Greg's Weekly Word: "political"
"The church shouldn't be political." I've heard this phrase from a number of people - Christian and non-Christian, church members and community members, people disgruntled with the church and people who love the church.
And they're all wrong.
Now, I am a big believer in and supporter of the separation of church and state. The government should not make any laws establishing or restricting the practice of religion. (And to find out more about this historic Baptist principle and an organization that does great work on behalf of religious liberty, check out the Baptist Join Committee for Religious Liberty.)
But the Church should be political.
Not tied together with the state. The separation of government and religion is good for both.
Not partisan. No political party has sole custody of Christian ideals, and the Gospel cuts against all parties and platforms.
Political. From the Greek polis - meaning "city," "community," or "citizens" (collectively).
At its core, the Church should always be political because the Church should always be invested in the well-being of the larger community. We were never meant to be cloistered away, only concerned for what happens within our own walls. We carry the concerns of the Gospel from the sanctuary into the streets. We are called to care about and for the people of our city and community and country. And as a part of the Church, when we do engage in the political process, I hope we will do so not as adherents to a particular party, platform, or ideology, but primarily as followers of Christ, seeking a more just and compassionate world in which all of God's children are cared for.