Loving Like Jesus in Public

November 6, 2012 — 1 Comment

On this election day in America, I’d like to summarize what I see as three essentials for Christ-followers to be loving ‘salt and light’ in the ‘public square.’ 

God calls us to be people of CONVICTION, COMPASSION, and CIVILITY.  Civility is becoming recognized as a public virtue which is far superior to mushy ‘Tolerance’ (which requires no love of neighbor.)

The apostle Peter put it this way:

…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.  (1 Peter 3:15-17, ESV)

The second illustration (tap to enlarge) shows why we must have all three virtues in our “public righteousness.”

Without CONVICTIONS, we can be aimless at best and ineffective at worst, not pointing people to ‘the Good, the True, and the Beautiful’ which come from God.

Without COMPASSION, we can be theorists at best; or worse, be people without active, embodied love.

Without CIVILITY, we can become a limited ‘Christian ghetto’ that doesn’t engage the culture or worse, we can become coercive, trusting in human political power rather than extending Christ’s love to all our neighbors.

An excellent revised book by Richard Mouw called Uncommon Decency is a must read on the subject of civility.

So, as a stranger and alien whose true citizenship is in heaven, I will vote and pray and engage the culture.  I will also put my ultimate trust in my true King, Jesus and be busy at the mission of making disciples of all nations. Jesus – the one who truly IS “The Hope of the World!”

You can listen to the sermon here.


Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. One reason why our mission includes ‘Compassion’ « lylemook.com - October 1, 2013

    […] I have strongly advocated that “Tolerance” is really useless as the central public virtue it has been lifted up to be. I can “tolerate” you without showing any neighbor love to you! Civility and Compassion with Convictions is the better alternative. (see a previous post on “Loving Like Jesus in Public”) […]

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