Hit the library before taking the microphone

Does the church today have a platform but no content behind its message?

Emily Sidnam, Writer

Does the church today have a platform but no content behind its message? During the AS-hosted discussion titled “Christianity and Politics,” Biola professor Dr. Rick Langer asserted that the modern church has “found the microphone but lost the library.”

Students gathered in the Café Banquet room Monday night for the kickoff of the “Faith, Politics and You” series. Three Biola faculty members, Dr. Langer, Dr. Kevin Lewis and Dr. Dave Peters, shared their wisdom on practical interaction of faith and politics.

Langer related that years ago, he contented himself in the “library” of philosophical and theological knowledge, skeptical of grasping the political “microphone.” When writing his dissertation on abortion, he found he was more comfortable studying the ethics of the subject than voicing what the Christian’s political stance should be.

Langer has found the opposite of his own experience to be true of the church today. The church has found its political voice, or microphone, but has been losing its library.

I believe Dr. Langer is right. On many issues, we as Christians are more excited about advocating the popular Christian political view than critically evaluating and defending that stance. We go to rallies, buy bumper stickers and share our political opinions with fellow Christians, smiling and nodding as they agree. We know what the “Christian” vote is, but do we know why?

I discovered the vital of importance of the “why” a few summers ago when I attended California Girl’s State. It is a weeklong camp where students gather to participate in a mock state government. One day, a discussion forum was held where we discussed topics including gay marriage, prostitution and abortion.

I quickly realized that the “because God says so” card would not play well in this setting. I needed to understand the moral and social implications of the issue and advocate my stance in a way that was understandable to my peers, convincing them of the ethical nature of my vote without using “religious terms.”

Christians today do not need more T-shirts with catchy slogans. Instead, we need practical and Biblical knowledge to back up our political views so we can defend them within a secular or church setting. When voting against something we find wrong, can we explain why it is wrong, what part of God’s law it violates, and what the moral and social consequences will be if it is allowed to pass? This knowledge is necessary.

I believe that we as Christians should vote and take a stance on political issues. We just need to remember to hit the library before we grab the mic.

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