How does faith work with politics?
This is a faith-related question I frequently get asked because of my previous role serving as a pastor. Faith plays an important part in my life and in my family’s. Frankly, I don’t think we can answer this relationship between faith and politics without understanding the general purpose of a Christian in this world. Here are a few of my thoughts:
What’s the Christian’s purpose in this world? At the very basic level is to represent and replicate God’s glory for the betterment of His creation. We each have our own unique calling and our own unique vocation. But we are all called to redeem our vocations for the greater purpose of God’s Kingdom and to impact our neighbors and our community for the cause of Christ.
The next logical question is, how does that relate to a political worldview, and does it even relate? Here’s how it practically plays out in my personal life. First, I’m a Christian, then a conversative, and then a republican.
My identity is in Christ and that influences my worldview: my political, economics, and my policies. The way in which I view government policy is shaped by conservatism. My party that best represents my interests and my view for government policies is the republican party. Everything I do and say is filtered through the lens of my Christian faith.
There’s a broad demographic of people in the US and a diverse set of people and those that seek elected office should do so with the intent to represent all of their constituencies.
How have you seen faith and politics mix in the past? Any examples?
One example is the role of the individual in christian theology. Everyone is made in the image and likeness of God, and that influences and shapes my worldview and how I think about things like abortion, foster care, and adoption services.
I’ve come to disagreements with people and my party about capital punishment. I fully understand, as in the Scripture, giving authority to government, but I also see this balance in the New Testament about life and grace. It’s not to forgive the punishment of the crime, but not to take life at all. That’s how on a personal level my faith has influenced my worldview and my lens of policies in particular.
I think it’s important that people understand the lens in which I see the world and the worldview that shapes my thoughts. I just want to be transparent so that people understand my heart and how I see the world.