by James T. Bartsch
"Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand." Romans 14:4
When Political Differences Exist Between Christians
Introduction: I have noticed during the last eighteen months that two issues in particular have driven wedges between Christians. The first issue was COVID and how one reacts to it. The other issue was the 2020 election and how one reacted to the opposing presidential candidates. Both of these issues have divided churches and families. I am confident this has made the Devil jubilant. He has been in the business of dividing people away from one another and away from God since the dawn of human history. And I am equally confident this makes the Lord Jesus sad. After all, He is the one who said, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35). This article does not seek to deal with Christians and COVID. It does restrict itself to Christians who find themselves in opposing camps in the political arena.
My wife and I have long had a habit of reading a chapter a day from the Bible. The other day we found our selves in the 14th chapter of Romans. It suddenly dawned on me that this passage has great relevance for sincere Christians who have differing political views. The issues back in the first century church dealt with whether or not Gentile Christians should follow Jewish dietary laws or not. Feelings were strong on both sides. Those differences do not particularly trouble most of us Gentiles today. But strong opinions on how Christians should deal with the politcal options certainly do.
The following is an attempt to distill principles from Paul's discussion with the Roman Christians and apply them to today's Christians here in America (and elsewhere, I imagine) in the political arena. I personally hope to put Paul's inspired admonitions into practice. I would encourage readers to do the same.