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A great political small group discussion

Last weekend at my church Jon our senior pastor spoke on politics. In the bulletin he put Rich Nathan’s latest letter to his congregation.

This idea, about being a resident alien, pretty much underlies all of my thinking as of late on politics.

I don’t think I can ignore the country I’m living in and the wonderful opportunity of effortlessly making my opinion heard. But neither can I believe that Christians can rely on the government to be our co-opted agent for the advancement of the kingdom.

I do think that our application of scripture and our understanding of world we live can cause intelligent and thinking Christians to have opposing viewpoints. And, being Christians, we can express our concerns, ideas, and opinions in a manner that is uplifting and thought provoking.

Armed with a great sermon and letter rattling in my noggin, I asked to lead the small group this week. I read Rich’s letter aloud, and opened with a question I think we all have an answer for.

‘What, if any, particular concern facing our country do you find the most scary.’

We had a great talk, and we proceeded to talk about things we can do to help deal with any of those fears, and then went on to talk about the particular areas we feel like God is pulling on our heart about.

There are people leaning conservative and some hard-core democrats, and everything in between in my group. We had a completely civil, respectful, and I believe productive discussion. My favorite part was talking about what we can do to get involved in the topics that God has really put on our hearts. I learned about some things I’ve never heard about before, and I got to give some of my thoughts on world-wide genocide. About half the small group hadn’t heard about Darfur, which sadly didn’t surprise me.

So, anyway, I was really excited by how well it went. It made me remember that all of us are just trying to make the best of what we see around us. And that most people I know are really trying to do their best to impact their little corner of the world for the better. And with how disappointed I’ve been of the really partisan, emotionally charged, and divisive government we have had for a while now, this really helped to affirm my suspicion that things are changing. Christians are listening more than ever and many more than before standing up for issues like poverty, social justice, and health care as well as our typical platform. Democrats are re-learning to speak a language that people of faith can understand and relate to. And all this makes me pretty excited to see what we can accomplish in the next decade or so as a nation and as Christians.