Light Magazine Editorial Letters

A Different Way to Engage

It’s probably not a stretch to say that few people get excited about a presidential election year in America. It’s not because they aren’t grateful for the privilege of voting or that they don’t desire positive changes for our country. It’s because, in recent years, these elections are marked by deep division, hateful rhetoric, and self-aggrandizement. It gets exhausting. 

So, it’s no surprise that even well-meaning Christians get caught up in the fray. Some withdraw from political engagement, feeling as if their voices couldn’t possibly be loud enough to make a difference. Others give in to the temptation to vilify those with whom they disagree. Neither is the most constructive way to use whatever measure of influence the Lord has given us to seek the welfare of our earthly home. 

As Christians, the way for us to engage is with the hope of Jesus Christ. 

“Bringing Hope to an Election Year” is the ERLC’s contribution to navigating the potential chaos of an election year with you. Together, we want to enter into the public square with conviction and compassion. The articles in this issue of Light magazine will remind us to exercise charity toward those with different opinions, help pastors think about their role in politics, and give us key points to consider when analyzing policy issues that Southern Baptists care about. 

The “how” of our Christian political engagement will depend on the callings, vocations, and opportunities the Lord puts before us. Pastors, for example, focus on proclaiming the gospel and discipling their church members to be salt and light in their communities. Parents of young children might use their talents to speak into the local school board and attend city council meetings. And business professionals may utilize their influence and resources to support candidates and encourage needed changes. 

Regardless of the way we interact in politics, the point is that we engage—with hope. At the end of the day, Christians know that the weight of our confidence shouldn’t rest on a political party, candidate, policy proposal, or country. We are awaiting a better country and the One who is the ruler of kings on Earth (Heb. 11:16; Rev. 1:5). As we wait for that day, let’s serve as ambassadors of our God, bringing renewal, restoration, and the hope of the gospel to our nation.



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