Have you ever felt too progressive for conservatives, but too conservative for progressives? Faced with a false “either/or” framing of many issues, Christians today often times can find themselves feeling politically homeless in our current landscape. Justin Giboney and Michael Wear — and the AND Campaign — speak to this issue in their call for compassion and conviction, truth and love, concern about moral order and addressing the injustices in our society. Today Justin and Michael join Kirk for a discussion on their newest book, Compassion (&) Conviction: The AND Campaign’s Guide to Faithful Civic Engagement. We talk “Why should Christians care about politics?” and “How?”
In this episode, Kirk sits down with pastor and political theologian Jonathan Leeman to talk Church and politics. They discuss, what is the relationship between church and state? Religion and politics? And how do we love those with whom we disagree politically?
How The Nations Rage: Rethinking Faith and Politics in a Divided Age (2018)
Political Church: The Local Assembly as Embassy of Christ’s Rule (2016)
How Can I Love Church Members with Different Politics? (2020)
“Politics, Conscience, and the Church: Why Christians Passionately Disagree with One Another over Politics, Why They Must Agree to Disagree over Jagged-Line Political Issues, and How” (Themelios: 45:1, 2020)
Integrity matters. If you want to serve as a testimony to Christian ethics, then you’re actually going to need to hold them, and that means holding them with consistency. Hypocrisy and double-standards will effectively serve to mute your witness.
It’s hard to cry out against a sin in one instance when, in another instance, you’ve excused, blown-off, or chosen to overlooked that sin.
What if the sort of “power” and influence Jesus intended for his followers wasn’t one of ends-justify-the-means ethical compromise and political power-plays, but witness to a “revolutionary”-like ethic like that of Mt 5-7, with all the integrity, lowliness, and self-sacrifice involved therein (5:13-16)?
Many advocate ethical compromise for the sake of “the greater good” (or “the lesser of two evils”). But what shall it profit the church if it gains a whole election but loses its witness? What if the church’s witness is the actual means of its impact?
For myself, I’ve only posted a handful of posts directly related to this election; but the ones that I have posted have seemed to gather a lot of attention, and not always the best sort. So it’s given me some pause…
The intensely public nature of social media, which makes it an amazing tool and opportunity to reach a large audience, simultaneously can make it a terrible forum for discussing sensitive topics. Its “melting pot” nature is not particularly suiting for “in house” discussions. It’s a forum that easily yields misunderstanding. And it’s also impersonal, which means it doesn’t always bring out our best, since we can hide behind our keyboards.
These two realities create something of a tension of interests for me — a great opportunity on the one hand; and a danger on the other. I’ve been wrestling through this tension a lot as of late.
Another tension I feel is the divided results of such posts. Those same posts that seem to inflame and do no good simultaneously seem to benefit others greatly. Unfortunately, often times its the less-than-beneficial sort of stuff that seems to occur in the comments. That’s where things seem to get nasty most of the time. And it’s public. But for as many negative responses I’ve witnessed, I’ve had a counterbalancing amount of amazingly constructive and positive conversations and responses in messages, over the phone, and in person. So, this is another tension over which I’m wrestling.
I’m trying to wrestle through this. If I have in any way failed to strike that balance, I apologize.
For the encouragement some of you have expressed and the constructive conversations that were had, I’m grateful. The rest, I find regrettable. And that’s not meant to be in reference to any of you; I’m talking about what’s on me (my responsibility) as the one posting. It’s given me pause and making me reconsider.