“The Nations Belong to God: A Christian Guide for Political Engagement” is a resource written to help Christians facing an election year. This guide is a starting point for Christians to think about how to engage the political processes around them.
Every election is about getting the most votes—whether it is at the local level directly from voters or at the presidential level in the Electoral College.
Anxiety and animosity are a driving force behind a number of candidacies. Think of how many times you have heard an office seeker paint the next election as a battle between “us vs. them” or deploy dehumanizing language against opponents, specific groups, or the media.
Why are election years so difficult?
During election season, there is a tendency to reduce complex issues to soundbites. As a consequence, voters are not required to think deeply about problems and solutions. Instead of substantively engaging, voters are asked to become partisan automatons or polarized performers.
- So how do we see through the political gamesmanship and grift?
- What can be done to think more deeply how to steward our votes instead of falling into the lazy “binary choice” framework?
- Most importantly, how can we honor God as we engage in political decisions on Election Day—or any other day?
What is a Christian Guide for Political Engagement?
This guide titled “The Nations Belong to God,” patterned off the ancient model of a catechism, is a starting point for Christians thinking about how to engage the political processes around them. It is not the end of doctrine or teaching on any of these subjects, but a place to begin, a call to consider anew what it means for us to declare, “Jesus is Lord.”
Though this political catechism was written to help Christians facing an election year, and in a time when there is a growing sense of fear, polarization, vitriol, and apathy about the current landscape of politics, it is also a guide to how life should be lived every other day besides a Tuesday in November every four years. Our political participation should not be boiled down to a vote cast on one day, important as that vote may be.
Politics is about life in community with others, and those relationships exist even when candidates aren’t vying for our votes, donations, and attention.Brent Leatherwood, ERLC President
In the face of an election year sure to be filled with angst, division, and fearmongering, the teachings of Jesus will be all the more important for a witness that is bold and hopeful. The hope flowing from a confidence that no matter who occupies the White House, Congress, or seats of power, our citizenship lies in heaven, and our work as ambassadors continues.