Politics and the Soul

John ArmstrongUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Nothing seems to be more ruinous of personal religion these days than the raw, partisan politics that greet us day-by-day. Most of us have opinions. All of us have been impacted, for better and (often) for worse, by the current political climate. Whether you like our current president, or dislike him, it is hard to ignore what is going on daily in the news cycle. And it is difficult to not form an opinion unless you choose to ignore the larger world and the constant tweets and debates that fill it.

It is imperative that people of faith begin with a realization that the partisan opinions of various political combatants are not all they’ve been made out to be. Politics cannot alter the course of your life, at least in most instances.

The famous Samuel Johnson rightly observed: “Of all the things that human hearts endure, how few are those that kings can cause and cure.” Insert the word “presidents” or “congressional members” into the sentence and it applies well to our current moment in history. The rise and fall of presidents will not (generally) alter your life in a meaningful way. Yes, I know that there are exceptions when people suffer because of bad policy and leaders. But even then the habits of the heart are not directly rooted in the promises of our political leaders, for good or for ill.

The great theologian Miroslav Volf adds, “It is important to remember that tough politics touches everything it is not everything.”

We do well to remember that the person sitting in the Oval Office is not the determiner of our identity or our true happiness. Happy are those people whose trust is in the Lord their God. Look to the hills from whence comes your true help and salvation. Good theology will help you because good theology will allow you to see the world with a sense of proportion and modesty.

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