What’s the difference between a Christian and a Republican?
A: I appreciate the opportunity to answer a question like this more than you know. Our social and televised media outlets, who are engaged in hate-speech and ideological chaos at the moment, have divided Americans and weakened our great nation via their labeling and stereotyping. It’s important we understand what our labels actually mean.
If one considers a political platform an extension of a personal worldview, then a Christian is a person who most easily nests beneath the Republican wing. Why is this? Because the Christian God is pro-life; he’s the creator of all life; the Bible is painstakingly clear on the value of life; and the Republican platform (at the moment) resolutely extends this value to everyone, even the unborn citizen in the womb. Republicanism rejects abortion. That said, a Christian and a Republican are often the same, but not always.
A practicing Christian adheres to the teachings and worldview of Jesus Christ. Jesus is their leader, their Savior and the head of their world and religion. Christians may be Democrats as well, though they must wrestle with the Bible’s mandates in their alliance with this political group: the Democratic platform permits, and often celebrates, the extermination of unborn humans for any reason. It is pro-abortion.
Type-casting polarizes people, doesn’t it? We are all landing in different political categories for different reasons here in America. There are all kinds of people in both camps, right or wrong. God alone sorts out the members of each team and places them in play with the freedom to choose sides, watching for what I call heart-evidence. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature…God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” (1 Samuel 16:7, NASB1995) While it’s true that our political leanings often betray our heart’s convictions, we are still part of one nation under God. We are Americans.
Our toxic, political climate has whitewashed our citizens into categories both unfair and inaccurate. The “Religious Right” is a particularly offensive slur meant to sound Hitleresque and is attached to a group of people who adhere to a value system described in the Christian Bible. “Conservative” is a term to define anyone with ideologies rooted in Judeo-Christian values or pro-family worldviews—but it is often misused to describe people thought to be out of touch with political realities. “Elitist” is another particularly barbed description wielded at pro-life, pro-family, pro-Bible voters of a certain tax-bracket or affluence. These pigeon-holed people are often lumped under the umbrella “Republican,” yet they come in many shades of color, of various religious beliefs and myriad degrees of liberality.
We must begin to revisit parts of the DNA of this nation: the right to the freedom of speech; the freedom to practice whatever religion we desire, the right to a safe and honest election…and the freedom to have an opinion without oppressing other’s freedoms or stringing up our neighbor because they disagree. So much has been lost of the American spirit while we’ve brandished a razor focus on the political destruction of each other.
What if we allow each person the freedom to their own convictions and journey with God? What if we took off our judicial, black robes and relinquished the banging gavel to God’s judgments and sentencing? Surely he sees all things and is well handling the political villains and heroes without the need for a pile-on of condemnation from either camp. Words like “Republican” and “Democrat” are labels we use to divide us. Let’s ditch the labels and set our allegiance to the One who has never moved from his seat of authority in heaven above. In heaven, we don’t vote or politically segregate. We agree with the One in charge. Let’s agree with God all over again and find a way to love our neighbor (Leviticus 19:18.)
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