Step #5: Promote the Common Good by Championing Biblical Principles
How can Christians promote Biblical principles in the public square without jeopardizing their Gospel witness?
This is a difficult and contentious question. It appears that Christian political involvement swings from one extreme to the other. Either we are participating in the new political tribalism (our socio-political identity now trumps everything else, even our faith) or we are quietly withdrawing from public life.
Of late, many Christians and church leaders, tired of the “culture warring,” have defaulted to a quiet withdrawal from the full-contact sport of public life. This is underscored by a recent survey that found that 60% of Christians receive little to no “political discipleship” from their churches.
So, what should a church leader’s and a committed Christian’s role be in the public square? It boils down to this: gospel-centered citizenship.
BCI focus on transforming public life through the power of the Gospel, and citizenship is a critical piece. Why? Well, can we truly say that we love our neighbor if we say nothing and do nothing about the policies that significantly impact every area of their lives? I think not.
So, what should Christian citizenship look like now? Though our response will vary from issue to issue, here are three guiding principles for promoting Biblical principles in public life:
3 Guiding Principles for Christian Citizenship
- We Are Caesar: In Matthew 22, Jesus said: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s…” So, who, in the American context, is Caesar? Is it Congress, the Supreme Court or the President? Nope. The preamble to the Constitution states: “We the People of the United States… do ordain and establish this Constitution…” Therefore, we, the people, are Caesar. We are citizen-sovereigns. What, then, does our “Caesar” (form of government) require of us? Our form of government requires our principled participation.
- We are Citizens: I want to reclaim the word “citizen.” Think “neighbor” but in the context of your city, state and nation. Some Christians engage in the public square in an attempt to preserve their Christian subculture or “crush” their political opponents. Though these motivations are understandable, they are not the correct motivation. We should engage in the public square to seek the common good of our cities, state and nation (Jer. 29).
- We are Christians: Jesus also said this in Matthew 22: “..and unto God the things that are God’s.” What does God require us? Our ultimate allegiance to Him and His principles (Matt. 6:33). American government is (to a large degree) morally neutral. It relies upon the ideas and principles of its people to inform its policies. Therefore, the American ship of state relies upon our moral compass for guidance. We should embrace rather than shrink from that role.
For a more detailed explanation of these principles of political discipleship, watch the Outsiders video on this here.
In summary, here are those five steps:
5 Steps to Master Gospel-Centered Citizenship in Post-Christian America
- Reimagine your Role in Public Life
- Master Cultural Apologetics and Know the Law
- Build Relationships with Elected Officials
- Identify and Solve Community Problems
- Promote the Common Good by Championing Biblical Principles
If you will follow these steps, you can transform your community, state and nation with the power of the Gospel! It’s time to get to work!
How can we help you?
We help churches and committed Christians impact their community through:
- Speaking at Churches/Events
- Legal Partnerships
Contact us today with questions or to schedule a speaker!
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