How do we multiply disciples in a climate of political divide?
By Jenny Collins ’05
W hen it comes to the stereotype of Christians in the U.S., the world seems to know us by our politics.
But Jesus said the world would know we are His not by our political posturing, but by our posture—a posture of love.
So how do we think and act “Christianly” about politics—whether they are local or national issues, workplace or church differences, or personal or family disagreements?
Why are some of us quick to dismiss or demonize those with whom we disagree rather than listen and engage in dialogue? Or others of us fearful or threatened by those we perceive will disagree loudly?
How do we multiply disciples in a climate of division?
These are just some of the questions that sparked this Pilot theme. So we posed these questions to six professors, who offered deep and diverse wisdom along with practical thinking points, all grounded in biblical truth.
After hours of rich 1:1 conversations, many aha moments and some hearty amens, one reality became clear: We as Christians wrestle with this in the world because we wrestle among ourselves and within ourselves.
The people with whom we disagree live next door, attend our churches, interact with us at work, comment on our Facebook posts and even live in our homes.
Too often, when it comes to areas of difference, we estrange ourselves from the “strangers” God calls us to love, to build relationships with.
In our efforts to be right, we can behave so wrongly. But our hope for change, ultimately, is not about crowding around the “right” policy or position, as much as it is about spiritual formation—Christian maturity.
Ephesians 4:15–16 says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (NIV).
Truth. Love. Maturity. The whole body. Different parts. Working together.
Enjoy the conversation.
Read on for the following professors’ "thinking points" perspectives.