ST. CHARLES – In addition to the main speakers at the Great Commission Conference Feb. 22-24, attendees heard from a wide variety of breakout session leaders further breaking down the event’s theme of being ambassadors of hope for transformation.
Bill Victor, regional collegiate ministry coordinator for the Missouri Baptist Convention, led a session on the intersection of faith and politics, a topic not often considered a way for Christians to bring about hope and transformation.
While some Christians shy away from politics, Victor said there is no reason for them to not be involved in the political process. The key, he said, is to consider issues biblically and consistently regardless of party affiliation and work toward realizing those goals. Though this can be a challenge in the voting booth when no one candidate matches the ideal profile of biblical ethics.
However, there is one way that believers can stumble, and that has to do with the way they discuss politics.
“One of ways we are lacking is in seeing Christians engage with nonbelievers in humility and patience as we talk to one other,” he said. “This is especially true on social media. I have strong opinions about politics, but social media shouldn’t be the place to vent them. I have to temper them with the reminder that I’m a citizen of the Kingdom of God, and my first commission is to make disciples. This doesn’t come naturally to us, but we need to think about how our posts will be viewed by someone that we want to help become a follower of Jesus.”
Mark Smith, pastor of First Baptist Church, Dexter and one of the attendees at that break out, agreed that politics and Christianity are not mutually exclusive, as long as priorities are kept in line.
“For an awful lot of evangelicals, politics has become an idols. We should be involved in politics, but winning elections should not be more important than winning souls.”