I have made it a point to avoid as much about politics as I can at Sound Tradition. I have found that there is plenty of sin and evil on both sides of the aisle and the Christians true allegiance is to God and the bible. However, it can be generally agreed, that the average Evangelical leans Republican. According to PEW research 56% of Evangelical Protestants are or lean Republican. For those of you getting worried that I might be breaking my own rule here, I am just laying a foundation. I say all of this to say, that the average Evangelical is going to err on the side of the Republican party and the temptation will be there to also err in the same sins of the Republican party.
There has been a trend within the Republican party to use a new phrase. It is plastered on T-shirt, boats, hats, bumper stickers. One of my favorite burger joints has it plastered all over the store. That phrase is "Let's Go Brandon." When I first heard the phrase I had no clue what it meant so I started researching it. So for those who do not know, on October 2, 2021 NBC reporter Kelli Stavast was reporting at the Sparks 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. Cheers erupted in the stands and people started chanting "F*ck Joe Biden" during her interview with driver Brandon Brown. During the interview, she honestly thought she heard, "Let's God Brandon" and reported that is what they audience was chanting. Since then, the phrase "Let's Go Brandon" has become a euphemism for "F*ck Joe Biden"
Now we have to ask ourselves if we should be saying things like this as a believer. To answer this question we need to look at different aspects to the question:
The Biblical Teaching on Speech
Ephesians 4:29-30 says "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
The Christian is called to have speech that is clean: not corrupt. What does corrupt mean though? Corrupt here is the word σαπροσ (sparos) which means rotten, worthless or bad. The mental image that comes to mind is fruit that has begun to mold. It corrupts because it is rotten. If you have a rotten apple in a pile of apples, the rottenness will spread. The believer's speech is supposed to not spread corruption. We need to ask ourselves, "Will this cause others to think and feel sinful thoughts because of what I am saying?" As it relates to the phrase "Let's Go Brandon," we are causing others to interpret that phrase in their mind as "F*ck Joe Biden" Is this a phrase we would use? Is this an attitude that the Christian should have? We will look more at that later.
There is a positive side to this command as well: the believer should speak things "good to the use of edifying." We should be consumed with saying things that will build up, help, edify others. Is this phrase something that is going to make the other person better? Our speech is also supposed to "minister grace" to the listener. Grace is a multifaceted word that would be impossible to fully explain here, but it carries ideas such as favor, benefit, divine enablement, mercy, just to name a couple meanings in its semantic range. Our speech can impart something to the hearer that comes from God: grace.
There is also a warning tied to this command. If we do not have good, godly speech, we will grieve the Holy Spirit. You cannot be a spirit-driven, spirit-led believer if your speech is corrupt. To grieve the Spirit, means to "distress or cause sorrow." It does not please God. People who are in love are consumed with making the other person happy and not upsetting them. Are we so consumed with not upsetting the Holy Spirit in our lives? I could look at many other passages about speech but this one seems to be sufficient.
How Should We Talk about our Politicians
Many republican's also feel that Joe Biden stole the election through voter fraud. I am not going to delve those depths here, but it has become common to use the phrase "Not my President." This phrase is used as an excuse not to give the current president the honor and respect he is due for his office. Romans 13:1-2 says "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." Honoring the president means obeying and respecting his God-given authority. We can argue about whether he legitimately has that power, but the answer has nothing to do with the obligations we have as believers to honor him.
Was Ceasar King of the Jews? How about Herod? Where they good men? Did the Jews approve of all their actions, policies and beliefs? The example of the believers was though they called out sin, they respected and obeyed the rule of the rulers placed over them except when it violated God's word. Christianity was not an insurrectionist religion. I am not saying we should not be politically active or even stand up for our rights, but if a president is placed in position by God and they are, then we owe certain honor to them.
Notice in Romans 13:1 that there is no power but of God, and the powers that be are ordained of God. It would not do damage to the meaning of the text to say that all the powers that be are ordained of God. The contrast with the phrase "no power but of God" indicates the word all in the next phrase. Do we know the reason? No, and we may never know why God allowed what He did, but we trust God and obey Him.
So should a believer use the phrase "Let's Go Brandon"? Does it edify? Is it morally upright speech considering the fact that the interpretation is a curse word? Does such speech not grieve the Holy Spirit? Does such speech reflect the attitude we should have toward our leaders in government? I think the answer is no and so this phrase should not be used by Christians. It is a sign that Christians have allowed politics and not the bible to be our source of authority for Faith and Practice (what we do).