Question: Where do (where should) politics and faith find common ground?
Here’s the thing. Christian faith tells us we were created specifically for the purpose of living in community – community with God and community with one another. The idea of politics (at least in the founding documents of these United States) is to organize society in such a way that all people have the freedom to enjoy the inalienable right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The beauty of Christianity is that Jesus stands as God’s invitation to enjoy this sense of community in a new and living way. Jesus offers a love based understanding of what it means to live in response to our identity as God’s children. Our choice is to either take the Lord up on his gracious invitation or to pass on by.
This means that when our politics goes out of its way to deny both the initiatives of Jesus and the stated foundation of our existence as the USA, then my calling – my responsibility as a follower of Jesus – is to reaffirm what is both in common and essential to our identity as distinctively Christian Americans.
America is more than a great idea, it is an ongoing experiment. And, like all good experiments, the methodology must remain consistent throughout the life of the study. If you want the experiment to be over, no longer rooted in the ideals that made us a beacon of hope and promise for the world, then be honest about it and say so.
God may not be an American, but the beating heart of both Christianity and the intentions that founded this country share an understanding that all human beings are created equal. And, further, it is because we were imagined, designed and created by God that all persons have been endowed with these essential rights.
I am hugely in favor of the separation of church and state. What Jesus-followers must speak out against, however, is those who claim allegiance to Jesus yet dishonor both the heart of the Gospel and the commitment to welcome and compassion that have done so much to make this nation great.
Peace, and I mean that for everyone – DEREK