Racial reckoning, a threatening pandemic, devastating wildfires… our country is practically pulling apart at the seams. In the middle of all this, we’re facing the usual fervor associated with a presidential election. Except this isn’t like other presidential elections, because of heightened turmoil of our times makes the discord all the more obvious. Emotions are running high. Everyone is looking for reason to take offense—and no one has to look very long or far to find it. The climate feels oppressive and hopeless. So for those who find hope in their Christian faith, it seems the best response to all this is to simply preach the gospel. Certainly if we just focus our energy on getting more people saved, that will solve everything. Certainly Jesus can fix this mess… right?
In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson continue with the For God and Country series. Each episode will tackle an aspect of how faith and politics collide. In this conversation, Erin and Hannah discuss the desire to back out of our current political fray by focusing on sharing the Good News of Jesus. After all, this is the goodness the world needs! If we just preach the gospel, hearts will be changed and that will impact our society naturally, with little need to confront specific inequities and injustices. The idea is that the gospel is the main thing, and society’s ills are merely a product of the unredeemed human heart. But this approach assumes that Christians have a corner on goodness, that they never contribute to or benefit from society’s ills. So just preaching the gospel assumes that we are actually preaching the gospel—the same Good News that promises justice to the poor, the captives, the blind, and the oppressed. It seems that Jesus means to upend the world as evidence that the gospel has come. In addition, Hannah talks with Sam Haist about his approach to preparing his congregation at Redeemer Indianapolis to engage in the common good. So can we “just preach the gospel” and still hope for political change in society? How does the gospel change our perspective so that we are free to do hard, painful work for the common good? What does the gospel call us to do as we wait for the world to be renewed? Listen in for dialogue on questions like these as we learn to think more clearly about the intersection of faith and politics. Then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.
This episode of Persuasion is sponsored in part by LifeWay’s Christian Standard Bible, a translation that presents the truth of God’s Word with accuracy and clarity. The CSB equips today’s readers for lifelong discipleship with hundreds of designs to choose from at CSBible.com.
PERSUASION 203 RESOURCES & LINKS
Find Sam Haist, Pastor of Formation at Redeemer Indianapolis, on Twitter: @samhaist
Why Our Sunday School Disciples Christians in Politics by Sam Haist, Christianity Today
Did you enjoy this episode of Persuasion? Give the entire series a listen:
Persuasion 200 | For God and Country? with Kaitlyn Schiess
Persuasion 201 | Taking America Back for God
Persuasion 202 | Toeing the Party Line
Theme music by Maiden Name.