The midterm elections has Christians in churches throughout America once again considering what their faith teaches about cultural and political engagement, and how their beliefs should influence how they vote.
The gospel is a holistic message with implications for all areas of life, including how Christians are called to engage the political process.
This was a point understood by key figures in the twentieth century, including German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who advocated for the church’s active engagement in politics. Four years before he was executed by the Nazis, he wrote, “A theologically correct Christian proclamation is not enough; neither are general ethical principles. What is necessary is a concrete directive in the concrete situation.”
During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to activate the church in combating racial injustices that had long been ignored. It made no sense that those who professed belief in human dignity and equality should stay silent any longer. But many churches did, and King encountered much resistance from white churches who did not see systemic racial injustice as a matter that the church should get involved with.
To not repeat the failure of inaction by many white evangelical churches, the moral majority in the 1980s brought together a group of evangelicals from all denominations to confront the culture with God’s Word and mobilize Christians to support likeminded candidates who would work to confront and undo cultural injustices.
As before, evangelicals are confronted with a moment of decision in 2018.
While some churches are still sitting silent on issues facing our culture, we believe the predominant question facing our churches today is not whether we should be involved in engaging the culture, but rather what does faithful Christian political engagement look like?
Today, Christians are inundated with resources on “how to think about (fill in the blank) as a Christian.” However, many of the teachers producing these resources seem to look down on political activism that supports the very thing discussed in their “how a Christian should think about (fill in the blank)!” For them, political activism is somehow a bridge too far, and Christians who do this have stepped over the bounds into “idolatry.”
Neither extreme—political withdrawal (while we wait for the perfect party or candidate) or idolatry of country—is acceptable. Both must be avoided.
In short, we need a model that is holistic and contextual.
Click here to read more.
Source: Christian Post