"Never Talk Religion or Politics"
It's an age-old phrase that many people say - "You shouldn't talk about religion or politics." Why is that? The obvious answer is that they can cause conflict - but it doesn't have to be that way.
Like most important topics, religion and politics are held extremely tight by people who have strong convictions. That's okay. However, that doesn't mean that we should ignore these potentially volatile topics all together. Because of their great importance, shouldn't that be more reason to discuss them lovingly and with great respect? Can't we speak passionately and lovingly, yet come out on opposite ends of an issue, and still be friends?
I believe that many people who say that you shouldn't talk about religion or politics are afraid of having their worldview examined. If your beliefs can't stand up to the scrutiny of others, are they really worth holding? If I've done my homework and I am confident in my beliefs, I'm not going to be offended at hearing an opposing perspective. We can ultimately disagree, but neither of us should be offended if we are confident in our respective positions.
I suspect that many people have not given a lot of thought about their position, and therefore they feel insecure when someone simply questions them. A thoughtful discussion is a great way to reason through what you believe. The problem is many people haven't thought through the issue because the discussions are not taking place. Instead we desire to be blissfully happy in our shallow conversations about trite topics such as the weather, sports, and celebrity gossip. It seems like our greatest fear is that we may end up disagreeing with someone. I don't think we should neglect the weightier issues of life and simply stick with lighthearted chit-chat only.
Besides, if you are a Christian, doesn't this saying, "never talk religion or politics", fly directly in the face of so many of Jesus' commands?
"Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." Mark 16:15
"As the Father sent me, I am sending you." John 20:21
"Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field." Matthew 9:38
"Go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Luke 9:60b
How are we supposed to be obedient
to the preceding commands from our Lord without
talking about what the world would call "Religion?"
How can we be obedient to God and loving to others all the while still holding the view that we should never speak about religion or politics? We can't.
If I have found everlasting life, and I kept that to myself because I am concerned that I may hurt someone's feelings, or it would make for some awkward conversations, would I really be showing love to others?
The loving thing to do would be to genuinely inquire with the people in our lives about their spiritual convictions, then lovingly share with them what the Lord has done for all who are in Christ. What's so wrong about asking the questions, "I'm curious, please tell me what you believe about life after death? What do you think is going to happen to you? Can I share with you what the Bible teaches?" Really, what's the big deal about that? Are we that sensitive? With so much at stake, how can we avoid such a conversation? We can handle it, can't we?