Several weeks ago Laruen Boebert, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives gave a speech
where she referenced a verse from the Bible and seemingly used it to wish death on President Biden. Anyone who calls themselves a Christian should be disturbed by what she said. A politician using God’s Word for such a vile purpose shouldn’t be acceptable. Unfortunately, as has been mentioned on this blog before, it’s increasingly common in today’s world to hear politicians and other famous people who claim to be Christians using the Bible to push their own agendas, spread hate, and promote things that are not Christlike.
Often these poor uses of the Bible go unchecked, at least on a public level, but this time was different. In response to Boebert’s comments, almost 20,000 Christians have signed a petition asking for the Congresswoman’s resignation. Whether or not Boebert resigns is less important than the reasoning behind the petition.
Your repeated misrepresentation of our faith pushes people away from Jesus Christ, harms both democracy and the church, and even risks further unholy violence. Let us follow Jesus together by seeking love and the common good — not division and death. Please, for the good of the country and the Body of Christ alike, resign from Congress immediately.
The writers of the petition rightly point out that Boebert’s comments and others like hers are not only against Christ’s teachings but are also against the purpose given by Jesus to his followers. We are supposed to be bringing people to him, but the misrepresentations of the Bible and what it says only serve to push people away from God. Many people who don’t know God will be turned away from getting to know him because of false impressions they develop about God and the faith because of wayward comments. The problem only worsens when people who identify as Christians say horrible things, and no one speaks out against them. Boebert and those like her certainly don’t represent all Christians, but if Christians that don’t agree with hurtful comments don’t speak out against those comments like these petitioners did, how would nonbelievers know that the wayward comments don’t actually represent the faith?
Accountability is important. When Christians make mistakes or do the wrong thing, it is important that we hold ourselves and each other accountable. If that wrongdoing is done in public, it may be necessary that the accountability also happen publicly. Some might push back by pointing out that the Bible teaches that believers should avoid passing judgment. That’s true but judging each other and holding each other accountable when wrong are not the same thing.
So watch yourselves.
“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. – Luke 17:3
Jesus himself told his followers that they should seek to hold their fellow believers accountable when they are wrong. Paul echoed the same sentiment.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. – Galatians 6:1
The Bible tells us that when we see wrong done among those within the Body of Christ that we should strive to address and redress the wrongdoing. Why is that important? It’s part of our responsibility. Christians are stand-ins for Christ himself. We are supposed to be his representatives on Earth while he’s not here.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. – 1 Peter 2:9
Most of the time we take this charge to mean that we should live righteous lives as an example to nonbelievers of what Godly people look like. That’s certainly true. However, it’s also true that none of us are perfect. We all sin. Those of us truly committed to God should be spending our lives reducing the amount we sin, but very few people ever cut it out completely. So, what happens when we sin? Should we ignore it or attempt to hide it while we continue to portray that we are exceptionally righteous or holier-than thou? That’s what many of us do, and it can hurt our efforts to bring people to God.
When we act as though we are flawless and clearly aren’t, it makes us seem as if we aren’t genuine and that our faith isn’t real. Who would seek to join a fake faith followed by a bunch of pretenders? Nonbelievers know we’re not perfect. It’s more productive for us to make it clear that we also know we’re not perfect. We will mess up, but when we do, we should be quick to admit wrong and make amends because that’s what God wants from us, and it’s also the right thing to do even by secular standards.
Contrary to what some Christians may believe, nonbelievers understand the concepts of right and wrong. They may not always know all of what God wants especially if they haven’t read the Bible, but most of God’s commands are intuitive and should make sense to every human being. If nonbelievers can look at us and hear from us and constantly see us in the wrong, they have no reason to want to be like us. They can do wrong all by themselves. However, seeing people admit wrong and try to make right is something that’s not exactly common in today’s world.
What if we, as believers, set that example? What if we buck that trend and show that anyone who is capable of wrong is also capable of making it right? Perhaps, that’s just one more thing we can do to reverse the trend of people moving away from the faith. The Bible tells us that not all people will be saved, but that shouldn’t be because we’ve pushed them away. If we become the problem and the reason that more people don’t follow God, then it’s something we will have to answer for when we see him. He will make us accountable, and at that point the reckoning may be far worse.