The Common Good

Jim Wallis and Richard Land on Finding Common Ground

How different would the state of our political system—and the tenor of the election season—be if voters and politicians on both sides decided to speak civilly?

Jim Wallis and Richard Land at the Q conference, Cathleen Falsani/Sojourners
Jim Wallis and Richard Land at the Q conference, Cathleen Falsani/Sojourners

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Sojourners CEO Jim Wallis and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land spoke at the Q conference Tuesday on the topic “What Can We Agree On?”

The intention is to acknowledge difference but—as Christians—focus on the areas of agreement based on our biblical understanding.

“Christians should not worship at the altar of politics,” Wallis said. “… We are a people of the kingdom of God.”

Wallis reiterated his three points that we should keep in mind: seek the common good, seek civil discourse and find common ground.

“I am more depressed by our political discourse in our country right now than I have ever been—on both sides,” Wallis said.

Land echoed Wallis’ take on the state of politics, adding that Christians should take the lead in changing it.

“We as Christians—whether we’re conservative, liberal, or moderate—we have a vested interest in trying to make things civil,” Land said. “If the Christians don’t do that and insist that candidates do that, it’s going to get really ugly.”

How can Christians get beyond the partisan politics that have nothing to do with actually fixing broken systems?

“Don’t vote for a candidate,” Wallis said. “Vote for the issues you care about.”

He went on: Vote for the people being trafficked. Vote to bring home the dad on his fifth tour in Afghanistan. Vote for undocumented workers. Vote for consistent life ethic.

Vote for the issues you care about that are informed by your faith.

Sandi Villarrealis the Associate Web Editor at Sojourners. You can follow her on Twitter @Sandi.

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