Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

theological/political interface

12/31/20

Our personal theology and our political positions are unavoidably intertwined. Even those without a formal attachment to religion have ethical operating principles which serve the purpose of theology.

The conundrum for everyone, theologically and politically, is how  to address the question of whether our responsibility is to engage in conflict or to strive for unity. Is my theological message one of eternal conflict or brotherhood. The same then applies to my political message; does it promote conflict or unity.

Some might suggest that we need to be united in conflict both theologically and politically. That is in fact a very common assumption. The problem with unity in conflict is that conflict requires enemies, and theological and political enemies are internal ones. Internal enemies cannot be included in the unity, so a theology or politics of conflict cannot unify. One must then choose to fight or unite.

It’s easy politically and theologically to stress conflict and deny unity. Politicians and preachers excel in railing against opponents of their policies and their theology. In both cases denouncing the opposition becomes a substitute for anything positive. Theology doesn’t need to provide life tools beyond the battle cry and politics can remain stagnant by denying the unity required to progress.

It is true that adversity tends to unite people in their response to that adversity. The perception of adversity is emotionally powerful and therefore politically and theologically useful. Thus politicians and preachers alike love to draw support by identifying adversaries and the associated adversity. Naming the enemy is always the first step in following this political/theological tactic.

A workable theology or politics will have to assume a unity message. This idea that we can fight our way to theological or political victory is nonsensical. Just as there are no military wars to end all wars, there are no political or theological wars which will lead to peace in a united nation or a united world.