On October 13, University Ministries hosted a panel to discuss “How Christians Approach Politics” as part of the University’s Debate 2020 Programming. The discussion was moderated by Assistant Director of Spiritual Formation Josh Ten-Haken Riedel, who led the conversation between Dr. Mona Ivey-Soto, assistant professor of Education, and Dr. Nathan Griffith, associate professor of Political Science.
Throughout the night, Ten-Haken Riedel provided thought-provoking questions that facilitated conversation on issues in politics and its relationship to Christianity. Dr. Ivey-Soto explained that Christians should be invested in social issues because these issues are deeply connected to the people we care about.
They discussed how there’s constantly a political nature to what we do, yet this doesn’t mean there’s a political affiliation. Dr. Ivey-Soto shared that “advocacy work is engaging in the process because we are seeking to create social change.” She continued to share the issue of racism in the United States and reminded the viewers that Jesus did not approach people with a colorblind mentality, and Christians are encouraged to do the same.
Both professors shared the need for a humble, kind and understanding approach to conversations of civil engagement. Dr. Griffith stressed the importance that “the Bible doesn’t say a lot about what exactly you should support, but more about how you should support.” Dr. Ivey-Soto stressed that “it’s not what would Jesus do, but what did Jesus do?”
The night ended with questions on the live zoom from other student participants and discussion on the expereince of growing up in a Christian household and then moving away to college. Dr. Ivey-Soto and Dr. Griffith provided students with a new perspective and lens to look through in terms of faith in politics.