I’ve been curious about the intersection between politics and faith and was wondering why it is that we seem to be so passionate about our politics and less so about our faith?

Talking to church members about loving the poor and showing love to one another tends to evoke little interest, but merely mentioning politics dramatically increases the collective blood pressure of all involved. It doesn’t matter that when we entered a room that we were “one in Christ,” for the true marker of our worth and identity during these times seems to come down to political affiliation, a two party system that often trumps and perpetuates the dualism inherent in Western Christianity. All of the sudden people assume that they are righteous because of their political proclivities, while others, whose perspectives differ from the majority, are easily tossed into the category of bolstering the cause of “the enemy” and others who make up the so called “axis of evil.”

What we are beginning to see is a incredibly influential yet damning use of language that reduces humanity to a single concept, that of being either good or evil. The remarkably multifaceted nature of humanity as created by God, and therefore ontologically good, yet fallen and in need of redemption is instructive for our public discourse intent on reducing individuals to the lowest common denominator.

How do we get to the point of inculcating a respect for all people regardless of their political perspectives and families, countries, and religions of origin? How do we call our people back to their baptisms in a way that allows for free discourse on political issues but that ultimately yields the need to be right for the sake of Christian community? Being apolitical is not a solution, for the bulk of humanity’s problems must be addressed on a political scale.

At the same time, our ecclesiology must become more robust and reformed if we are to become anything more than a place for political conservatives and liberals to gather as they attempt to spew surface level niceties at one another when in reality they harbor deep seated resentment toward those on the other side of the political spectrum. How do we get at this dynamic in our churches and in our world?

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