What does it mean to love our neighbors through politics? How do we talk with people across differences? How do we navigate issues of faith and public policy? In this episode, Dustin talks with a panel of leaders from our September event, "The Politics of Neighborly Love." Guests include Justin Giboney, Gov. Bill Haslam, Scott Sauls, and Stephanie Summers.
Scott Sauls on the opportunity and risks of politics and faith:
"Politics represent both the greatest opportunity and the greatest threat to true Christian unity. The longest recorded prayer that we have from Jesus is about the unity of the church and how, when the world looks at us and sees how we love one another, they'll know that we belong to Jesus. It shouldn't be lost on us that in his audience that day was Matthew, the tax collector, and Simon, the zealot who didn't believe in taxes. And somehow, with all of the record that we have of the disciples bickering with each other, we don't have a single known instance of Matthew and Simon getting into a political debate. We do have plenty of evidence of them living together and dying together under King Jesus, who's kingdom is not of this world."
Stephanie Summers on sin and politics:
"The Christian faith has a robust doctrine of sin. We expect to see the effects of the fall in the world, and they are grievous. The sin is not merely individual acts. Sin is systemic injustices, and we see in scripture that individual sin requires change, heart change, but that that's not enough. We see that systemic injustices require changes in law and policy. But that's really slow work. It requires perseverance and the persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success."
Gov. Bill Haslam on the complexities of politics:
"[Public office] is not like in the episode of the West Wing that we're going to wrap up here in 45 minutes. The issues are complex. There are usually good arguments on both sides... The hard part about listening is when you listen, you realize, 'They have some good points.' And so it makes your decision harder. But I think you want to encourage leaders who do that, who wrestle with the hard stuff, and then give them some grace...This is a lot harder than it looks."
Justin Giboney on promoting the common good:
"When we think about the common good, we need to think outside of ourselves. We have to think 'What principles benefit everybody?' [Christians] seem like we're saying things just because the Bible said it, but a lot of what we're putting out there is practical...We want to make sure that people aren't physically harmed. We want to make sure that they're alive. We want to make sure that people have some level of a safety net so they can eat. I have to put some of those core things in front of some of my political preferences."
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