The Nov. 12 editorial states that “appropriating the language of Christian faith to baptize American ways and values” is “a bipartisan problem.” I would suggest it is a church problem.
Baptists’ belief in soul competency places a responsibility on our spiritual leaders to equip the flock with the spiritual knowledge and wisdom to navigate the complex relationship between faith and politics. Since we represent Christ, we must do it with spiritual maturity if we are to do it well.
As our culture has moved away from Christianity, we too often have used earthly means toward the goal of recapturing our lost influence. We have supported a political party we believed would bring it back through the force of law. Churches have sought easy ways to increase attendance, often neglecting their spiritual mission to build mature disciples.
American Christianity seems to have settled for the easier goal of external conformity over spiritual renewal. We’ve forgotten God’s highest purposes are accomplished when his laws are written on people’s hearts, and that the power to draw unbelievers comes from God.
In seeking lesser goals, we stopped training our members in spiritual thinking and reasoning. We left them vulnerable to the exploitation and manipulation of political leaders who proclaim a faith their actions repudiate.
The discernment to recognize when the language of our faith is being used and when it is being misused requires a thorough grounding in the Bible and the spiritual wisdom to know how to apply it.