lincoln memorial
PC: Kelvey Vander Hart

In politics, the drive to win is insatiable. This shouldn’t be surprising – much is on the line when it comes to public policy and governance. And, after all, we have witnessed how competitive Americans get over something as non-life changing as a sporting event.

Wanting to see the progress of the political ideology you think best fits America is not a crime. It’s actually a very good thing; we need more change-driving and concerned citizens. What IS concerning is that principles are often tossed to the side in the effort to win.

Sacrificing principles in order to win seems fitting for American culture, and I expect most of the population to act accordingly. However, the segment that seems most at odds with this idea can be one of the worst perpetrators: Christian voters.

Christians should be leading the charge on principled political action. The way we vote, speak about politics online, and support legislation should all be engulfed by the consuming reality of Christ’s kingship over our lives and our alien citizenship in this country.

Instead, I daily witness Christians tearing others to pieces over whether or not they voted for Trump. I witness Christians defending the indefensible in politicians they support. I witness Christians speaking about political ideas in uncompassionate and ungodly ways.

Brothers and sisters, please don’t read what I’m not writing. Pragmatism has a necessary place in politics. Without it, you get situations like when principled pro-lifers will not put support behind an anti-abortion law because it does not “go far enough.”

However, this pragmatism must be guided by principled actions and beliefs. If we are called to be set apart from the world, this MUST be reflected in our political actions. We should not speak the same way. We should not defend someone simply because of the initial next to their name. We must carefully consider who and what we lend our support to and why.

Principled pragmatism should define Christian political involvement. It is important to work to win, but winning should not come as a result of sacrificing our principles.

Photo Credit: Kelvey Vander Hart

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