I feel like this is one of the most misunderstood ideas in the 21st century church.
“Politics” are the conversations and discernment about how we should best live out our life in a given community – especially as regards the community that we call the United States.
The Gospel is inherently political.
When we say that we are called to love our neighbor, that has real implications on how we live out our lives together. It is a political statement. When we say that Jesus has called us to love the outcast, the forgotten, that is political statement. When The Gospel compels us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and speak out for the most vulnerable, that is a political statement.
It is not an accident that the great political changes in our country’s history – the movement for the abolition of slavery, for voting rights for women and minorities, the civil rights movement, the movement for the end of child labor and workers’ rights – all of these were movements with deep roots in religious communities.
I strive as a pastor and preacher not to be overtly partisan – to not endorse one political “side” over against another. But I do not shy away from the Gospel imperative to have a voice in how we live out our faith in the larger community. I refuse to stop advocating for love.
Love of our neighbors is a political choice.
If – as disciples of Jesus – we place love at the center of our decision making and daily life, it will radically transform the way that we live together.