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Politics and Religion

June 8, 2017

Two topics that we learn early on to avoid: politics and religion.

Why is that? They are such important areas of our lives. We make decisions within those areas and read a lot about both of them in the news. Wouldn’t it make sense that we would discuss these topics openly with as many people as possible so that we would form a valid understanding? Shouldn’t we talk about our political views with those who are the other side of the aisle so we can learn from them? Shouldn’t we be able to discuss our religious beliefs and learn from the others?

For some reason, those topics are off limits.

My guess is that part of it is the growth of the autonomous-self culture: I am what I am, I think what I think and I do what I do. It’s none of your business to tell me if I am right or wrong. You leave me alone, and I’ll leave you alone.

Perhaps another failure is that we don’t really know why we believe what we believe, so we don’t have anything to discuss.

Another reason may be our lack of communication skills. Many of us find it difficult to discuss a topic with someone who disagrees with us. We are either the aggressive one, dominating the conversation and raising our voices, not allowing the others to speak. Or we live in fear of being the victim of an aggressive person, so we just avoid the conversations.

Though not directly talking about discussions of religion and politics, Paul gives instruction that can be helpful in Christian conversation:

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people (Titus 3:1-2).

How would these principles shape our face-to-face, or social media, conversations?

Maybe this should be posted above your monitor, or as the screensaver, so that you are reminded before you go into a rant about someone’s Facebook post. Maybe this should be memorized and meditated upon before you go to work each morning.

Maybe if we were putting these concepts into practice in our conversations, we would be more likely to discuss religion and politics with others.

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