Use Politics to Share the Gospel

Posted on December 12, 2017

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By David Ettinger

Great Time of Opportunity
white houseMy sister Diane (not her real name) is a Jewish, liberal, atheist northeasterner. She opposes just about everything her evangelical Christian brother holds dear. And, for some odd reason, she happens to love me. Therefore, she shows great restraint when we talk, not wanting to cause a rift.

For this reason, Diane and I speak much about life in general, but very little about religion and politics. However, there are certain times that naturally lend themselves to such discussions. Presidential elections are one of those times. I am a conservative and generally support the GOP nominee. Diane is liberal, always supports the Democratic nominee, and can’t for the life of her understand how I think.

Every four years, in fact, Diane lays that mystery before me, and I am happy to oblige her, but for reasons other than politics. Presidential elections – politics in general – provide great opportunities to share the Gospel.

What it’s Really All About
Back in 2008, Diane had a profound dislike for the vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. “What can you possibly see in this woman?” Diane squawked, her bewilderment evident.

In 2012, Diane was not a fan of Mitt Romney, and she questioned me about his perceived inconsistency regarding abortion. This led to a discussion not of Mr. Romney, but of abortion. For Diane, the mother of two, the issue came down to one major factor: How can evangelicals object to the abortion of a baby which resulted from rape or incest?

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I explained to Diane that everything is dictated by worldview. Evangelicals, naturally, follow a biblical worldview; those who don’t believe in the God of the Bible adhere to a secular worldview. A biblical worldview sees the universe through God’s eyes as He has revealed Himself in His Word. A secular worldview sees the universe through humanism.

This is what most of our discussions should evolve into, a consideration of the most important issue any individual will have to decide upon: the God of the universe. This, ultimately, is what our existence on this planet is all about – telling those who are perishing that there is a Savior who died so they could have eternal life.

I find that political elections can be used for this purpose. I employed discussions of such elections effectively during my secular newspaper days, and I use such discussions effectively now among friends, neighbors, and relatives.

From “What” to “Why”
My discussions on politics will often turn to the issue of same-sex marriage. One of the objections I encounter is: “Okay, I get it that your religion does not approve of it, but why do you have to keep others from pursuing their own way of life? If the Supreme Court has sanctioned it, why do you want to get in the way?”

I love these types of questions for two reasons. First, it shows that the person I am speaking with at least has an idea of where I’m coming from. Second, it allows me to go from the “what” to the “why,” which presents a rare opportunity. You see, the unsaved world has a fair comprehension of what evangelicals believe; what they don’t quite get is why we believe what we do.

If you are fortunate enough to have a political discussion reach this point (and you can get there from just about any issue – immigration, national King James Biblesecurity, terrorism) ­– you must recognize it for what it is: a golden opportunity to share with an unbeliever the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Most Important Thing to Remember
Ultimately, as Christians, we must always remember why we are here: We are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). Of course, we may “declare,” but those around us may not listen. If political elections enable us to communicate the Gospel, then by all means use them!

Never forget that the Gospel is the most important thing. In the context of eternity, it doesn’t matter all too much who wins any given election. Do I want my candidate to win? Of course. But even if he or she does, what spiritual effect will he have on America? We’ve recently had two strong Christian presidents ­– Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush – who have served two terms each, and their spiritual impact was minimal. America today is a cultural pig sty, and wallowing ever more blindly in the slop.

Besides, what if you can convince the staunchest of liberal Democrats that the Republicans are the better choice? What would you have accomplished vote herespiritually? The answer is “nothing” if you left the discussion there. If you solely scored a political victory but said nothing about salvation in Christ, it would have been better to have not engaged in the conversation at all.

Paul’s Counsel
The apostle Paul said: “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). This must be the marching orders for Christians. We should be looking for any means possible to share the Gospel with those God brings into our path. The political election season is prime evangelical “real estate.” So yes, engage in politics, but don’t let it become your end-all. The prize is not who wins the election, but sharing the Gospel with the lost. May God give you the boldness, wisdom, and compassion to tell others about Christ during such emotionally charged times.

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