Where the Gospel Meets Politics: Love Thy Neighborhood Podcast #30

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Hosts Jesse Eubanks and Lachlan Coffey explore where the gospel meets politics, and how we as Christians can love our neighbors by engaging politically as followers of Christ.

Prologue 0:00-4:50

Host Jesse Eubanks introduces the episode as “Where the Gospel Meets Politics” and tells a story about a pastor facing political backlash.

Highlights:

  • President Trump asked pastor David Platt to pray for him in front of his congregation at a moment’s notice.
  • From the time the president arrived at the church, to the time he left, was about 15 minutes.
  • “Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that we didn’t see coming and we’re faced with decisions in a moment when we don’t have the liberty of deliberation, so we do our best to glorify God. Today, I found myself in one of those moments,” says David in a statement about his decision.
  • Some members of the church were grateful for Platt’s apology, but others said he shouldn’t have had to apologize.
  • One thing is clear: when it comes to politics and religion, everyone has an opinion.

Part 1 4:50-14:10

Jesse explains negative polarization, Jesus’s response to politics, and introduces conservative news writer David French’s political conundrum.

Highlights:

“But when we take a look at scripture, when it came to politics, Jesus didn’t look at things in the same binary way we do, ‘option A and option B,’” Jesse says. “Jesus came along and said, ‘I have a whole ‘nother option for you.’”
  • A Pew Research study found 49% of Republicans are afraid of the Democratic party; 55% of Democrats are afraid of the Republican party.
  • Negative polarization is when a person doesn’t necessarily agree with all the values of their own particular party, but they are more opposed to the opposite party’s political values.
  • “But when we take a look at scripture, when it came to politics, Jesus didn’t look at things in the same binary way we do, ‘option A and option B,'” Jesse says. “Jesus came along and said, ‘I have a whole ‘nother option for you.'”
  • In Mark Chapter 12, religious leaders tried to trick Jesus into violating Roman law or going against his faith by asking if Jews should pay taxes to Caesar.

Part 2 14:10-29:50

David French explains why people who share his religious and political convictions wrote a petition against his sentiments. Political strategist and attorney Justin Giboney takes us through “political homelessness” and his desire to give Christians a political home through the And Campaign.

Highlights:

As Christians, we must realize man-made systems—like our politics—are broken.
  • Yellow journalism is sensationalized news not necessarily based in fact, but rather on shock value.
  • David faced backlash from fellow Republicans after writing that President Trump should be held to the same standard that conservatives held President Clinton to regarding sexual morality and integrity.
  • “It’s like David was the owner of a club,” co-host Lachlan Coffey says. “He rolls in, and all of a sudden, his own bouncers don’t even let him in, they kick him out!”
  • “If you don’t want to assimilate,” Jesse says, “then you’re politically homeless.” 
  • Justin Giboney identifies Christians who feel like they must surrender their convictions or compassion to be part of a political party.
  • Justin started the And Campaign to give Christians a political home while emphasizing truth and grace. 
  • “Politics presents us with a great tool for loving our neighbor,” says Justin.
  • As Christians, we must realize man-made systems—like our politics—are broken.

Part 3 29:50-44:57

How do we talk about politics with our neighbors when we want to stay in relationship with them? Sarah Steward Holland and friend Beth Silvers, two friends from opposite sides of the political aisle, share their experiences and advice navigating civil political discussions through their podcast, Pantsuit Politics.

Highlights:

  • Sarah says Christians tend to “agree to disagree” when it comes to politics because we don’t want to be in conflict with one another.
  • Guides to civil political discussions:
    • Take off your jersey.
      • This conversation is not a game to win.
    • Start with yourself.
      • Ask yourself if a topic is the best expression of the values you already hold. What values are important to you? Why?
    • Exit the echo chamber.
      • “It is much easier to research information that backs you up,” Beth says. “There’s accountability in having a partner that disagrees with you because you must face the things that don’t validate what you think.”

Discussion guide:

  • Have you found yourself avoiding controversial conversations to “keep the peace?” Do you try to  “win” conversations? Do you believe this ultimately helps or harms your relationships with others? 
  • Do you consider yourself “politically homeless”? What tools or resolve has this podcast given you to engage in politics alongside, instead of in contrast with, your relationship with God?
  • Do you agree that politics is a tool to better love our neighbors? Why or why not? How can we, as Christians, recognize the brokenness of our political system in truth and grace? To what extent should we engage in our political system, individually or corporately?

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