In my last post, I recommended a little book by my Wheaton colleague Vince Bacote–The Political Disciple: A Theology of Public Life. If you’d like a sample of Bacote’s views on the principles that should guide Christians’ political engagement, check out his online essay “Disciples After the Election.”
Bacote’s essay centers on a single compelling question: “What are disciples of Jesus to do in this time of great division?” He answers with three sensible suggestions that all American Christians should take to heart. I’ll not spoil it for you by listing them, but I can’t help sharing his final comments, which present a bracing challenge to the churches of our land. This season of deep division in the United States “is also a tremendous time for Christians to display public faithfulness,” Bacote writes, and the church’s role in promoting this is vital:
The church can help congregants revisit (or discover) a life of discipleship exemplified by love for neighbor that includes winsome and imaginative public engagement, a posture of humility that attends deep convictions, and a commitment to the flourishing of all humans that runs counter to the cries of those only concerned with their personal rights.
“Much has been written about what Christians have done wrong in public,” Bacote concludes, “but this moment presents the church with an opportunity to show what we can, by God’s grace, do right: to form disciples whose love for God leads to love of neighbor and the flourishing of all.”