A Christian Response To The 2024 Election

Written by Annascott Cross

If you’ve driven anywhere in the last week or so, turned on a tv or radio, or gone to the mailbox, then you are probably well aware that the 2024 election season has officially begun. Campaign signs are on every street corner, political ads are airing on tv, debates are being held, and campaign mailers are hitting mailboxes. Over the last decade, politics have felt increasingly tense, so how should we navigate the election season as Christians?

Remember That Every Person Is, First And Foremost, A Person

Politics offer a unique look at human behavior. As we watch campaigns and debates, it can be easy to fall into an “us versus them” mentality. The danger here is that when we do this, our brain makes a shortcut, and we start seeing individuals in the “them” category purely as their political ideologies dictate and not as the complex humans they are.

This process is known as “dehumanization.” Brene Brown, a research professor and author, explains this, saying,

“Dehumanizing often starts with creating an enemy image. As we take sides, lose trust, and get angrier and angrier, we not only solidify an idea of our enemy, but also start to lose our ability to listen, communicate, and practice even a modicum of empathy.”

Once we see the other side as an enemy, the issue becomes framed as good versus evil, and all of a sudden, the ends start justifying the means. We start treating people differently on the basis of their political beliefs. Think about the things you’ve heard about politicians, parties, and the people who support them. What labels have been applied to them? How do people talk to or about them?

When I first heard about this concept, I challenged myself to think about groups of people with whom I did not agree, and I was shocked to see how often I had reduced them down to their ideas and stopped seeing them as people.

At the end of the day, every human being is made in the image of God, and deserves to be treated with kindness and respect regardless of what they believe or do. This includes candidates, protestors, supporters, leaders, and voters. During this time when much of the country will be at odds over politics, how can we intentionally remind ourselves and others to treat people as image-bearers and not as enemies?

Put Your Identity In Jesus, Not In A Political Party

Over the last several years, politics have grown so that they are now a core part of one’s everyday life. No longer do we live in a society where everyone could vote as they willed and leave it at that, living peacefully with those who voted differently. Now, your political affiliations even affect which memes you see on Facebook.

While it is easy to get wrapped up in the culture and base our identity on politics, it is critical that we remember this is not what we are called to do as Christians. Our greatest commandments are to love God with all of our hearts and souls and minds, and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-39). We are called to be “salt” and “light” (Matt. 5), and this can include playing an active role in politics (and we believe it is important to do so), but if we don’t have love, these efforts will have gained nothing (1 Cor. 13). The social issues at play in our society today are important, but pale in comparison to eternity.

Pray For Every Candidate, Regardless Of Their Party

At the end of the day, even the best candidates have human limitations, and being an elected official is an immense responsibility. The sheer number of decisions they have to make on a wide range of topics, and often very quickly, is a lot of pressure. Add on top of that the tensions surrounding many of their decisions, the opposing opinions that may (or may not) have equal credibility, and the number of lives that could be impacted by their decisions. Regardless of whether or not you agree with a candidate or elected official, they need your prayers.

No Matter How It Turns Out, There Is Still Hope

Whether the election turns out as we hope or not, we have to remember that God is still sovereign. As it says in the book of Daniel, “He removes kings and sets up kings” (2:21), and He has a reason for doing both. As we go through what will likely be a tumultuous election cycle, it is important that we remember to hold fast to our faith and trust that God has a plan for whatever the outcomes might be.

This article was originally published by NC Family Policy Council.