Posted by: morgan1965 | October 12, 2015

Jesus & the Politics of the Flip-Flop

Let’s begin with two questions. Have you ever been accused of flip-flopping? Have you ever accused another person of flip-flopping?

Just what does it mean to flip-flop? A flip-flop has to do with change. It could be a change of heart or a change of mind. Some definitions suggest that flip-flop means backsliding or change like a chameleon. It also means conversion or the opposite stance. What does it mean to you?

Let’s add the definition that says a flip-flop is a backward handspring; it is an abrupt reversal of policy.

Here are some synonyms for flip-flop: reversal, about-face, U-turn and turnaround, as well as other words. Does flip-flop have positive or negative meaning for you?

In today’s culture it is not helpful for a political candidate to be accused of flip-flopping; it could be deadly. Political candidates are not supposed to change their stance on a political issue. It suggests that a political candidate is unprincipled or worse, calculating. Consider a few accusations of political flip-flopping: Mitt Romney and health care, John Kerry and Iraq.

Was the Apostle Paul, formerly Saul, a flip-flopper? Saul persecuted the Jews and treated them with hatred and venom. But he changed after he encountered God on the Damascus Road. Saul had a change of heart and mind. He accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He stopped persecuting the Jews and became an evangelist for Jesus Christ. God even changed his name from Saul to Paul.

Does not a political candidate or an experienced politician have the right to experience a change of heart and subsequently a change of mind? Some media folk would have the public to believe that it is not okay, declaring such a change to be a flip-flop [negative connotation]. It is, therefore, unacceptable. From a theological perspective, I welcome a change of heart and a change of mind when a person is genuinely influenced by the leading of the Holy Spirit and the prompting of prayer, meditation, and holy conferencing. Cannot a politician be led by such prompting?

Such a perspective negates the action of a politician who changes his/her position based on expediency or the blowing of the wind, in order to gain political advantage. If there is to be political change, there first must be change in the politicians. We need politicians and spiritual leaders who act on principles and not expediency.

Jesus calls for us to change, to turn around. He wants us to follow him. He wants us to feed his sheep. He wants us to be born again.

Walter Hawkins captured this notion in his song, “Changed:”

“A change has come over me,
He changed my life and now I’m free.
He washed away all my sins and he made me whole.”

Is repentance an act of “flip-flopping?” No, repentance is accepting the power of the Holy Spirit fostering a change in one’s life.

My prayer is that God will send us political candidates, seasoned politicians, and spiritual leaders who are willing to be changed even though they run the risk of being labeled as a flip-flopper.

Think about it!


  1. I agree that flip-flopping is often looked at it in a negative way. I think it really takes courage for someone in the public eye to readjust their position once they have gained new information. And I think they should be applauded once they state reasonable grounds for their change of mind/heart.

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