I initially became interested in politics back in 1964, at the early age of 10. I was not very informed, but took an interest in the election and politics in general. I became well-informed by 1966, at the ripe old age of 12, and was up all night to watch the election results for the November mid-term elections. In 1968, I volunteered for the “Neighborhoods for Nixon” campaign, going door-to-door to distribute campaign literature. Our neighborhood was solidly Democratic because most the people were UAW members, as well as transplants from the South. Both of those demographics were solidly in the Democrats column. The most Republican state at the time was Vermont; it hardly had an elected Democrat in office. At the time, most of the states of the former confederacy did not have one single elected Republican office holder. It has been interesting to witness the changes over time.
As a teenager, I was a strong advocate for my political views…even at church. I remember having a debate with a woman in our church. She had come out of the Catholic Church, through the charismatic movement, along with many other people. However, as a union member from a Catholic background (another solidly Democratic demographic), she was as strong a Democrat as I was a Republican. I told her the same God that brought her out of her old religious thinking would also deliver her from her old political thinking! Years later, she came to the church I pastor and declared, “Loren you were right, now I am a Fox news groupie!”
Have We Made God a Republican or a Democrat?
Now, as a mature Christian, I believe all Christians should be engaged in the political process, but I do not see a political solution as the answer for our faltering nation. As I have witnessed the change in the political allegiances in our country, I have also witnessed the changing views of what it means to be a conservative. As a conservative of the 1960’s, we were strong advocates of balanced budgets. Simply put, if your want to spend money for a program, you need money to pay for it. Now as our country’s debt approaches 20 trillion dollars, it is obvious that no one is really concerned about fiscal conservatism. I say all of this to say, in a changing world, we must be careful to observe changes and not be locked into superficial identities! We need to be able to adapt our thinking and allegiances to fit the times. To me, this means that we cannot just think from a natural perspective; we must have discernment. This is a scriptural word that speaks of the ability to examine and see what is really going on.
Time to Allow Heaven to Invade our Earthly Thoughts!
As Christians, we must always look at our world from the perspective of the Kingdom of God. What God is doing will impact the world in every aspect of life. Sometimes, what He is doing is not easily seen. Oftentimes, religious people who are seeking God and advocating for His views, can even be locked into religious mindsets; this will hinder us from being a people of discernment. Avoiding the traps of religious mindsets is only possible when we have prophetic, and discerning people, who are not viewing the world based on a worldview mindset, but a people with a Kingdom of God mindset.
In Luke 12:56, Jesus addressed a lack of discernment with the people and it’s a message each of us needs to take to heart. “Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” The people of Jesus’ time aligned themselves with political and military leaders to crucify Jesus instead of receiving the Messiah. Let’s remember the admonition of Christ as we say, “Lord give me eyes to see and ears to hear,” so we can allow the kingdom to truly come forth in our lives!