Politics were something we never talked about at family dinners. It just wasn’t part of our family “normal.” I could name all the presidents and… well, that’s about it. The news was never on, there were never arguments surrounding politics, and to be honest, the discussion simply never happened. I remember going to the polls with my mom as a kid, and she would say that who we vote for is a secret, best kept to ourselves. I don’t know that I fully understood why that was the case, but now that I am old enough to grasp how fallen our world is, I truly do.
I was a junior in high school when I began to understand politics. Coincidentally that was in 2020, the year COVID-19 took the world by storm. My interest started primarily through social media. Eventually, I began to see the influx of political propaganda and opinions phrased as facts all over my Instagram feed. I could not remember seeing this volume of politics on social media until COVID struck. It was on a whole new level, one that was almost uncomfortable. Social media was no longer about keeping up with friends and family. After noticing these vast changes in what I was seeing daily, I began to retain information and question its credibility. Yet, I honestly knew nothing and had no opinions. To be real with you, I was drowning in what everyone else was saying.
Over the past year, I’ve taken a scary leap of faith to keep up with what’s going on and form my own opinions. Through it all, I’ve felt lost, belittled, stupid, and so beyond confused. But to be honest, the most challenging part has been walking the fine line between church and state. If God is the center of my life, why would I leave Him out of my opinions and hopes for my country? Within the last few weeks, I’ve found myself pondering whether or not I should even care about politics since the Earth is not ultimately my home. It’s difficult when you care for everyone, but you know this is not the final chapter of the story. It’s also hard when the world doesn’t want to associate with certain people, but you know for a fact Jesus would have served and poured His love out for them. Look at the two political parties. Look at the Christians who fall on one side or another, no in-between. Most of them genuinely want to have nothing to do with each other. It’s terrifying, concerning, and upsetting because this is not what God intended for His children.
Ultimately, the world and the Bible contradict each other. This causes many problems among groups of Christians and issues within the Church itself. Recently, I posted some polls on my Instagram story, asking questions related to politics and the church. I had 150+ participants, most between the ages of 18-25. I specifically targeted young adults, since I feel this age group most accurately understands these issues in a contemporary way.
There were a TON of numbers, but they opened my eyes to some huge perspectives that I never fully processed. I have observed that a common denominator between most Christians (regardless of political affiliation) is that everyone wants to base their political beliefs on grace, love, and humility; and that it is okay to disagree lovingly. These responses were a positive outcome of my survey that genuinely opened my eyes to the church’s potential for the coming generations. On the other hand, something that concerns me is that 32% of the Christians that participated in my survey claim to be on one political side—and one side only. This is alarming, since it indicates that these people have very likely had bad experiences with the opposite side and are unwilling to open their minds due to these problematic experiences. This is entirely understandable, but is this something that we as Christians should allow to happen? This is a clear example of why many people are hurt by the church and other Christians.
This issue does not fall on one side of the political spectrum. We serve a kind God who loves us unconditionally. In the same way, we should love others. This is a no-brainer, and it is by far one of the most beautiful ways to show God’s love to those around you. In fact, it is the second greatest commandment, as stated in Matthew 22:37-40…
“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
In their article “Hope for the Politically Homeless,” Chelsea Langston Bambino and Katie Thompson describe political homelessness in a Christian context; “Christians don’t feel their views are adequately represented by any one political party or platform. Too conservative for progressives and too progressive for conservatives, many Christians describe themselves as feeling politically homeless.” They also note that political homelessness can “often lead to a sense of deep frustration and questions of identity.” The article goes on to argue that the antidote to political homelessness “is to focus on Christ’s redemptive calling for us to reform every area of life toward his image.” I highly recommend reading this article. It has given me lots of clarity and has summarized many of my thoughts over the past few years.
Yes, I am a politically homeless Christian. I am loved by the Father, and so are you. My hope for this article is that it would encourage those who may be struggling with finding their place politically and spiritually. Christians, in general, let us practice loving each other as Christ loves us. Let’s put our differences aside and embrace this common denominator that we share, basing our political beliefs on grace, love, and humility.
A Politically Homeless Christian
Bombino, Chelsea Langston, and Katie Thompson. “Hope for the Politically Homeless.” Sacred Sector, 16 Nov. 2020, http://www.sacredsector.org/sacred-stories/hopeforthepoliticallyhomeless. Accessed 25 Apr. 2022.
The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Gordon Review, editorial staff, or its members.