[This is a repost from October 26, 2006 (actually an update). It seems fitting for this time of the political season as we are about to enter the primary season.]
Laura from Pursuing Holiness
The internet, as much as I enjoy it, has helped lower the level of political discourse because it is far easier to type something directed at a stranger that you'd never dream of saying to the face of someone with whom you're acquainted. It even affects the Christian blogosphere. I'm not alone in occasionally wanting "to not just debate the point, but to crush [someone's] argument into oblivion." I also know that feeling is not consistent with 1 Peter 3:15-16:Laura again:But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you.
If we are called to make our defense of our faith with gentleness and respect, how much more should we do so with respect to minor issues like the politics of our nation or any of the temporary governments of this world? Those things may feel quite important right now, but in the light of eternity, our perspective on them will be very different. By and large I think Christians do an excellent job of keeping debate civil, and that is why I'm joining Henry Neufeld, a liberal blogger (Threads from Henry's Web) to make a rather bold challenge that we're calling Philophronos Blogging.Laura's and Henry's rules for "Philophronos Blogging":philóphrōn: to think, have a mindset. Friendly, courteous, benign (1 Peter 3:8). Deriv.: philophrónōs (G5390), in a friendly or kind manner.
We're challenging Christian bloggers who write about politics to write at least one post a week until the election - and hopefully after it - that adheres to the following guidelines:I will not be putting myself on this blogroll because I will not be posting an article a week about politics on my blog probably ever.
Imagine what the political tone in the country would be like if all political debate adhered to those guidelines!
- Consistent with 1 Corinthians 13:1-7If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I give over my body in order to boast, but do not have love, I receive no benefit.and Ephesians 4:15
Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head.
- Assume goodwill and good intentions for our political opponents
- Wherever possible list supporting reasons why they have good intentions
- Negative statements are not personal and are factual
- If negative statements are conclusions, the facts that led to the conclusion are referenced
- Negative statements support the argument and are not gratuitous
Those that believe these guidelines for the way Christians should engage in political dialogue are correct, and who consider themselves christian political bloggers, please consider joining the blogroll and aggregator mentioned in the links above.