Idolatry can be a tricky thing. If asked, "Do you struggle with idolatry," most Christians would give and emphatic "NO WAY!" The tricky thing about idolatry, though, is that it can be subtle; we could be committing it without having a clue.
I'll let you in on some questions I've been asking myself lately: Am I an idolater? Are there things that I love more than God? Are there things I put on equal footing with my faith?
Answering questions like these, especially in America's current climate, is a task believers can easily neglect.
Idolatry is defined as "worship of idols" or "extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone." As I consider the political atmosphere we live in as Americans, that second definition brings it home for me. I also consider our role as Christians, particularly regarding affinity for politics. How do we navigate being salt and light (Matt. 5:13-16) in the country where God placed us? How do we engage freely with all the rights afforded to us without becoming idolatrous to them? Do we desire to obtain the "American Dream" more than we desire to see God's Kingdom come and His will be done (Matt. 6:10)?
Are Christian conservatives faltering in our view of politics? Do we equate one political party with righteousness and another with wickedness? Is this the proper view? Is it time for Christian conservatives to abandon all party affiliation because both are corrupt? Could we use our God-given influence to create a party that really represents our values and beliefs?
It's no secret that Christian conservatives, who once found a home in the Republican Party, are now treated as the crazy uncle of the party. He's the guy that no one really wants to invite to the reunion or the holiday event, but they kinda have to. He's the uncle who says all the things that irk the family, and the family is always trying to find a way to put him in a separate room somewhere so he can't annoy anyone. Similarly, the GOP establishment has pushed Christian conservatives to the margins. Even though the establishment didn't boo God or vote to remove Him from the party platform, it has in all other ways shown disdain for the God of the Bible. Christian conservative candidates are smeared, seen as archaic, and placed outside of the camp if they don't bend to the will of the swamp rats and the elites.
Are Christians so loyal to a party that we don't get the cues when that party is done with us? I would say this holding on is idolatry. It's the same idolatry that black America gets accused of for blindly supporting the Democrat Party. Are Christian conservatives so beholden to country that we forget we are really citizens of another place, a city whose founder, maker, and builder is God (Heb 11:10)? Is the Church so concerned about civilian affairs that we can't clearly see that the politics of the day is just a spinning of our self-righteous wheels? I would submit that when a political party with a platform, no matter how solid it may be, shows Christians that it's just a piece of paper to them, then we should be ready to collectively say, "Peace out!" Mass exodus may be in order.
President Donald Trump reportedly received 81 percent of the evangelical vote, and I believe it's time for that 81 percent to consider the posture of the Republican Party, and not just what it says it's about on paper, but what it's really doing. And that 81 percent should strategically consider its next move. It seems that truly "children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light" (Luke 16:8).
At the end of the day, God is the One who should have our allegiance. And as we can clearly see now, both major political parties are drenched in wickedness, greed, self-interest, scandal, and partiality, so it makes no sense for us who know what's right to remain on this roller coaster of insanity. Where are the leaders who have the guts to admit that it's not so much a desire to leave a party, but it's the fact that the party has left us?
I challenge you to question in your hearts some of the questions I've asked myself. Is it idolatry? Is your faith in a political party to make this country great? What's holding you to a specific political party? When the party in its words and/or actions has left God, why have you stayed with that particular party?
I'm speaking to Christian conservatives, and I'm challenging us all to take inventory, to tear down all idols in our hearts. It's a challenge to have guts and to be about true change. Change will not come through faith in a political ideal, but through suring up the Church, building the family, equipping the saints, and breaking free from any godless system that seeks to do away with our voices, no matter who it is.
Christ over everything!