Keep Your Soul in Politics (Part 4)
With all the mudslinging going on right now in the campaign for the national and the local elections, what columnist Andrew Jackson wrote in his “How to Engage in Politics without Losing Your Soul” (Christian Research Journal, volume 31, number 4, 2008) is very timely: “Don’t demonize anyone. Every person has been created in the image of God, and Christians must not demonize or dehumanize other people, whether we agree with them politically or not”. When we throw mud, we ourselves get dirty also.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29, ESV) Yes, character is a political issue. However, keep in mind that each candidate is neither the God incarnate nor the Devil personified. Focus on issues. Don’t attack a person’s character or motives. No name-calling or insulting rants. Weigh whether a certain accusation has a basis or just wet soil. Of course, candidates love to dismiss all charges as mere political attacks. Yet some of these mudpacks do stick. It personally raises a red flag in me when all the candidate can answer to the charges raised against him is, “Politika lang yan.” (“It’s just politics.”) What we can do is read a lot of what respected opinion-makers wrote about the issues and then make our judgment call.
In addition to that, Jackson wrote, “Don’t allow yourself to support attempts to divide races, male and female, rich and poor, or young and old. Partisan politics often divides society into voting blocks, and separates society instead of uniting it. Christians should function as peacemakers and reconcilers in the public square and should resist every temptation to join the game of dividing people for political gain”. Again, that’s the reason why it is very wise not to endorse a particular candidate or party. Jackson reminds us, “Don’t become so intertwined with one political party that you forfeit your independence. When you do, you lose your right to be heard and to speak and clarify biblical truth to all politicians and political parties”. We are not just playing safe. We are not merely being neutral. Remember that, though we are non-partisan, we call for participation. We want to remain peacemakers. Our witness to the world is at stake. Elections come and go. But God’s agenda stays forever.
Brethren, focus on issues, not innuendos.