HomeNewsDo we let our politics get in the way of our Christianity?

Do we let our politics get in the way of our Christianity?

By Sky McCracken

First United Methodist Church

I’ve always believed that “small town journalism” is among the best reporting in the country. My hat is off to Brandon Shields for his call to bring local journalism back to the Jackson area.

Communities are important. Local journalists have more in common with those that they write for and about. Same with local politicians, who are usually better listeners and much more well-behaved than state or national ones, for the simple reason that they are much more likely to run into their constituents on a daily basis.

A retired colleague of mine, Allan Bevere, wrote several years ago about this along with the widening divide being created at a national level and how it affects local communities. We are especially fond of throwing around labels – even if they’re not accurate. In looking at national politics, Allan said, “I do not understand why Democrats say they are progressive. There is nothing progressive about wanting more government control over individual lives. There is nothing progressive about believing that government is the answer to most things… By the same token, what is so conservative about Republicans? They are big spenders and have become foreign policy activists. There is nothing conservative in that philosophy.”

But the labels sound good. They make for good press. They get people riled up. But are they good for local communities?

These days I do continual soul searching to remember where my allegiances are, and to know that being a good citizen does not negate being a good Christian… and vice versa. The test comes in what we do with what God communicates to us, and how we live out our love for our country AND our community, and the people within it, who are all created in God’s image.

If Christianity is experiencing loss of its spiritual depth in America, I fear that patriotism is equally experiencing loss. Our continued fervor for partisan politics above policy for the common good is killing America – at least, the America that was founded many years ago. Politics is defined as, “The affairs of the state.” To be honest, I’m weary of what is passing for politics today. Today’s politics resembles self-gratification. We’re all about ourselves. That means death for communities like ours.

Ultimately, if we are a country that claims to be Christian, we believe this: God has the last word in all things. We ARE our brother’s and sister’s keeper. Jesus redeems all things, and that includes justice, peace, and eternal life. It doesn’t mean we have to be pacifists, but it certainly means we should at least have the goal of beating swords into plowshares. It doesn’t mean we have to adopt Marxist socialism, but it doesn’t mean we can avoid dealing with those less fortunate than ourselves, either. It doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to make money – as long as we remember the Source from whom all things come, and that to those who have been given much, much is expected.

The bottom line: do we trust God? More than we trust anything else? If we don’t, we will have a hard time living out the politics of being Christian, which in turn affects our community and those who are closest to us. The politics of Jesus and the costs of discipleship require our vow and our sacrifice. But we do so as a community of faith, not just individuals. Love doesn’t insist on its own way, but insists on the truth.

Sky McCracken is the senior pastor at First United Methodist Church of Jackson.



  1. The “United Methodist Church” has turn it’s back on God by denying and ignoring his laws as outlined in Romans 1:26-29 and many other verses, including Jesus command that a man is to marry a woman (not another man!).

    This “church” is servfing satan by not standing up against sin pride.

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