I was driving down interstate 75 through the rolling hills near the Smokey Mountains when I noticed a truck up ahead with writing scrawled all over the tailgate, bumper and even the rearview window. You know the kind. Usually, they have hand painted scriptures and contain John 3:16 or some other scripture or maybe the words “Jesus loves you” or “Hell is real.” I thought this vehicle was a little unusual because most of the time these kind of word carrying vehicles are vans, but this was a pick-up. I’m not sure if vans have more space and are therefore, a better canvas for preaching, but this vehicle had sufficient room to have more words than I could read as I passed. But I did notice that the largest of the words, painted on the back window of the truck cab was “Repent” and that there was some scripture about love on the tailgate.
But one of the most interesting things on this particular truck was a bumper sticker next to the word repent on the window of the cab, directly behind the driver. The words were the most notable on the truck because they were printed neatly in large bold black on a white background. It read, “Obamination=Abomination.” Now before you get mad and call the man a sinner or agree with glee and say something like “That’s a good one!”, consider what I was looking at and let’s imagine the man’s purpose in painting his truck.
I would think that someone who would paint a truck (and by the way, this was not an old truck) with scriptures was hoping to convey the love of Jesus, the forgiveness of Jesus, and perhaps the salvation of Jesus. In no uncertain terms he was conveying that he was a Christian. Now, consider what a person who posted that bumper sticker would be trying to convey. The words of that bumper sticker convey judgment, disrespect for the President (like him or not), and quite frankly, hatred. The sticker also conveys that he is most likely a Republican and most certainly NOT a Democrat.
I’m sure you are getting the picture by now. This is a truck caught in contradiction, but let’s think just a little bit more. Who do you hope is reading the truck? I feel quite certain that the driver hopes that people who don’t know Jesus are reading it. And he probably is hoping that by reading the truck the person will want to get to know Jesus. But wait, maybe he is hoping that someone who hates Obama is reading the truck and is looking for the guy who is passing him on the left to give him a wink and a nod, the signal that says, “Yep, good buddy! I hate Obama, too.”
Ok, let’s stop talking about the truck, because I hear the same thing over and over again in many churches where I preach. I hear words spoken by well meaning Christians and worse, I see postings all over facebook condemning Democrats and the President that we are called to pray for and I see postings ranting against Republicans and their politicians and their politics. I see and hear disrespect and hatred. If you are speaking against Democrats and at the same time, announcing your Christianity, do you think that a Democrat will listen when you try and talk to him about your Christ? Let me answer that for you, NO. You have shut that door.
Let’s look at things through scripture: Paul, in his efforts to simply win some to Christ said, “To the Jew, I become as a Jew…to those under the law, I become like one under the law…to the weak, I became weak, I have become all things to all men, so that by all means I might save some.” 1 Corinthians 9:20-22. That’s right, I am suggesting, as Paul did, that you become a Democrat when trying to win a Democrat and you become a Republican when trying to win a Republican…or better still, leave your politics out of it. What is more important? That you win someone to the Republican party or that you win someone to Christ?
Christ is not and was not a Republican or a Democrat! Does that mean that you are not entitled to a political opinion? No, of course you can have an opinion, but labeling your opinion the Christian opinion is dragging Jesus through the political mud. Jesus made clear things like setting people free from oppression, feeding the poor, caring for the immigrant, and clothing the naked…but these are not political agendas, they are examples of loving your neighbor as yourself. The agenda the Christian is supposed to have is the agenda to love.
When Christ came, the Pharisees expected him to come as a “new ruler,” a “new king” that would lead the Jews out of oppression under the Roman government. But Jesus did NOT come as a new political leader. He did NOT bring a political freedom to the Jews. He did NOT bring a new government. He did NOT bring a political agenda. Why is it that so many Christians now think that a particular political party will or is even supposed to bring a “Christian” form of government?
Jesus came preaching love for your enemies and the giving of your coat when someone takes your cloak. He came preaching service to others, meekness and self-renunciation. Dietrich Bonhoeffer says that diluting Christian love into patriotism is a perversion of better righteousness. He says the Christian cannot live at the world’s level. “The community of the followers of Jesus, the community of the better righteousness, is the visible community, it has left the world and society, and counted everything but loss for the cross of Christ.” 
We, as Christians, live in this world, but we are not of it. We are not to be lovers of this world. That is not to say we don’t stand up to oppression-just the opposite. But we stand without hate, we love our enemies and show them Christ. We live a life of sacrifice and reach out, as Jesus, to help those who are in need.
So, let me finish by saying stop dragging Jesus into your political agenda and stop associating my Jesus and my Christianity with a political party. Let’s walk in love and let’s pray for our President and all those in authority and ask God to work through them and in them. And finally, let’s pray for our brothers and sisters, be they Democrats and/or Republicans, praying for unity, let’s love our neighbors as ourself, and not speak of hate. Amen.
 Bonhoeffer, Deitrich, “The Cost of Discipleship,” Simon and Schuster 1959, p. 153.
[From time to time Mission Calling runs an article of how we well meaning Christians drag our savior through the mud and make him stand for some political argument, social comment, national debate or personal argument. The purpose of these articles is to bring each of us into a closer relationship with God, our brothers and those we are trying to reach for Christ by opening our eyes to other legitimate perspectives. May the eyes of our understanding be enlightened.]