myself and the Kingdom a disservice.
So, I am pledging now to stop posting anything political. I recognize that I may fail in this endeavor and so I will need you to remind me of this pledge. However, to be properly held accountable, I feel like I need to address the difference (in my opinion) between politics and social justice.
IS SOCIAL JUSTICE POLITICAL?
Social justice as defined by BusinessDictionary.com is: “The fair and proper administration of laws conforming to the natural law that all persons, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, possessions, race, religion, etc., are to be treated equally and without prejudice. See also civil rights.”
As followers of Christ, we are called to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, and when we do not love every gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, etc. then we are not operating as we are called to.
Dr. King said that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and I agree. So when I see or read about injustice, I feel the need to pass it along to either be part of the solution or simply to raise awareness. For example, in July I posted something about the killing of unarmed black men by police. To me, that’s a social justice issue. Shortly thereafter I reacted to a post about Trump’s Christian beliefs. To me, that is political (relating to politics or a particular politician). Both posts caused an issue at my church last year, but in my opinion only one was political.
So, I will continue to post things that I feel are relevant to the cause of social justice and equality. I will do my best to represent them in a way that is not political or divisive and if something I post leans too far in either direction, I welcome a loving reprimand.