Unknown-1Lately, I have been turning off my radio . . . a lot. The political ads are flooding the airwaves during this election cycle. Leftwing politicians are buying time on conservative stations and conservative candidates are soliciting on liberal networks.

The volatile political climate doesn’t just seep into the media bombardment but even relatives cross the barrier of “no politics” at the dinner table. One shoestring relative made a proclamation at a gathering of the extended family, punctuating her opinion with the words, “And that’s a fact!” No one responded as the silence in the air almost turned stale as we waited hopefully for someone to change the subject.

My vocation in life is ministry. As a servant of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I am totally committed to representing him and bringing the Gospel to as many people as possible. But, the temptation to be dragged into opinion wars with fellow ministers is far too common with social media and strong biases from “religious experts” who will side with either political party.

It doesn’t make discernment any easier when high profile ministers become paid “news contributors” where their opinions are broadcast all around the world. Many then assume my position aligns itself with these celebrity pastors. How do you set yourself apart from that generalization and broad-brushing?

Social media may be the biggest culprit. It seems to have morphed into a hotbed of personalized opinion that is filled with criticism, negativity, and contempt. Ministers challenge anyone who is a person of faith to justify their support of either candidate or duly-elected official. It is overly contentious.

My choice over the years has to been to busy myself with what God has called me to be, a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That alone keeps me occupied. I know, as a leader in several situations, how easy it is for enemies to choose to be critical and negative and make me the target of their ire. They pick on a man of peace who is likely not to strike back.

Personally, it is not about being Left or Right for me as a servant of the Savior. It is about priority one: LOVE. My Savior is the Lord Jesus Christ, not any man or woman on earth.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not criticizing anyone for their choices of expression. But, as for me and my calling, I simply choose to express myself in the political debate by voting and then praying for whoever is in office. That’s me: I voted and I am praying.