Spiritual Life Quotes: Tony Campolo on Faith & Politics

“First of all, I believe we have earned a bad reputation because of our “trash talk.” We have a tendency to demonize those people whom we oppose politically. When it comes to trafficking in rumors, distortions, and even lies, certain Christian leaders often shock outsiders. If you read the newsletters and listen to many of those on Christian radio and television, you know that some of our leaders can be very careless with the truth. Even worse, they often have a tendency to make allegiance to a particular candidate of party a test of a person’s Christianity. They use religion to legitimate a given party or candidate as being opposed to God. Opponents of those whom these leaders define as godly are declared to be agents of evil forces in the world, who must be defeated by whatever means necessary.”

“We must be ever mindful that the Bible tells us to be subject to our public officials and is quite clear about how we are to talk about each other. We are not to make exceptions and speak disparagingly about those who govern. ‘Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men’ -Titus 3:1-2

We do the cause of the Gospel great harm when we get caught up in the name-calling and the politics of bile that have become all too common among those who use the pulpit for partisan political purposes. The Bible teaches us to ‘speak the truth in love.’ (Ephesians 4:15) When we fail to do so, we not only violate the will of God, but we earn for the Church a bad reputation. When I’m in secular circles, I’m upset by how often I hear people refer to certain preachers and televangelists as ‘political mudslingers’ but that is the way they come across to those outside the Church. Our political conversations should, instead, reflect the character of our Lord. The apostle Paul tells us:”

“Finally bretheren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoeer things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Phillippians 4:8

This excerpt/quote comes from Tony Campolo’s book, “Following Jesus Without Embarrassing God.”

In these times as a minister in my community I’ve had phone calls fro faithful believers, those who do a lot of good in our community in tears over how other believers are misbehaving themselves on social media. This breaks my heart for the church to be harming one another with slanderous words and bad behavior towards our leaders. I’ve heard our governor called an idiot. I’ve heart our president called an idiot. No matter my political beliefs, as a Christian, as a believer, if I believe the Word of God when it says ALL mankind is created in the image of God I can disagree with someone without sinning. The sin of slander and the unbridled tongue is doing a disservice to God and I plead with anyone who calls themselves a Christian to STOP this sin. It harms the body of Christ. You are discouraging other believers with your behavior. Nobody’s political opinion changes because someone saw something I posted on the internet. Arguments dig holes. Conversations and listening makes progress. Like momma said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” My husband puts it this way: “I say nothing.”


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