Christians call for the Golden Rule to guide political discourse

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Several Baptist groups have endorsed an interdenominational call to pray for revival on Nov. 3—a revival of respect and civility in politics.

Exactly one year before the next national election, the National Institute for Civil Discourse is working with Christians across the denominational spectrum to promote “Golden Rule 2020: A Call for Dignity and Respect in Politics.”

Organizers of the initiative are urging churches across the country to take time in worship services on Nov. 3 to pray for the nation and to promote practical application of the Golden Rule to political discussions.

Groups involved in developing Golden Rule 2020 included the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the American Baptist Churches USA and the National Association of Evangelicals, along with several mainline Protestant denominations, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Council of Churches. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship also is promoting the emphasis as a faith community partner.

‘Christians should lead the way’

stephen reeves130
Stephen Reeves

“If our country is going to rise above our current intractable divisions, we believe Christians should lead the way by modeling better political dialogue,” Stephen Reeves, associate coordinator of partnerships and advocacy at CBF wrote in a recent blog post.

The intent of the emphasis is not to blame others but to challenge churches to “strive to bear witness to a better way,” he added.

“By promoting this effort, we are not pointing the finger at the speck in our neighbors’ eye and demanding others change their ways. We all fall short of the ideal at times, so we are asking more of ourselves,” he wrote.

Reeves, former public policy director for the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, noted Christians should work for justice, which sometimes involves confrontation.

At the same time, he added, “hateful rhetoric and dehumanizing language only escalates and never produces progress or resolution.”

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In the months following the Nov. 3 call to prayer, both CBF and the American Baptist Churches will offer follow-up activities and resources.

Organizers of Golden Rule 2020 have created online resources for churches to use on Nov. 3, including Bible study lessons for children and youth about the Golden Rule, sample sermons, practical ways to apply the Golden Rule in political discussions, and suggested Scriptures and a responsive reading.

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