Use Politics to Share the Gospel

Posted on October 1, 2019

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By David Ettinger

Great Opportunity
My 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 rarely discuss politics. However, there are certain times that naturally lend themselves to such discussions, Presidential elections among them. However, when I engage Diane in such discourse, I do so 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 asked in bewilderment.

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 resulting from rape or incest?

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I explained to Diane that everything is dictated by worldview. Evangelicals 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.

As believers, this is what our political 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 politics can be used for this purpose. I have employed such discussions 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.

King James Bible

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 security, 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 politics enables us to communicate the Gospel, then by all means use it!

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. Besides, even if you could convince your staunchest political opponents that your politicians of choice are far better, what would you have accomplished spiritually? 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.

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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 to share the Gospel with those God brings into our path. Politics is prime evangelical “real estate.” So yes, engage in it, but don’t let it become your end-all. The prize is not who wins elections, but sharing the Gospel with the lost!