How can we win souls through our political posture?


(SeanO) #1

So, @Keldon_Scott got me thinking about politics. I had recently been reading one of Ravi’s books - here are a few quotes from the relevant chapter:

“Our culture’s religious allegiance is to the authority of the human mind.”

“Modern philosophy, including that which is often called postmodern, does not recognize or acknowledge that it is the heart’s commitments that control the rational life.”

“There is nothing that requires such gentle handling as an illusion if one wishes to dispel it. If anything prompts the prospective captive to set his will in opposition, all is lost. And this is what a direct attack achieves…” - Soren Kierkegard

Given that our culture, just like an individual, is held captive by illusions, I had the following question and I wanted to hear your guys’ thoughts.

How can we win souls through our political posture? How do we approach politics in such a way to both change society and change hearts?

(Keldon Scott) #2

I definitely think that it has nothing to do with winning in politics and everything about: 1. living the way we say we believe. and 2. living wisely among those who do not believe. So tjat they woll know. Jesus did just that. The old songs that say “they will know we are Christians by our love” will let all know that we stand strong on our God given identity and our love for him, but also will enable us to speak with graciousness and attractiveness. When we stand strong for the fundamental foundations of our Country which God blessed in our freedom and our pursuits we do so for the benefit of all even tho they sometimes know not.

(C Rhodes) #3

@SeanO. This is an old thread, but it popped up in the current discussion cycle. So, I will add my two bits.

I believe just as Keldon does that we are not called to proselytize anyone’s political ideology. To do so is place the buggy before the horse. If the eye is full of light it emanates from the heart, not from any party’s political rhetoric.

We want fellow citizens to be engaged in relationship with GOD so that their reasoning aligns with GOD’s will for us all. Given the collective human nature, we probably will never see such unity while in this world. But we can prayerfully choose the ‘cheese’ closest to the heart of GOD.

What political choice cannot produce, prayer will pick up the slack. Perhaps I should found the American Prayer Party? ummmmmmm!

(Omar Rushlive Lozada Arellano) #4

This is a good question. For me, the politics we use to approach our society, would depend on what we believe about the nature of man. If we believe like Rousseau, that man is basically good, then for sure, our approach would start from the collective, because we would say that the social structures or the status quo are at fault for corrupting man. But as Christians, since we believe that man is not basically good, and that we are dead in sins, we would start with individuals, and we can see here the large role of the gospel in the conversion of sinners.

I hope this would encourage us to think deeply about how the Christian worldview should inform our politics. People tend to underestimate the power of the gospel in bringing about change. They underestimate discipleship as a way in lowering the social problem on morality. For starters, I believe that we can win souls through our political posture, by refusing to be tools of people from both sides of the political dialectic, I’m not saying that it’s wrong per se to be part of a political party, but whatever we are fighting for, we need to be sure that based on God’s Word, it should be something that we ought to be fighting for.

(SeanO) #5

@cer7 Yes, a group of people devoted to prayer and to loving their enemies would be a wonderful breath of fresh air in the current political climate.

(SeanO) #6

@omnarchy I agree it is crucial to have humility in our opinions that by doing so we may win others to Christ and not simply to a particular viewpoint.

(Warner Joseph Miller) #7

If I may add my bit to this great question and thread (thx @SeanO), I’d say that for one – particularly as Christians/Jesus followers – it is PARAMOUNT that we endeavor to see EVERY human being as a fellow image bearer of the Most High God; created on purpose with purpose by the same loving God who created you AND is therefore inherently endowed with infinte worth and sacredness. I believe that all ‘isms’ have their root in neglecting that fact.

Secondly, this scripture comes to mind and speaks volumes:

“And if one member suffers, all the parts share the suffering; if one member is honored, all rejoice with it. Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body, and individually [you are] members of it [each with his own special purpose and function].” ~
1 CORINTHIANS 12:26‭-‬27 AMP

Again, specifically as Christians, compassion and empathy run deep to the very core and foundations of our beliefs. If a brother or sister has expressed sincere hurt or pain in some capacity, the very first instinct to be right or to be correct may not be the most prudent. Regardless of whether or not we - you or I - fundamentally agree, understand, endorse, etc with them or not. If someone is or has expressed a great pain or wrong committed, coming along side, actually seeing them and “mourning with those who mourn” can potentially speak louder and gain more intercultural, social and political capital than any “reasoned” rebuttal. As the old church ladies would say, "That’ll preach!":laughing: But seriously, compassion, love, humility and empathy are, in many instances, over talked and underused and yet immensely powerful in winning souls via political, social or cultural posture.

Great question, man! And great contributions all!

(Jimmy Sellers) #8

I am not sure that you can separate politics from religion. If you ask this question in the 1st century church or 1st century culture at large you would most likely have gotten a confused look. Religion is a fairly modern invention. The ability to compartmentalize our lives around what we believe as separate from how we live is pretty much a modern thing. No one in Paul’s day cared what you believed because what you believed was demonstrated in how you lived. Not just your private life but your public life your vocation and your community life. There is a good argument that would suggest that those who opposed Paul opposed him not just because he preached Christ but because he was perceived to be teaching a new way of life not a belief system. It would have been more akin to a philosophy. The church that he advocated for was not a place that you would do church stuff and then go about your business the rest of the time.

I like NT Wright. This is his definition of church, note there is no hint of politics just away of living.

Network of worship based, ethically rigorous, egalitarian, philanthropic, fictive kinship groups, church for short.

I know the question is:

For me the answer is not with politics regardless the stripe


(SeanO) #9

@Jimmy_Sellers I think the modern separation of Church and state was an attempt to handle the conflicts that raged historically in Europe due to the tight intermingling of the two. On a more fundamental level, we are still trying to answer the question, “What is the right way to govern a multicultural society?” Ancient cultures generally had one dominant religion - that of the conqueror - which allowed more or less leeway for its citizens in their own religious practices depending on the ruler. Often the larger empires allowed more leeway as long as tribute came when due. Our current solution for governing a multicultural society has resulted in tribalism, so it is still an open question.

Perhaps the solution is not so much in our political views as it is in the humility with which we approach the topic?