To Participate or Not To Participate

I want to remember my citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven. Lent Week 2, Day 11

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If I truly believe that my citizenship is in the Kingdom of Heaven, then does political involvement matter?

Many people through church history have elected to not run for political office or even to vote. I think there is legitimacy to this opinion. If we are truly trying to live separate, called out lives, perhaps we should live in such a way that separates us from the governing authorities.

I do not think everyone must make this decision, however. Many Christians, and people of other faiths or no faith, have been involved in politics at the highest levels. Since we live in this country (or any country, for that matter) we have a responsibility to be involved and ensure the safety and security of all people. Since we pay our fair share of taxes, we should work to have a say in how those taxes are used.

And some people have even become so involved that they have acted in extreme ways based on their faith. Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously participated in an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler. Hitler’s evil is so widely accepted that most people treat Bonhoeffer’s act with understanding.

I believe we have been called to love and serve our neighbors. One of the ways we can do that is by advocating for laws that help our most vulnerable neighbors. By voting, we help put people in place that can do that. Or by running for office, we could potentially be in a position to bring about great help and aid for our most vulnerable neighbors.

While conversation is important, one of those most ineffective ways to be involved in politics is to argue on social media. Unfortunately, this is a path too many of us follow. And when we do, we are not actually doing anything to help. The issues stay unresolved and we are just upset.

So let’s find out ways to be involved. Let’s have the conversations we need to have. And let’s avoid the temptation to participate in the hateful rhetoric.

What are ways you are involved? What are ways all of us can become involved?

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