I am really not interested in this blog space becoming a forum for ongoing political conversation. The name of this site is “Talkingfaith.org” and so it seems that issues of faith would be our primary focus. This is a conversation ministry of our church and I am a pastor. I guess I should be sticking closely to those areas and topics around which I have some expertise. Sounds reasonable.
Last week I posted about my frustrations with politicians who seem content with “thoughts and prayers” when our country is struck by another mass shooting. Most of the feedback I heard was positive, even when we disagreed. We can have serious disagreements and still have positive conversations.
But I have to admit my frustration when someone says to me, “Jim, you need to keep the politics out of faith conversations.” Over the years I have heard this comment a lot. Most of the time, it seems to come from a distorted view of the separation of church and state. I strongly support constitutional provisions that restrict governmental intrusion into the life of the church. However, that is a limitation of government not personal self-expression.
To suggest that faith has no voice concerning politics is to somehow suggest that there are areas in our lives where God is not sovereign. To suggest that the church should not be addressing political concerns of the day is to relegate the church to the cloudy margins of irrelevancy. Faith is a worldview, a way of ordering priorities and values. As a result, faith inevitably addresses EVERY area of our lives – personal and corporate. Faith can – and should – shape our politics, not the other way around.