NASHVILLE (BP) – The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) has released a political engagement guide titled “The Nations Belong To God: A Christian Guide For Political Engagement.” The resource is meant to coincide with this year’s presidential election.
The guide is written by Andrew Walker, assistant professor of ethics and apologetics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and fellow at the ERLC Research Institute. It addresses 40 different questions covering political topics such as Christian involvement in government, the relationship between church and government, voting, morality and justice.
ERLC President Brent Leatherwood said the resource is meant to serve as a basic introduction to political engagement during an increasingly turbulent time.
“The resource before you, patterned off the ancient model of a catechism, is a starting point for Christians thinking about how to engage the political processes around them,” Leatherwood wrote in the guide’s forward.
“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.
“My hope is that this document would cause us to step back and consider, like those new believers being introduced to all that is contained in the baptismal profession that Jesus is Lord and Savior, what our faith has to teach us about life in the public square.”
Miles Mullin, ERLC vice president and director of research, said the ERLC desires to “help Southern Baptists think biblically about political engagement in a way that neither elevates politics to a position of ultimate concern nor denigrates political engagement as unimportant.”
“It reminds us that although Jesus’ Kingdom is not of this world, we can and should work for the good of our communities, states, and nation in a way that honors the Lord,” Mullin said in a press release.
“While the guide has been carefully crafted in an accessible question-and-answer format, author Andrew Walker does not shy away from challenging topics. He presents a thoroughly Baptist perspective regarding things like religious liberty, freedom of conscience, and ecclesiology.
“‘The Nations Belong to God’ will serve pastors and leaders this presidential election year, and continue to be an excellent guide to navigating the politics that often affect our daily lives the most–the politics of our local communities.”
Read the full Baptist Press article here.