Can I tell you what frustrates me most about our politicized climate? (I know, welcome to church… right?) It’s that nothing ever gets done.
Increasingly, politics has become about espousing the right positions. On fertility, on voting rights, on immigration, on pandemics. Our two party system reduces every issue to a strict binary. But more than that, it makes us feel that the most important thing is that we adhere to a particular perspective.
So, if I call myself a pro-life candidate, I don’t have to actually be involved in the lives of pregnant women making difficult decisions about their future.
Or if I call myself pro-immigration, I don’t have to actually know any immigrants, let alone do anything to help them make a life here.
Because I support the right candidate, and it’s their job to do all that stuff. All I have to do is support them.
Is it any wonder nothing changes? By polarizing us, our system also paralyzes us.
And it’s not like faith has been a big help in all this. In fact, Christianity has been coopted, swept into the polarization of our politics. In our culture, ‘Christian’ is synonymous with far-right candidates and policies.
Don’t you wish it were different? I know I do. I hunger for a faith that steers my political engagement, not the other way around. I dream of a church where we’re not afraid to get political, but where we ruthlessly refuse to be partisan.
I think we can be that church. Yes, it’s hard – especially because we’re pressing against the culture around us. But today I want to ask what it looks like for us to be a church that takes seriously our call to love our neighbors – the most provocative, political command in the Bible.