Michael Slaughter, of Gingsberg United Methodist Church in Ohio says that, “Too many people are bringing their understanding of the world into the gospel, instead of letting the gospel, transform their thinking.”
The apostle Paul recognized that as a problem in the early church. Most of his letters address ethical issues related to living a Christian life. Writing to the young church in Rome he said, “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. extend hospitality to strangers . . . Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.” Romans 12:9-13, 16-17
We step away from Christ whenever we misuse our Bibles to defend our political positions, instead of allowing the gospel to transform our hearts and our politics. Putting our personal biases in the place of Christ-centered values demeans our witness. One of the hard parts about being a follower of Jesus is that our political views can be upended when we listen to the words of Jesus and let those words soak into our hearts. The good news is that God loves us enough to transform our hearts and only asks that we open our minds to truth.