16 Ways to Promote Unity Amid Political Disagreement

Jonathan Leeman | February 13, 2017

A pastor writes:

Members of my congregation are increasingly hostile and mistrusting of one another after the election, especially online. What is my responsibility as a pastor, and how can the gospel show a better way for our polarized culture if we can’t honor one another in our own churches?

Dear friend,

That’s a great question. I trust most pastors and Christians believe the gospel is big enough to reconcile and to unify. It’s easy to say, “We’re Republicans and Democrats together for the gospel!” But living together amid our partisan differences is like eating a spoonful of pudding with gravel hiding inside. It looks sweet at first glance, but put it in your mouth and you’ll break your teeth.

I’m not going to Pollyanna you. Maintaining gospel unity amid political disagreement is hard.

It’s hard because politics, by its nature, deals with questions of justice, and the gospel requires us to care about justice. So if one member’s conscience tells him that a certain party, candidate, protest event, or slogan represents an injustice, while another’s conscience says the party/candidate/slogan represents justice, it will be difficult for either to back down.

It’s hard because political engagement nearly always involves making alliances with…

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