Wallis, Colson Call For Christian
Civility on ‘Hot’ Issues
Christianity Today article appears online before State of the Union speech
BY MARK A. KELLNER
, news editor, Adventist Review
wo prominent evangelical leaders – from opposite sides of the political spectrum – have called for greater civility by Christians when controversial issues are being discussed.
Writing an online piece for Christianity Today
magazine’s Website, Jim Wallis and Chuck Colson teamed to note that Jesus is interested in “a change of heart,” not surface reactions to political issues.
Sojourners leader Wallis, a member of President Barack Obama’s Council of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and Prison Fellowship founder Colson, a former aide to Richard Nixon, reminded Christians of every political persuasion that they have a continual higher calling to follow Christ’s example of conviction, respect, humility and thoughtful language.
“We are both evangelical Christians who believe that our treatment of the poor, weak, and most vulnerable is how a society is best biblically measured,” the two write. “Yet we usually find ourselves at opposite poles politically and often differ with each other. We believe these political differences are normal and even to be expected among citizens expressing their faith in the public arena, for God is neither a Democrat nor a Republican,” they add.
The two evangelicals emphasized the importance of civility in political discourse and said the imperative “to pray for those in political authority is more than a religious duty, it promotes good civic behavior.”
Colson and Wallis write: “It is more difficult to hate someone when you are praying for them. Jesus’ commandment to love our enemies, including those with whom we politically disagree, is even more challenging and defies the ideologies of both left and right.”
Solving the enormous problems Americans face as a nation will require citizens to work for a more civil public square, they write, and believers will need to reflect on biblical values to get there.
The entire piece can be read here.