On the July 3rd episode of The Defender Podcast, Herbie Newell talked with Travis Wussow of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission about the current landscape of religious liberty today. Their interview included a discussion concerning how Christians can practically engage politics and our culture in a way that glorifies God, respects others, and stands true to our beliefs.
How to be proactive concerning legislative issues:
- Pray that ministries and faith-based organizations will be able to serve those they are called to serve in a manner that is consistent with their religious beliefs.
- Write and call legislators, informing them of your stance on issues. Elected officials want to get to know you, so build relationships with them and communicate in a way that isn’t simply loud and angry. Be respectful.
- Study and consider how to talk about issues well, with people who agree and disagree with you. By becoming conversant about what the “other side” wants to do/believes, we can figure out how to live together in a world in which disagreements aren’t going to disappear.
However, because we live in a complex world, believers will not always have a clear right or wrong stance on issues or political people or parties. Herbie and Travis continued their discussion by addressing the topic of maintaining the unity believers have in the gospel in the face of divisive politics.
How do we not allow divisive politics to disrupt the unity believers have in the gospel, when there’s not a clear right or wrong person or party?
- Examine our partisan commitments and consider any ways a person or party has informed our views instead of other way around.
- Examine what topics are fundamental—ones that we must address and can’t agree to disagree. Ask yourself, “Is it more important to try to maintain civility in this issue or to find other tools to defeat a moral or ethical evil?”
- As Christians, build relationships with people who disagree. Be loving with your persuasive speech and actions, but, also, enter discourse wisely and as an informed citizen of both a country and an eternal home.
Christians live in an ever-changing political landscape, but the gospel never changes. As believers encounter a culture that is less open to the truths of Christ, we remain ambassadors for His truth and for His message of salvation. As we engage the world around us, we can use our voices to encourage and persuade change while representing an unchanging gospel that changes lives for eternity.
Travis Wussow serves as the Vice President for Public Policy and General Counsel. Travis led the ERLC’s first international office located in the Middle East prior to joining the Washington DC office. He received a B.B.A. in Finance from The University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law. He and his wife, Katie, have two daughters.