Since President Obama was re-elected on Tuesday, many of my politically conservative Christian friends have been in a panic. One friend who voted for Governor Romney sent out via twitter: “In years past I threatened to move to Europe if my candidate lost. This time, I’ll already be there if that happens!”
Other Christian friends of mine who consider themselves politically progressive have been elated!
Here’s an ironic twist: these sets of friends on both sides of the political aisle would also consider themselves genuine followers of Jesus who believe in the Bible and strive to live it out.
So how should disappointed conservatives and elated liberals respond?
1. We should strive to love each other even if we disagree. Arguing online does not seem to change anyone’s mind. Instead it just eliminates half the U.S. population from listening to us. If we learn to listen, seek to find areas where we agree, and serve with each other, we might be surprised to discover how much we actually have in common.
In addition, we should not expect people who do not share our values to live as if they do. When we move to a place of genuine friendship, we will be in a position of influence when they actually want to know what we would do if we were in their situation.
2. After you vote then go do something to really change the world! We should focus more on helping people change as more urgent, more important, and more effective than changing the laws. When we do, transformed people will want new laws.
3. Rather than hide from diversity or deny we live in a diverse world, we should create a diverse community. We cannot influence people who we have pushed away. Being part of Mosaic in Los Angeles and now Gateway in Austin has helped me see the challenges and the benefits of being part of churches that love, serve, and influence a spiritually, politically, socio-economically, and ethnically diverse community. Allowing people to belong before they believe or “come as they are” allows us to create a church out of the culture.
See “The Art of Woo” (the introduction of the book Not Like Me: A Field Guide to Influencing a Diverse World) and the article “Not Like Me: 7 Principles for Creating A Diverse Community.”
4. Pray for our nation’s leaders as prescribed in the Bible and work to advance the Kingdom of God, the one Kingdom that will last.