A Micro Political Theology for 2016...

NOTE: I have been wanting to write something like this for a while now, partially because I find that it would be so helpful in the wonderful world of social media to have a copy/paste response and also because I think that this is an area in which the church is most often in the position of embarrassing itself in the eyes of contemporary culture. (But that rant is for another post.) For all of my friends who are not professing members of the Christian faith, this is not to devalue your opinion at all, but to seek to remedy a problem that is so prevalent as to be beyond the need for demonstration. Your voice matters, but I would ask that your explicit moral beliefs guide your political decisions, not the other way around. 

So what I want to offer here is a Micro Political Theology (MPT) and then lay out some implications and consequences that will guide my engagement and the engagement I allow in my social and online spaces about politics. But first my MPT:

We are to love our neighbor as our self.

Jesus says how we treat others, especially the poor, vulnerable, and enemy, is how we treat him.

The politics of Jesus trump all other politics.

So here are the implications and consequences for how I engage and will moderate my personal, social, and online spaces about politics...

  1. I will seek to explicitly articulate the ways in which the article/issue/policy/candidate is connected to (or in conflict with) the fundamental commitments of my Christian faith, which includes but is not limited to the three elements of this MPT.
  2. I will expect that everyone who engages in response/rebuttal/affirmation of any article/issue/policy/candidate also explicitly articulate the ways in which their response is motivated by their Christian faith. Failure to do so is the result of one of two problems: (1) You haven't actually thought about the article/issue/policy/candidate in relation to your faith, or (2) You have allowed your politics to either supersede or even dictate your theological commitments. Both of these things are unacceptable for mature followers of Jesus. 
  3. I will seek to manage, and when necessary, correct my tone in order to mitigate the capacity to alienate, marginalize, or harm. This is my attempt to take seriously the words of the Apostle Paul: "Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." (Romans 13:10)

Michael Hanegan