Politics, Vaccines, and Faith
. . . The knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. Colossians 2:2-4
Occasionally, when faced with a viewpoint that is in opposition to mine, I can’t help but plunge into an argument, expressing my view. Whether it involves politics, Covid-19, recovery, or Bible doctrine, I have strong opinions and when those opinions are challenged, it’s my nature to defend them. Sometimes my commitment is fanatical as I allow a conflict to consume me. In this condition, that one issue becomes the most important thing in my life because I believe it’s right. Defending right becomes more important than living right and so, I can be as manipulative as I need to be to win.
As Christians, a lot of us find ourselves here. Faith inherently addresses the most significant issues in our lives. Our faith can and should affect how we see everything. The problem for us though, is that it’s easy to equate any issue with our faith. For instance, we believe our faith has shaped our view of Covid-19 and vaccines, and so we believe our position is God-inspired. Now, our commitment to our opinion on vaccines becomes almost equivalent to the gospel itself. In this condition, we choose to live and die on this one issue.
In today’s passage, Paul explained that it was his life mission to bring the Colossians knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He knew that it was only God’s wisdom and knowledge that would protect them from being led astray by distracting arguments.
I must continually remind myself of that which is truly important. My political views should be shaped by my faith, but my faith is not in politics. My faith is in God. In my passion, it’s easy to forget that. In expressing myself, it’s easy to equate my opinions with the gospel of Christ. In such a condition, my views on any political leader can become my gospel. In living for the support of that individual, I may actually repel others – those who disagree with me – from Christ.
A good measure of any issue is to ask what Jesus would do with it. Would Christ live and die for this political cause? If not, then perhaps I shouldn’t either. My cause is Christ and my life mission isn’t to defend a political party, but rather to point others to finding transformation and recovery in him. When is the last time I shared Christ’s love with someone? When is the last time I shared my political opinion? If my opinions repel others from knowing God, then perhaps I’m more committed to my opinions than I am to him.