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This I Vote: 9.5 Theses for a Politics of Jesus

1. Secular politics fails to satisfy human needs: it drys out the heart, neglecting questions of meaning and significance, of spirituality; it fractures community, leaving tribes, nations–even neighbors–suspicious and afraid of one another.
2. When Christians today overlook Jesus as a basis for vision and action in politics, the oversight reflects captivity to the dominant secular culture: its individualism, its ethos of competition, its cynicism.
3. The vision of Jesus (and the Hebrew Bible he honors and interprets) is that God’s creatures should experience overall well-being–prosperity, security, harmony and joy; in company with God and one another, they should, in a word, enjoy shalom, or “peace.”
4. For Jesus, the purpose of life under God is the making of shalom; the vision is an ideal–a goal still ahead of us–and we are called to be God’s companions and partners on the journey to that goal.
5. Compassion–love as steadfast as a mother’s and as transforming as the refiner’s fire–is the heart of the politics of Jesus.
6. For the politics of Jesus, the agenda is (Biblical) justice: a bias for underdogs, a passion for equality, a focus on what people need in order to achieve their full potential.
7. The key strategy for the making of shalom is the embodiment of God’s will and way in a faithful, joyous community; by exposing delusion and revealing truth, by expressing compassion and struggling for justice, the church is God’s healing agency; by the beauty of its fellowship and witness, the church transforms the world.
8. In the politics of Jesus, evil is overcome by goodness: offense by forgiveness, violence by non-violence; compassion extends even to the enemy.
9. The goodness of Christ’s followers is not passive but aggressive; it is not self-obsessed “righteousness” but deliberate, outward-looking effort to defeat callousness and effect social transformation.
9.5 The politics of Jesus says nothing about the size of government.

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