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The influence on a Christian’s life should flow in one direction – from Christ into the Christian’s life then into the world through all aspects of that Christian’s life. Unfortunately that life is often porous in both directions. Christ’s influence becomes muddled with the world’s. The Christian’s life then begins to send a mixed and muddied message to the world that reflects less of Christ’s influence.
I’ve seen this to be especially true when it comes to politics. Political ideologies become the primary influence while Christ and the gospel is used to support that ideology regardless of political affiliation. While this may offend some, politics has no place in the church. The body of Christ should be united under His banner and not divided along party lines. Furthermore, a Christian, especially a pastor, shouldn’t call for prayer for a politician in one breath and demean him in another. The church in America for far too long has been focused on winning political goals instead of having a single minded vision for the cause of Christ. We must lay down our political swords and pick up His Cross. That is the only message we should be carrying into the world.
I was listening to a podcast from Ravi Zacharias today and something near the end struck a chord with me. It was nothing that I haven’t heard before, but it resonated with me in a way that it never had. I thought I might paraphrase it in a more direct manner:
“People can argue against your answers when proclaiming Christ, but live in such a way that they cannot argue against your life.”