A best-selling author, theologian, and pastor made a powerful statement on Twitter recently.
In offering the unique Christian approach to increasingly hostile political divides, he has shown how Christ alone is the answer.
And while he created a firestorm, Christ is using the viral response to spread His message.
Timothy Keller is one of the most popular Christian speakers in the country.
And in a recent series of tweets, he explained why a proper understanding of our Christian faith and theology leads us to avoid speaking to political opponents “in a demonizing and dehumanizing way.”
He notes that according to the Christian worldview, everyone “falls infinitely (and therefore equally) short of loving and serving God in the way that is due him.”
“The Westminster Confession of Faith 15:4 say “As there is no sin so small, but it deserves damnation; so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.” (Rom 6:23; Gal 3:10; Is 55:7; Rom 8:1)”
“So Christians can never feel morally superior to anyone else at all,” he tweeted.
“That means (MAIN POINT) when we call out evildoing in others, as vital as that is, we can never imply by our attitude or language that they deserve God’s condemnation, but we do not.”
“Right now our very social fabric is tearing apart because of, among other things, increasing, mutual demonizations ON BOTH SIDES. Christians must not contribute to this in any way.”
“Therefore: “the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth…” (2 Timothy 2:24-26)”
Keller is not the only faith leader explaining how the Christian faith calls on us to not participate in an increasingly toxic political environment.
“I’ve heard from all sorts of people in ministry who are exhausted by some of the things they’ve having to deal with,” Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, told Deseret News.
Some Christian leaders say such a combative political environment is troubling and affecting church attendance.
Jim Wallis, a prominent evangelical leader and author of “Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus,” told Deseret News that pastors are afraid to raise such issues “because of the political polarization of their congregations.”
“They don’t know how to do it without dividing their people,” he said.
Keller, the former pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, has long advised against mixing politics and religion. He says the Bible does not advocate the church supporting a specific political party.
“For Christians just to completely hook up with one party or another is really idolatry,” Keller told The Atlantic last year. “It’s also reducing the Gospel to a political agenda.”
Prominent pastor Ed Stetzer, author of “Christians in the Age of Outrage,” has perhaps the best advice for today’s Christian.
“Politics can’t be our ultimate agenda, but living as Jesus calls us must be.”
Citing a “liberty of conscious,” Keller contends that the Bible does not dictate how Christians should approach such broad and complex subjects as politics.
“The Bible binds my conscience to care for the poor, but it does not tell me the best practical way to do it,” Keller said in a series of tweets. “Any particular strategy (high taxes and government services vs low taxes and private charity) may be good and wise …
“[It] may even be somewhat inferred from other things the Bible teaches, but they are not directly commanded and therefore we cannot insist that all Christians, as a matter of conscience, follow one or the other.”
“This means when it comes to taking political positions, voting, determining alliances and political involvement, the Christian has liberty of conscience,” Keller said.