“The strength of a political system depends upon the full and willing participation of its citizens. The church should continually exert a strong ethical influence upon the state, supporting policies and programs deemed to be just and opposing policies and programs that are unjust.”
When reviewing the Social Principles, I was surprised that the Church challenges us to be not only concerned, but also involved with the application of public policy and ideological discourse. So many times have I heard the maxim “Don’t talk about religion, money, or politics”.
It’s fascinating, however, that the UMC would want us to become invested in a sphere of influence in society that, in American culture, outright seeks to reject us.
By no means do I believe this section of the Social Principles asks us to proselytize, but to use our social capital to give voices to those who have been muted by unlawful legislation, a platform for those who would seek equity when there is none.
Our Wesleyan understanding of God’s grace, love, and justice must extend into those taboo areas- from the dining room conversation to the front steps of the capitol.
Faith is political. Religion is political. God is political.
We must rally and use our privileges as a longstanding institution of charity, education, and justice to advocate for the oppressed; to aid in liberating those who cannot see God in their laws and their leaders.
Cody C. Robinson is a Cherokee scholar from Tahlequah, Oklahoma and student at Phillips Theological Seminary. When he isn’t trying to make disciple of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, Cody spends his spare time taking too long to order at familiar restaurants and seeking the perfect grilled cheese.