With politics flooding our Facebook feeds and Election Day upon us, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez has a warning for all believers.
“Don’t drink the Kool-Aid,” he cautions. “As Christians, we can’t be married to the agenda of the donkey or the elephant. Your number one descriptor is your Christianity.”
“The problem is when Christians become identified primarily with a political ideology or nomenclature,” he says. “If you wake up in the morning and you’re first and foremost Republican or Democrat, you have some issues. That requires repentance and some humility in the presence of God.”
Born to Puerto Rican parents, the Christian evangelist, pastor, and civil rights activist strongly believes the Church should be a unifier and “the answer to America’s political discord”.
“We should be this civil, peaceful agent of transformation and change,” he says. “We never sacrifice truth on the altar of expediency. We share the truth with love, but we should be bringing people together.”
“The way we do it is by telling them, ‘Look, we’re going to have differences. The fact that we have differences does not negate the fact that you and I are both created in the image of God. Because you’re created in God’s image, I’m going to treat you with love and respect.'”
“That’s how we could have a political conversation without it resulting in strife or discord or division. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid,” he reiterates. “The problem is when the Church exacerbates the strife and the division. Then, we’re feeding into the madness. We should be salt and light. We need to be different. We can’t let ourselves be contaminated.”
Named by The New York Times as “One of America’s most influential voices”, Rodriguez is using his influence to encourage believers to be a light to our country, to our world.
Rodriguez does see that happening. Backstage at the recent Together 2018 event in Dallas, TX, he remarked at how encouraged he is “by a generation that’s emerging that really offers hope to a broken world, to a generation that’s sensitive and authentic and transparent.”
Asked why it’s important for millennials to vote, Rodriguez says:
Because your vote is an act of your prophetic witness. When you go into the voting booth, you’re not just involved in civic engagement, so you’re not voting as an American only. As a Christian, we have not only a responsibility, but a mandate to be engaged fully in what takes place in government. Romans 13.
So, it behooves us to make sure that we’re involved politically. Again, one more time: As long as we are not married to a political party or ideology. We have to walk in there independent of manipulation and coercion. We have to be led by the Holy Spirit and biblical truth.
The truth and the Spirit of God convicts you to vote according to the Word of God and the Spirit of God. So yes, millennials need to vote. The only way to change the world is vertically, through preaching the Gospel. Horizontally, through engaging in partnership with government and society and culture, for the purpose of doing the common good.
Rev. Sam Rodriguez‘s personal “rubric of voting” aligns with an agenda that “protects life in and out of the womb, religious liberty and doing biblical justice in the name of Jesus, which includes racial reconciliation, prison reform, ending poverty, and ending sex trafficking.”
No matter what your “rubric” may be, show up at the polls this Election Day. Vote!
*Co-authored with Hannah Goodwyn, managing editor of Praise.com.