Why I Don’t Post Blogs or Facebook Statuses About Politics

I loved this article by Ed Stetzer. You can read the entire article HERE. It also is copied below. But, in case you want the shortened version – here are my eight favorite quotes from the article:

  • You can't blurt at a people and reach a people at the same time. This
    is true no matter how satisfying it feels to add your voice to the
    political rants on social media.
  • Statistically, the unchurched lean heavily Democrat. So—and I know
    it's just me talking crazy now—if you want to reach the unchurched,
    maybe constant Facebook/Twitter posts about how stupid Democrats are
    might be a bad idea.
  • There is a strong correlation between church
    attendance and political party. The more you go to church, the more
    likely you are to be a Republican. The less you go to church, the more
    likely you are to be a Democrat. That's been called the "God gap" in the
    media.
  • The fact is the less you go to church the more likely, statistically
    speaking, you are to be a Democrat, has significant missiological
    implications. You will consider those implications if you really want to
    reach the unchurched and not just talk about them in an abstract way.
  • Constantly posting your opinions on political issues to a variety of
    social media outlets creates a barrier you may have not considered,
    particularly when your friends and family read them. When you don't have
    to look at someone's face while sharing your thoughts, you won't notice
    the wall that is being built between them and you.
  • It may be an appropriate missional decision to
    voluntarily restrict your own freedom to constantly blurt about
    politics, in order to reach your neighbor who holds a different view.
  • You can complain on Facebook about who shut down the government but you might just shut down a more important conversation
  • I suggest we tweet thinking more about Jesus and less about politics. That's just basic Christian prioritization.

 

Here's the full article -  -  –

Politics, Social Media, and More Important Things

All those political rants may be hindering your Christian witness. |
Ed Stetzer
Politics, Social Media, and More Important Things

You can't blurt at a people and reach a people at the same time. This
is true no matter how satisfying it feels to add your voice to the
political rants on social media.

In the current political climate in our nation, with shutdowns and
blame, I have watched the volume grow and the civility shrink.

I believe in the importance of civility for civility's sake.
Yet, I think it goes even further than that if you are a Christian who
wants to reach those disconnected from the church. In other words, I
believe the way we handle political issues has a missional implication.
So a few days ago, I posted this thought to Facebook (and a shorter
version on Twitter):

"Statistically, the unchurched lean heavily Democrat. So—and I know
it's just me talking crazy now—if you want to reach the unchurched,
maybe constant Facebook/Twitter posts about how stupid Democrats are
might be a bad idea."

The post was shared hundreds of times on both social media outlets and
appeared to draw a largely positive response, so I thought it may be
appropriate to elaborate a bit on this idea and why it's so important.

Christians are often unnecessarily burning bridges on the altar of political partisanship.

The angry accusations are flying around Washington. And that's one of
the reasons people don't like Washington, think it is broken, and give
it such low approval ratings. Yet, as I observe the relentless
mudslinging between professional politicians with less and less
surprise, I've sadly concluded that Christians are often unnecessarily
burning bridges on the altar of political partisanship.

The Unchurched Lean Democrat and Churchgoers Lean Republican

In 2012, election day exit polls
reported 12 percent of Americans who voted in the presidential election
had no religious affiliation (otherwise known as "Nones."). Of those
who have no religious affiliation, 70 percent said they voted Democrat.

It's not just the "Nones." There is a strong correlation between church
attendance and political party. The more you go to church, the more
likely you are to be a Republican. The less you go to church, the more
likely you are to be a Democrat. That's been called the "God gap" in the
media.

As this article
from just last year explains, the God gap still demonstrated in reports
by Pew Research Center, "Those who attend religious services frequently
have been more likely to vote Republican while those who attend
religious services less frequently, or are nonreligious, have been more
likely to vote for Democrats." And even after some thought the gap might
be narrowing, in 2012 it showed up again just as before.

Now, I am not saying that all Christians are Republicans, Democrats are
of the Devil, or whatever else people will read into my comments. But
knowing the data helps us to better discern our surroundings. Facts are
our friends, and those facts have some implications that I think we need
to consider.

Mission across the Political "God Gap"

The fact is the less you go to church the more likely, statistically
speaking, you are to be a Democrat, has significant missiological
implications. You will consider those implications if you really want to
reach the unchurched and not just talk about them in an abstract way.

So, here's the challenge in the age of political opinion most frequently posted on social media.

Constantly posting your opinions on political issues to a variety of
social media outlets creates a barrier you may have not considered,
particularly when your friends and family read them. When you don't have
to look at someone's face while sharing your thoughts, you won't notice
the wall that is being built between them and you.

What about My Rights?

Before I start to receive lots of hate mail, let me be clear. Yes, I am
fully aware you have a right to your opinion and the First Amendment to
the U.S. Constitution ensures your freedom to state that opinion.
However, I am saying that it may be an appropriate missional decision to
voluntarily restrict your own freedom to constantly blurt about
politics, in order to reach your neighbor who holds a different view.

Now, there are times to speak up, particularly when issues of justice
are involved, but an endless stream of calling people fools or
liars—people who your neighbor voted for—just does not make sense for
the Christian (and certainly does not make sense coming from a pastor).
Unless, of course, you just want to preach to the choir and not reach
the unchurched. The end result is another stumbling block for those we
are trying to reach.

You can complain on Facebook about who shut down the government but you might just shut down a more important conversation

I'm not perfect on this, but I try to be careful and wise. Because of
my role, most of the people who connect with me on social media are not
my neighbors, but I do know that my neighbors (and unchurched people)
are reading my social media posts. And, I engage in social media with
that in mind.

People often ask me why I don't join in on some of the President Obama
bashing that takes place on social media, and at times even say
something appreciative. Well, part of the reason I don't constantly bash
the president is because I find it best to speak well when I can,
leading to some people to ask if I am a Democrat (which I am not). The
other part of it is that I want my unchurched neighbors (who are
statistically more likely to be Democrat) to know they are welcome in my
home and my church, and that I do not hate them or the president for
whom they voted.

Yes, I know and am concerned about my rights as an American, and it
isn't my preference that anything infringes on those liberties as I
understand them. But I am even more concerned about joining God on His
mission, and I want be careful that unhelpful speech never gets in the
way.

I suggest we tweet thinking more about Jesus and less about politics. That's just basic Christian prioritization.

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