Conservative Christians Need to Stop Worshipping Politics
Banned books, canceled actors, and tech companies behaving like shadow governments, conservatives have much to be concerned about, but too often we let our concern give way to hopelessness. This is what happens when our hope, our trust, and our hearts are misplaced. We have replaced the worship of God with the worship of politics, and like all false idols before it, politics has let us down.
Conservatives, particularly Christian conservatives, often accuse progressives of treating politics like a religion, and rightfully so. Spend just a few minutes on Twitter and you witness a modern-day woke inquisition playing out in real time. No one is safe from the scorn of the online mob. But progressives aren’t the only ones guilty of worshiping politics. Conservative Christians do it too, albeit in different ways.
Not all worship looks the same. Some of us may proclaim that Christ is King, and yet spend hours each day on political websites, podcasts, and television shows while spending little or no time in prayer. Our faith should be the most important aspect of our lives. And far too often politics is filling that role. Many of us are guilty of spending far more time engrossed in politics than we do deep in prayer.
It’s important to realize that we were not made to constantly bicker over politics, we were made to value and worship God. St. Augustine articulated this truth in a much more compelling way than I could ever hope to do. “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”
I am not belittling the importance of staying informed, but being obsessed is not necessary to stay informed. There is but a small minority of Christians who need to spend time learning and thinking about politics each day. Writers, politicians, political staffers, and the like have to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the swamp to do their jobs. But the rest of us are relatively free from such a burden, yet we continue to burden ourselves. We give our hearts and minds to politics, which quite often results in anxiety, anger, and frustration. We can find peace with Christ, but we rarely turn to Him.
This disordered love of politics can only have disastrous results. Our identities become wrapped up in our political affiliations and philosophies; and our peace of mind and tranquility becomes dependent upon election results. But we are Christians before we are conservatives or libertarians and we belong to Christ, not to a political party. We should not spend our days in distress because of politics.
Granted, the Biden administration has not been the unifying force of moderate governance that we were sold. Progressive ideologues “obsessed“ with critical race theory and other nonsensical ideologies control Google, Facebook, Amazon, Hollywood, academia, and most other institutions. This was true before President Biden took control of the oval office and it will be true after he leaves.
This is no reason to lose hope because it does not belong to politics or politicians. Politics does not determine whether or not we lead a good life. God is in control of all human history and nothing happens outside his permissive will. We are but characters in a story and we already know the ending.
But how can we sanctify ourselves if our hearts and minds belong to politics? Turn off the news once in a while, maybe don’t listen to political podcasts all day every day, and for the love of all that is holy spend less time on social media. And above all else, pray. Pray for yourselves, your family, your neighbors, and your country. And please pray for me, that I might stop worshiping politics, because I rarely take my own advice.
This is not to suggest that we should all opt to live in blissful ignorance, although I would argue ignorance of politics is better for the soul than false worship. But we have to put first things first. Politics, among other things, should be subordinated to our faith.