Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How My Political Views Helped Me Grow Spiritually

 

I think most politically involved Christians would say that their politics are influenced by their faith. This is true for me, as well; however, I’ve realized recently that the opposite is also true: my growing political views have actually helped me to grow as a Christian.

Even from childhood, I’ve often been a judgmental Christian. I have a history of being hard on myself and others. I remember being very upset with my parents one Sunday because we weren’t going to go back to church for the evening service; weren’t we supposed to be there every time the doors were open? I also nearly broke down in tears once because my sister was talking about buying a two-piece bathing suit.

Thankfully, I’ve grown out of a lot of this. I attribute it in part to just growing older in general and growing older in the faith. However, I realize that I’ve also become a lot less judgmental in the last year or two because of politics.

Now, let me insert a disclaimer here that I am not a Christian who believes that we should never judge. Right after saying, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged” (Luke 6:37 HCSB), Jesus also says, “A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit…. A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart” (Luke 6:43, 45a HCSB). In addition, we are told to “be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24 HCSB). So, there is a time to judge, and there is a time to urge other Christians on in the faith.

However, there is also a time for Romans 14:1: “Accept anyone who is weak in faith, but don’t argue about doubtful issues” (HCSB). There are issues where Scripture makes it very clear what we are to do, and then there are issues where Scripture leaves it between us and God; this is where personal conviction comes into play. This is what I struggled with growing up; I wanted everything to be black and white, and if someone was acting against a conviction held, I thought they were sinning.

Since the 2016 election season, I’ve become more involved in politics. I officially joined my local GOP and began helping with various campaigns, and I started regularly listening to political commentators. I finally stopped asking my dad who to vote for and started doing my own research. Through this, I learned what a “constitutional conservative” is and that I am one. I also learned that – even though I am a Christian and would love for everyone to share my values – politically, I lean libertarian.

It is this libertarian trend and the desire for government to stay out of people’s lives that has actually helped me become more gracious toward others in general. I may not be okay doing a particular thing, but that doesn’t make it a sin. Some things really are between individual people and God. Later in Romans 14, Paul says, “Do you have a conviction? Keep it to yourself before God. The man who does not condemn himself by what he approves is blessed” (verse 22, HCSB).

I’m sure I don’t have a full understanding of this topic, but this is where I’m at right now. And I’ll be honest – letting people be convicted by God, instead of trying to convict them of “doubtful issues” myself, has been a much better way to live.

HCSB = Holman Christian Standard Bible

There are 14 comments.

  1. Mark Camp Member

    Good thoughts, Allie. Thanks. The verse about not arguing doubtful things is important and I didn’t know it. The course of your life regarding the inclination to judge oneself and others harshly is like mine.

    • #1
    • March 23, 2019, at 10:30 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  2. Western Chauvinist Member

    Welcome to Ricochet, @alliehahn! I think you’ll like it here.

    My religious and political conversions were concurrent, too. But, it seems I took a lot longer to get around to it and am slower to progress than you. For example, I have a friend who thinks it would be terrific to see Hillary Clinton publicly confess her sins and come home to Christ. I just want justice for her. In this life.

    • #2
    • March 23, 2019, at 10:35 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  3. tigerlily Member

    Welcome Allie!

    • #3
    • March 23, 2019, at 2:01 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  4. Stina Inactive

    This is a difficult subject for me. As I’ve gotten older, I find myself digging in more. It’s not aimed at the majority of the population or unsaved people, but at church leaders.

    And I absolutely will judge them for presenting a false gospel, where repentance of sin is not necessary for salvation and that some sins aren’t really sins at all.

    It’s like we have become so enamored with the personal Christ that we have greatly diminished the nature of God – He is Holy. And to sell a God who is less than holy leads people to death without choice. Sure, they might not choose to follow God when presented with who He is presented as in scripture, but at least it is their choice. It isn’t a false security.

    The wolves in sheep’s clothing earn my ire.

    • #4
    • March 23, 2019, at 2:04 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  5. ShaunaHunt Member

    Welcome to Ricochet! I’m new here, too.

    • #5
    • March 23, 2019, at 4:17 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Allie, welcome to Ricochet, and fine first post!

    My impression — from both your photo and your reference to no longer asking your dad who to vote for — is that you’re pretty young. It is very common to lean libertarian in youth. I did so myself. Some stay that way, but the more common path is toward greater traditional conservatism.

    On the judging issue: My Bible study group recently watched a video series by Andy Stanley, who you may know, as he’s based in Atlanta. One of Stanley’s points was the the New Testament doesn’t tell us not to judge, it tells us who to judge. He relied principally on 1 Cor. 5 — here’s the end

    I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

    What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

    This does not mean that Christians should be overly harsh toward each other, either. In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus teaches:

    If your brother sins against you,go and confront him privately. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, regard him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    These steps should never be taken in anger or self-righteousness, but with a spirit of love and encouragement. Casting someone out of fellowship is a serious step, and should involve the leadership of the church.

    • #6
    • March 23, 2019, at 5:16 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  7. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn Post author

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Welcome to Ricochet, @alliehahn! I think you’ll like it here.

    My religious and political conversions were concurrent, too. But, it seems I took a lot longer to get around to it and am slower to progress than you. For example, I have a friend who thinks it would be terrific to see Hillary Clinton publicly confess her sins and come home to Christ. I just want justice for her. In this life.

    I struggle with that latter part too, sometimes.

    • #7
    • March 23, 2019, at 7:58 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  8. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn Post author

    Stina (View Comment):

    This is a difficult subject for me. As I’ve gotten older, I find myself digging in more. It’s not aimed at the majority of the population or unsaved people, but at church leaders.

    And I absolutely will judge them for presenting a false gospel, where repentance of sin is not necessary for salvation and that some sins aren’t really sins at all.

    It’s like we have become so enamored with the personal Christ that we have greatly diminished the nature of God – He is Holy. And to sell a God who is less than holy leads people to death without choice. Sure, they might not choose to follow God when presented with who He is presented as in scripture, but at least it is their choice. It isn’t a false security.

    The wolves in sheep’s clothing earn my ire.

    I definitely agree that false prophets/teachers should be judged and called out – it’s very dangerous otherwise. 

    • #8
    • March 23, 2019, at 8:00 PM PST
    • 1 like
  9. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn Post author

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):

    Allie, welcome to Ricochet, and fine first post!

    My impression — from both your photo and your reference to no longer asking your dad who to vote for — is that you’re pretty young. It is very common to lean libertarian in youth. I did so myself. Some stay that way, but the more common path is toward greater traditional conservatism.

    On the judging issue: My Bible study group recently watched a video series by Andy Stanley, who you may know, as he’s based in Atlanta. One of Stanley’s points was the the New Testament doesn’t tell us not to judge, it tells us who to judge. He relied principally on 1 Cor. 5 — here’s the end

    I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

    What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

    This does not mean that Christians should be overly harsh toward each other, either. In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus teaches:

    If your brother sins against you,go and confront him privately. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, regard him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    These steps should never be taken in anger or self-righteousness, but with a spirit of love and encouragement. Casting someone out of fellowship is a serious step, and should involve the leadership of the church.

     

    Thank you so much! I’ll be thirty later in the year, so I guess it depends what you consider “young” to be. :)

    You are absolutely right about there being times to be concerned about and judge other Christians if they are living in sin. In fact, I doubt church discipline is enacted nearly as much as it should be. 

    • #9
    • March 23, 2019, at 8:06 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. Henry Castaigne Member

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):

    Allie, welcome to Ricochet, and fine first post!

    My impression — from both your photo and your reference to no longer asking your dad who to vote for — is that you’re pretty young. It is very common to lean libertarian in youth. I did so myself. Some stay that way, but the more common path is toward greater traditional conservatism.

    On the judging issue: My Bible study group recently watched a video series by Andy Stanley, who you may know, as he’s based in Atlanta. One of Stanley’s points was the the New Testament doesn’t tell us not to judge, it tells us who to judge. He relied principally on 1 Cor. 5 — here’s the end

    I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

    What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

    This does not mean that Christians should be overly harsh toward each other, either. In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus teaches:

    If your brother sins against you,go and confront him privately. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, regard him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    These steps should never be taken in anger or self-righteousness, but with a spirit of love and encouragement. Casting someone out of fellowship is a serious step, and should involve the leadership of the church.

    But I am filled with more anger and self-rightousness than love and encouragement. Also, I dont have anyone in my community to connect to. The whole whole idea of having two other people to talk to someone about something you vocifericiously disagree with is alien to me. What am I to do?

    • #10
    • March 23, 2019, at 9:53 PM PST
    • 1 like
  11. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Allie Hahn (View Comment):

    Thank you so much! I’ll be thirty later in the year, so I guess it depends what you consider “young” to be. :)

    You are absolutely right about there being times to be concerned about and judge other Christians if they are living in sin. In fact, I doubt church discipline is enacted nearly as much as it should be.

    29 is pretty young to my vantage point on the other side of 50. Of course, my mom still calls me “kiddo” sometimes.

    • #11
    • March 26, 2019, at 2:30 PM PST
    • 1 like
  12. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):

    Allie, welcome to Ricochet, and fine first post!

    My impression — from both your photo and your reference to no longer asking your dad who to vote for — is that you’re pretty young. It is very common to lean libertarian in youth. I did so myself. Some stay that way, but the more common path is toward greater traditional conservatism.

    On the judging issue: My Bible study group recently watched a video series by Andy Stanley, who you may know, as he’s based in Atlanta. One of Stanley’s points was the the New Testament doesn’t tell us not to judge, it tells us who to judge. He relied principally on 1 Cor. 5 — here’s the end

    I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

    What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

    This does not mean that Christians should be overly harsh toward each other, either. In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus teaches:

    If your brother sins against you,go and confront him privately. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, regard him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    These steps should never be taken in anger or self-righteousness, but with a spirit of love and encouragement. Casting someone out of fellowship is a serious step, and should involve the leadership of the church.

    But I am filled with more anger and self-rightousness than love and encouragement. Also, I dont have anyone in my community to connect to. The whole whole idea of having two other people to talk to someone about something you vocifericiously disagree with is alien to me. What am I to do?

    HC, I was writing about church discipline, which ought to be done among people who know each other. If you’re frustrated at AOC or Barack Obama, you can post here or talk to your friends, but you don’t have any personal connection with them that would make it appropriate (or possible) to raise your concerns directly.

    • #12
    • March 26, 2019, at 2:32 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge

    Good post, Allie. I thought it was very thought-provoking and I’m glad it made the Main Feed as I plan on sharing it. It’s interesting to me that you have become less judgmental due to the politics of the past two years. God does indeed work in mysterious ways. I fully agree our faith should influence politics and all aspects of our lives. I’m a bit more skeptical on the notion of our politics helping us grow as Christians. If you were too judgmental and self-righteous, I can see Libertarianism bringing in a healthy dose of humility. On the other hand, taken too far I can see problems arising. To me, Romans 14:1 is not just about judging people; it is about judging what are or aren’t doubtful issues/disputable matters/doubtful disputations. It seems like you know very well there’s a fine line. And I’m certainly no one to say where that line is exactly. I’m highly interested in politics and think people of faith should be engaged but I guess I just get a bit apprehensive when I hear politics influencing our faith rather than our faith influencing politics. Similar to how I support “Separation of Church and State” not to save the state from the church but to save the church from the state.

    • #13
    • March 27, 2019, at 3:41 AM PST
    • 1 like
  14. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn Post author

    Chris Hutchinson (View Comment):

    Good post, Allie. I thought it was very thought-provoking and I’m glad it made the Main Feed as I plan on sharing it. It’s interesting to me that you have become less judgmental due to the politics of the past two years. God does indeed work in mysterious ways. I fully agree our faith should influence politics and all aspects of our lives. I’m a bit more skeptical on the notion of our politics helping us grow as Christians. If you were too judgmental and self-righteous, I can see Libertarianism bringing in a healthy dose of humility. On the other hand, taken too far I can see problems arising. To me, Romans 14:1 is not just about judging people; it is about judging what are or aren’t doubtful issues/disputable matters/doubtful disputations. It seems like you know very well there’s a fine line. And I’m certainly no one to say where that line is exactly. I’m highly interested in politics and think people of faith should be engaged but I guess I just get a bit apprehensive when I hear politics influencing our faith rather than our faith influencing politics. Similar to how I support “Separation of Church and State” not to save the state from the church but to save the church from the state.

    Well, politics will hopefully not influence my faith beliefs without being checked by Scripture first. :) There is definitely a balance between letting people live out their own convictions and watching out for our brothers and sisters who have fallen into actual sin. 

    • #14
    • May 10, 2019, at 4:48 PM PST
    • 1 like