Politics can be a mean and ugly system and if you are like me you are sick of the whole process right now. Two parties fighting for their opinions and beliefs and you are supposed to vote one way or the other. Some people only vote their party line. There is no compromising and their loyalty to their party is the highest priority. Some waver in the middle and try to figure out which party line fits their beliefs and their way of life. Some don’t vote at all because politics is just not for them. Then there are those that wonder where the third-party is because both parties have got it all wrong.
Our political system kind of reminds me of our religious denominations. I am not shy about mixing these two so I will go ahead and explain. Sometimes within the Protestant faith we don’t stray from our party line. Some perhaps grew up in a certain denomination and felt going anywhere else was a stray from their belief system. There are those who perhaps were a part of a certain church but decided later in life that they truly didn’t fit anywhere and the whole religious thing really wasn’t for them. Then there are those that hop from one denomination to another wanting to find that perfect church that believes exactly like them. You may not like to mix religion and politics but the process is sort of similar.
I once was a part of a church that I liked very much. I had one theological difference but it was still very much in line with my faith. I remember asking the pastor if he felt it was okay that I teach Sunday school even with my difference in theology. He kind of chuckled at my question and asked me. “Do you believe in Jesus Christ and He is the only way to salvation?” “Of course”, I responded. “Then the other isn’t a deal breaker”, he said. It felt good to have the reassurance of the pastor that my difference was actually respected and I could do what I loved to do and that was to teach the Bible to children. I respected the church’s beliefs and out of respect I wouldn’t share my differences with the children. However, later on I found out there was a family that would not send their children to my class because they found out I had that one difference of opinion from their theology. To them it was a deal breaker.
So here is my point. Sometimes the political world gets so caught up in being right that both parties forget to go to the source of government and that is the Constitution and our foundation on freedom and liberty. Do we do this in the Christian world as well? Do we get so bogged down in our theology and who has the best interpretation of scriptures that we forget the source of our faith? Are we so devoted to our denomination that we fail to realize there are parts of the faith that are major deal breakers and there are those that are minor and not as significant?
I like that we have various denominations within the Protestant faith. However, I think sometimes we let the minor things of our Christianity become the major deal breakers. I have to remind myself to always remember the foundation of my faith, which is Jesus Christ, and to live by the scriptures as He directs me to. My devotion to Him comes before my denominational affiliation. It is so easy to let the minor things in our denominations become the major things. We can lose sight of what is really important and in the process drive people away from faith altogether. Unlike politics, we shouldn’t compromise our faith and the Bible clearly lays out the major deal breakers. Let’s just try to realize that God is the source and trust in Him to work out the minor things because He is the major thing.