Love is the primary motivation for the church’s involvement in politics. The primary act of love is living out the gospel. Everything else falls under the category of wisdom and stewardship.
The key component is that the gospel must be lived. Os Guiness articulates living the gospel in a very scholarly approach in his book, Fools Talk. In it Os emphasizes that the gospel is something lived.
Gone are the days of a well thought out argumentation with seven points and counter points as to the existence of God. Our audience in America does not care about hard truth as much as they care about our compassionate hearts.
“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care”
I have two guiding items for living out the gospel.
- “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” 1 Peter 3:15b
I must live with hope to have a reason of telling someone why I have that hope. Per politics I cannot worry about current and future policies and leaders. If the economy falls apart, The Lord is God and Christ will provide. Did your political opponent win? All things are in God’s control.
We must act with compassion regarding ill affects a policy has on those we love. The same compassion must be fused with faith in God’s ultimate goodness. His Goodness is the starting point for why we have hope. The “reason” is our personal experience receiving God’s goodness.
2. “…what does the LORD require of you? To act justly…” Micah 6:8 that is, do, produce, cause, or enact justice.
In the book of Isaiah the Lord is angry with Israel. Not for particular sins, but because they have not been taking care of the poor, the fatherless, and the widows. Jesus call to his followers is decidedly one of action and healing things that are broken. For more on this see my post, “Justice: Healing Wrongs”
In view of politics ask ourselves:
Is the response I am going to have show my hope in Christ as the ultimate hope?
Does this policy, rule, or regulation assist or burden my ability to live the gospel?
Finally, and expounded on in the next post: is this a church role that they can / will fulfill, or is it one better given to governments acting in wisdom?