I see it often: cars with Jesus bumper stickers and Republican bumper stickers planted firmly side by side.
“Know Jesus Know Peace” “Not A Liberal”
“Try Jesus” “Had Enough? Vote Republican”
“The 10 Commandments are NOT multiple choice” “Republican: Because everyone can’t be on welfare”
“Are you following Jesus this close?” “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted Republican”
It’s got to stop. If you’re a Christian, please take either your Christian bumper sticker or your Republican bumper sticker off your car. Right now.
Why? Because when a non-Christian sees your car, he assumes that being a Christian also means being a Republican. He assumes that if he follows Christ, he’ll also be required to adopt certain beliefs about gun control, wealth distribution, health care, tax policy, and a host of other political beliefs. He assumes that Jesus and Fox News are synonymous.
Why am I so lathered up about bumper stickers and Republican politics? Because following Jesus is NOT primarily about opposing Obamacare. Following Jesus is NOT primarily about the freedom to bear arms. Following Jesus is NOT primarily about small government. Following Jesus is NOT primarily about welfare policies. It’s not wrong to form sound, biblical opinions about these issues. God’s word applies to all of life, and we should seek to filter all our ideas and beliefs through God’s word. However, when we bleat the loudest about secondary issues, like health care or tax policy or gun control, we unnecessarily turn people away from Jesus and we stray from the truly good news of the gospel.
Following Jesus is primarily about forgiveness. Following Jesus is about having fellowship with the living God. Following Jesus is about the Kingdom of God coming, both in my heart and throughout the entire world. Following Jesus is about the relational wall of hostility being torn down. Following Jesus is about being transformed more and more into the image of Christ. Following Jesus is about having power over the sins that have ruled us. Following Jesus is about being joined to a loving community of other Christians. Following Jesus is about joy and peace and holiness and kindness and patience.
Is it wrong to follow politics or have political opinions? Of course not. But we need to think carefully about the message we’re proclaiming to the watching world. What are we most passionate about? What do we talk about most on Facebook? What message do we trumpet the loudest? Do we radiate the love and forgiveness of Christ or do we radiate hard-line political opinions?
Have you decided which bumper sticker you’re going to remove?