As time for the election of a new president is getting closer and closer, I am reading more and more “political” statements on Facebook and elsewhere. I’m hearing statements about “my right to speak up” and “my responsibility as a Christian to stand up for what is right.” The more I hear/read, the more concern I have for the family of God. Don’t get me wrong, I am as patriotic and opinionated as the next person, but I have a growing concern for how Christians are speaking out. Am I afraid to speak out against sin? Not one bit! But I want us to stop just a minute and see what God has to say about me and my right to free speech.
First, I want to consider our “right” to speak out against the elected leaders of our wonderful United States of America. My first thought goes to David, when Saul was pursuing him to kill him, and David gets two different opportunities to take Saul out. In
1 Samuel 24:6 and 26:11, David says basically the same thing: “Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.” Now, I know that Saul was actually chosen by God to rule His people and then sinned against God, so God replaced him. But I can’t help but think about what we are told in Romans 13:1-2: “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.” We must stop and check ourselves in that our exercising of our freedom of speech, we are still showing respect for those that God has allowed to be in authority.
We do have the freedom here in the good old USA to vote for the people that we think will best represent our country. But let’s face it, right now neither one of the two men running for President are Christians. We must, based on our individual opinions, pick the one that we think will best fill the role he is running for.
Second, as we post those opinions we should be encouraging others. We should be lifting them up. We must be striving to strengthen those already in the Lord’s body. It doesn’t matter where you stand politically– Democrat or Republican– where do you stand with our Lord and Savior? How will you lift up His people? Remember Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look our for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” I know the “but it’s not my opinion, it’s God’s” thinking. We still must be careful and not be using our words to divide the Lord’s body. 1 Corinthians 1:10 reads, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgement.” Just keep in mind that our mind is to be the same as Christ’s and our judgement the same as Christ’s.
Finally, as we post our political opinions or even our Biblical opinions on Facebook or anyplace else that the world is watching, we must be thinking, and I mean spiritually thinking, about how those words will be taken by people who don’t have the same opinion as we do. Are we speaking the truth in love? (Ephesians 4:15) Or are we using our words as a sword to cut and divide? We must be using our words to show the hurting, the untaught, those that have no one to care for them, that we truly do love them and care about them! We need to quit “spanking” the lost with our words before we even have a chance to show them that we care about them so that we can share with them the truth of Jesus Christ.
I exhort you, sisters, to “be careful little mouth what you say.” I know the Father up above is watching but so are the hurting, the lost. As Christians, let’s make sure that our words are pulling them close to the Comforter.
By Tami Roberts
Tami is the main person responsible for all the wonders of the CFYC Spiritual Development Retreat. She and her husband, Wayne, serve with the Parker church of Christ* in Parker, CO. Wayne serves as the minister and evangelist. Tami and Wayne are both instructors for the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. They have been married for 30 years, have five children and three grandchildren. More than anything, they enjoy spending time with God’s people.
* Editor’s note: There are some excellent podcasts available on the Parker church of Christ site. Be sure to download a few and listen (click here).