How should Christians act during political turmoil?

Rev. Todd Peperkorn has written an excellent guide to how Christians should approach political conflict in light of the 8th Commandment. His thoughts were spurred by the rather dramatic goings on in Wisconsin, where he’s a pastor. Here’s a portion of his excellent post:

  1. Don’t concern yourself with motivations, secret plots, conspiracies and the like. Human beings will always operate in these ways, and today is no different than a hundred years ago.
  2. Do concern yourself with what the issues actually are, and not the personalities involved.
  3. Remember that Christians of goodwill can disagree on how love is to be shown to the neighbor. This does not mean someone who disagrees with you isn’t a Christian. It means that they understand things differently than you do.
  4. Our unity in faith is immeasurably more important than our unity in politics. If you have found that political agreement is more important to you than who you will be spending eternity with (or where!), then I would suggest your priorities are out of whack and need serious examination.

I love that last bit. My husband is a full-time political writer and I’m surrounded by people who live and breathe politics. I think politics is very important but it’s amazing how much time and energy is spent on it compared to God’s Word.


How should Christians act during political turmoil? — 12 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this Mollie. I saw it yesterday and agree that it’s excellent. I too have found that many of my friends on the Right who come from various Christian denominations would rather talk about politics than about God’s Word.

  2. The real rub comes in when we are in conflict over the foundational premises. That is where we are in both Synod and American Politics today. One side is firmly conservative the other is willing to sacrifice the fundamentals to “fake peace”. I have found that the truth spoken even in love in these circumstances still evokes hatred and anger from those who would sacrifice what is so dear to us. That includes DPs and Pastors who have behaved in abysmal ways. I agree with the above statements but we are in a far more serious situation than simple differences of taste or adiaphoria. (spl?) Although we cannot judge motives we can certainly judge behavior and effects and we should. (“discern the spirits..”) Of course this temp[oral will soon pass away and our relationship and trust in Him is the one thing that truly matters.

    #1 Dave— I whole heartedly agree and Te Deum that I have friends in the LCMS that are concerned with both and in the correct order!

  3. Good post; even so it is hard not to desire public imprecations on high government officials who tout abortion, undermine marriage, and gratuitously equate Christianity to other religions and Christ to sinners and false prophets.

  4. I believe a lot of this goes back to being a good steward were we are spending the money, how it is being used etc. If you can prove that the results are not good or good enough – then there should be other plans to go to. I believe that’s what’s being done now – but nobody wants to admit we have not been good stewards as the Bible has illustrated. There is a price to pay when we have not been good stewards and we are seeing the results now worldwide.

  5. Perhaps when he is up for re-election, Christians in the 73rd assembly district’s voting booths can take this Democrat Wisconsin State Representative to the mat as efficiently as the police did, when he tried to fight them in entering the State Capitol Thursday night.

    In the meantime, Senate Republicans voted yesterday to find their Democrat colleagues in contempt, issuing an “order to detain” for the cops to round up the derelict lawmakers and forcibly return them to the Capitol. Should the Democrat state senators be held in contempt? Or should we find some loving middle ground, like… mild concern?

  6. We hold doctrine is black and white; all shades in between are reserved for politics.

  7. Thanks Mollie,

    Considering the source, a very regular speaker at the microphone during debate at the most recent Synodical convention, I cannot help but smile at the irony of this helpful guide.

  8. The specific way is found in dictum #1: “Don’t concern yourself with motivations, secret plots, conspiracies and the like. Human beings will always operate in these ways, and today is no different than a hundred years ago.”

    The writer correctly states that human beings … a designation which includes all of us, until proven otherwise … will always operate in these ways. There is no reason for any Lutheran to exempt himself or herself from the admonishment.

    Given the staggering complexities of the Bylaws and the Real Politicking which attends synodical conventions, it would be improbable for any prominent player in the game to be much purer than Ivory Soap. Rascality and paranoia about “the other” is the nature of human interactions, since Cain. We were once very concerned with Motivations, Etc. of past presidents, for example. Let’s not be steadfast in our own pet delusions about ourselves.

    Rev. Peppercorn indeed writes “an excellent guide.” So good it is, that our first impulse is not to apply it to the handsome image adoring us in the mirror.

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