Civility ResolutionJanuary 07, 2008
Reverend Adam Hamilton has a great column entitled "My New Year's resolution: Civility." Here are a few highlights:
Already, it seems like it's all politics, all the time. And if you're like me, you're already a little weary of the rhetoric and the negativity. We are supposed to be a United States, yet every election year seems to divide us even more.Amen! I hope many Christians will join him in taking that resolution for this political year.
Christians, especially, and all people of faith need to take the lead in this push for a new civility. All too often, Christians make one of two mistakes: Either they are obnoxious, uncharitable, narrow-minded and judgmental in offering their opinions, or they are so afraid of being "that kind of Christian" that they remain silent and don't share their views on important issues.
Christians have helped win elections and yet, in the process, lost the souls of millions who are turned off by their approach. They dislike the way Christians talk about politics, and even their moral views, which sometimes come off as hypocritical and narrow-minded.
... Certainly, we value our freedom of speech and ability to "dissect" the candidates. But how often do we step over that line, saying far worse than "You Fool" about any of our presidential candidates?
... When it comes to politics, Christians sometimes forget that Jesus said the defining characteristic of his followers was meant to be love. We can and must reflect that love when doing politics.
We can have great debate about issues and qualifications for office, and we can feel that one person may be a better candidate than another. But let's do this with civility, humility and love.
This might be a New Year's resolution that would allow Christians to be both salt and light, influencing our society without turning people away from the Christ we claim to follow.