An open letter to the Fusion Church family regarding politics…
I came to know Christ at a very good church. I always knew they truly loved me and they truly loved the Lord. They were not, however, without their problems. One such issue was that the church subtly communicated in many ways that Jesus was a republican. Of course, nobody would ever say it directly but you just got the message that Jesus was a card carrying Reagan republican, and most probably profoundly Southern at heart too.
Even as a very young Christian, this bothered me greatly because I had many friends that were certainly not republicans and they tended to tie the two things together in their minds as well. In big and small ways, this myth kept many of them from visiting church or even considering Jesus.
With the political season in full swing I thought it would be good to talk to you about politics for second.
I firmly believe that God wants every Christian in America to exercise their right to vote. It is an amazing liberty that we have in this country and one that we should appreciate. As Christians, we should be actively involved in the political process and vote as we feel God directs us. As a pastor, I have always stressed the importance of Christians using all their liberties to impact the world in a way that honors Christ.
I do think, however, that the church is a place that supersedes politics. Jesus didn’t die to form a political movement. Jesus wasn’t a republican and He loves people of every party and persuasion. The truth is that He died to redeem all of mankind and to establish His Kingdom…and no other.
As we approach the presidential election, I foresee a divisive political season ahead of us like we’ve never known and I want to be sure that any sort of political divisiveness that emerges in our society does not slow or obstruct our mission as a church in any way.
When we come to church we are no longer republicans, democrats, libertarians, conservatives, or liberals. We are simply humans in desperate need of the Savior.
As I’ve said before at church, we check all those things at the door, along with ever other label imaginable, and identify ourselves as either a seeker of God or, by His grace, one that has been adopted into His Kingdom.
To be clear, there is only one name that we should be lifting up at Fusion and this is the name of Christ. There is no party or candidate worthy to take His rightful place in our worship, teaching, interactions and meetings together as the church.
My fear is that, due to strong political and ideological passions, some of us might, for a moment, forget our bigger mission and attempt to proselytize “converts” to something or anything less than the person and cause of Jesus.
Personally, I have very strong political views but I never use the platform of our church to endorse a particular candidate or party. While I understand that this coming election looks to be a pivotal one in the history of our nation, it will never have the importance or impact that our Lord Jesus should have in our lives.
The truth is that we have people of every possible background visiting and attending our church on any given Sunday and the last thing we would want is for any of them to somehow stumble over incredibly temporal political issues or the candidates of the hour while trying to come to the eternal Christ.
There is no political issue bigger than our mission of helping people make Jesus Lord of their lives. None. Everything else, no matter how important, is absolutely trivial in comparison to where people spend eternity.
So, I’m asking everyone that calls Fusion home to leave the politics outside of our church, ministry teams, small groups and other gatherings.
Be active. Politic at home and at work and at school but when you enter the church, the embassy of Christ on this earth, leave your lesser concerns at the door and worship the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords.