Episode 9 of the Dual Citizen features a conversation with Dr. Bruce Ashford, a very special author, professor, and expert in how our spiritual identity impacts the way we engage culture. In his book Letters to an American Christian, Dr. Ashford addresses “the good of politics,” which he argues can be achieved through politics holding its proper place in the created world along with other spheres of culture such as education, family, and art. Government and politics exist to achieve justice for those under a government’s purview. Each sphere has a unique reason for existing, each sphere has a circumference, or limits, and each part of culture is corrupted by sin, twisted and misdirected. But because of Christ’s redemption, we as believers can enter into those spheres and honor Him. We can do this by asking a set of three questions: What is God’s creational design for this sphere? How has this sphere been twisted by sin? As a believer, how can I redirect this part of culture for good?
Politics may appear to be the most filthy of all the spheres of culture, but there is still the opportunity for good if we redirect the purpose of politics toward its center– achieving justice by involving the populus in decision making rather than oppressive tyranny. How can we practically achieve this? You may feel powerless to influence or “redirect” politics, but you do have power in the form of your vote. Voting, from a bird’s eye view, is one way in which your interests and preferences are represented. It is a way to provide your input about the reach that the political sphere should have over other areas of life such as family, education, health, and faith. This spatial analogy is more theoretical than concrete, but it can be a helpful foundation for understanding politics at a deeper level than what one can see on Twitter.
Because we as Christians have experienced redemption, equity, mercy, righteousness and justice in the Kingdom of God, we have a responsibility to share our hope and beliefs in the sector where humans are trying to accomplish these ideals but are failing because sin has twisted our systems. Christians cannot build perfect institutions either, but we have a unique understanding of the source of justice, order, and goodness because of our experience in the Kingdom of God. Leaders who know God can lead our country towards that which is true, just, and good and away habits that are corrupt, tyrannical, and irresponsible.
Believers should vote because if Christians step out of the political sphere, we decide to refrain from bearing witness in a good, created part of culture. John 20:21 relays a message from Jesus during his final moments on earth: “Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’” We will face persecution in many forms, but Christians are called to stand in every sphere of creation as an arrow pointing to the Creator.
Every human institution is broken, but God’s glory can be displayed through the way we pursue justice and righteousness. Do not be disarmed by the constant crossfire of opinions, but use your voice to fight for things that reflect God’s character, defend the defenseless, and preserve religious freedom while continuing to seek the everlasting Kingdom first. As you take next steps, check out the Dual Citizen’s step-by step voting guide, available here to help you find resources for making big decisions on your ballot.