May the reality that I cannot know the whole Truth never keep me from bearing witness to what I can and do see.– Prayer, Justin McRoberts
Author Michael Wear argues that most Christians have an obligation to participate in politics, but then tries to debunk his own argument.
William Bowes, a mental health counselor in Boston, MA says that pride, the moralization of politics, and the politicization of morals are three major reasons why people are so divided when discussing politics. How do we solve those issues as Christians? By learning about different perspectives on issues, knowing that we Christ’s ambassadors in all situations and because we are commanded to live peaceably with all in Romans 12.
A call to pastors but applicable to everyone to breach the subject of politics – not in a partisan way – but in distinct ways by focusing on principles before policies, using curriculum developed by the Center for Public Justice and prioritizing love – and yes that includes the people you disagree with.
Unfortunately there is almost no distinction between how Christians and non-Christians are engaging in politics on social media. Name calling, condescending remarks and canceling family and friends is the norm. To combat our false sense of certainty and pride we should be slow to post and quick to pray while being more certain of your failures than others.
After laying out why we lean towards tribalism around topics and acknowledging that Christians are shaped more by politics then the Bible senior editor at The Gospel Coalition Brett McCracken calls on the church to be prophetic “from the center point of the Gospel.” That means making a lot of people angry because the Gospel will attack multiple sides at the same time while not subscribing to any political party.
From the common false gospels of today to the excellent recommendations for liturgies and sacraments to orient one towards Jesus, Kaitlyn Schiess covers a lot of ground in the well researched The Liturgy of Politics.
Pantsuit Politics Podcast co-hosts and lawyers Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers have over 525 episodes and five years of experience talking about controversial issues. In I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening) the duo distills the lessons they’ve learned from the podcast into ten rules for Christians to guide them as they discuss politics. From advocating for talking about politics, to getting curious about other people’s views, to being comfortable with nuance and paradox, Holland and Silvers provide practical ways to breakout of political divisiveness and engage in conversations with grace and nuance.
Humans are created in the image of God. That sentence is what Christians should build their framework around for political engagement. Not a political party, not a tribe and not an ideology. Human dignity is one the major themes that flows throughout Compassion (&) Conviction.
As an American the right to vote is seemingly implicit, but the reality is that there has been, and continues to be, a focused effort to suppress voting. In fact, America was founded on voter suppression as only property owning white men could vote when the Constitution was penned.
A Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday column penned by lawyer and columnist David French. The Sunday column is free while the others require a subscription. French deep dives into gun rights, abortion and much more with an accessible, easy to understand writing style.
A daily newsletter with short blurbs of the top headlines from around the world. Although this newsletter leans conservative, we appreciate that they are not afraid to critique both parties or give credit where credit is due. We recommend starting with the free version and then pay for a subscription if you want more in-depth stories and commentary.
Michael and Melissa Wear provide in depth commentary from major political events such as the Republican and Democratic conventions along with commentary on major debates.
In a polished Radiolab (NPR) style presentation complete with commentary interspersed with interviews and upbeat music the hosts expertly tell the story of polarization and its two main effects on Christians.
Hosts Sarah Stewart Holand and Beth Silvers say media is tough to consume as it is a mix of culture, government and industry. Recognizing those distinctions is important before diving in. The hosts do an excellent job of recommending news sources while also suggesting how to evaluate a candidate.
Political divisiveness has saturated American political culture and unfortunately there is little distinction between how Christians and non-Christians engage in conversation. But, Christians are called to be nuanced and intentional in political discourse.
Detailing the origins and the evolution of their political ideologies hosts Jemar Tisby and Tyler Burns discuss that as Christians we must be nuanced with our political involvement and, regardless of the party, we must prioritize the poor and the oppressed. Those that grew up in a predominately white church or private school will identify with Burns’ story.
Using the Sermon on the Mount as the base pastor and author Mike Erre makes the case that Christianity is a political entity. Note that there are two swear words in the podcast.
A short 21-minute sermon from pastor Thomas McKenzie of Church of the Redeemer (Nashville, TN) that is based on five principles found in Colossians to guide the church when engaging in politics. The sermon is accessible and delivered with humor.
In an engaging information packed 45-minute sermon Justin Giboney says, “Christians on both sides of the political spectrum need to ask themselves if they are going to be accomplices or cross bearers. Will we add to the tribalism and division or will we be models of civility and reconciliation? Walk with me into this tension.”
Using a football game with two teams (the warring ideologies of culture), officials (Christians), a rule book (the Bible), and a crowd (the people of the world) as an analogy Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship (Dallas, TX) pastor Tony Evans says that God has a unique perspective on voting.
Pastor Duke Kwon says that there are four things we need to recognize when reading Matthew 22:15-22 – political power is seductive, Jesus does not fit neatly into political parties and that we should give and withhold from the government. The sound is lower than normal, so make sure to turn it up.
Teaching from Luke 3 pastor and theologian Tim Keller says that Jesus was political and not political at the same time because Jesus’ definition of power is different from the world’s. True power, as interpreted by the world, consists of coercion and power over people while actual power lies in changing people from the inside and self emptying.
A five-part devotional focusing on politics totaling 69 minutes presented by pastor Scott Sauls of Christ Presbyterian Church (Nashville, TN). Short and insightful – a fantastic place to start your journey towards what it means to be a Christian and be involved in politics. This also would be a solid resource to integrate into your quiet time, Bible reading or a small group setting.
Ever wondered how a local church can affect local legislation? The Ordinance tells the story of faith leaders from several denominations uniting to change the predatory lending of payday loan companies in Texas.
A well rounded discussion with southern Baptist leader Dr. Richard Land, the AND campaign’s Justin Giboney and Michael Wear, author Kaitlyn Schiess, recording artist Michael W. Smith with Issue One’s Weston and Zach Wamp moderating the talk.