How do Christians constructively engage cultural and political discussions in this increasingly divisive age? Whether we're speaking up at a city council meeting, figuring out how to navigate a touchy subject over Thanksgiving dinner, or expressing (or not expressing) our opinions on social media, how do we talk about important issues in a way that's effective and winsome? Stephanie Summers, CEO of the Center for Public Justice, joins Joanna Meyer and Dustin Moody to discuss opportunities for engagement in public life.
On citizenship as an expression of faith:
"Our role as citizens is something that we have as an invitation from God. We're actually invited to participate in God's work in the public square, our citizenship is one way that we actually love our neighbors."
On engaging contentious issues:
"Get more clear [on the issues] and that will require some work. What do you think about a particular thing? It might actually require choosing to be responsible to seek answers to the question. But then...be honest about the fact that I don't have it 100% clear in my mind."
"Everyone who we will talk with, whether they know Christ or not, has a political autobiography. They have come to their views from somewhere. And so being able to say, 'Can I tell you where I'm coming from and how I got this way, or what informs my political views from my faith?' And inviting a reciprocal conversation is often a wonderful way to start. It also requires choosing that engagement."
When "Christians behave badly" at public engagement:
"In our engagement with people who may be skeptical about the Christian faith, or at times even hostile towards the Christian faith, those examples are the ones that are large in their minds. And for many of us, those examples grieve us as well. But to spend energy tearing down the work that's being done by others that we find disheartening, actually I think is counter-productive."
We want to hear from you! Email us your questions, thoughts, and ideas, and we'll put them on a Q&A podcast later this season!Read more from Stephanie: Citizenship is Our Common Calling.Stephanie joins us on Thursday, March 14th as our keynote speaker for Faith in the Public Square. Learn more and get tickets now!Learn more about the Center for Public Justice.Download the episode transcript.
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