How does your faith inform what it means to be an American? Dr. Bruce Ashford seeks to address this question in his book Letters to an American Christian (B&H, 2018). In it, Ashford explains how we cannot afford to shrink away from our earthly citizenship, nor can we afford to lose sight of our heavenly citizenship.
Here are seven quotes from Ashford’s book on faith and politics.
The more we pledge allegiance to Christ, the better citizens of the United States of America we’ll become.Click to tweet
On our ultimate allegiances.
From 1 Corinthians 15, we can see that the gospel is deeply and profoundly political. It is an announcement that Jesus is the Christ, the ultimate Ruler of the world, and all people should acknowledge him as such. The first political application of the gospel is that we, as American Christians, should hold our other political allegiances — to presidents, parties, and platforms — tentatively by comparison. We should continually evaluate our political stances, and our public words and actions, to bring them in line with his teachings. (21)
How to become better citizens.
Jesus is Lord. Caesar is not. Congress is not. The Democratic Party is not. The Republican party is not. But Jesus’ lordship has a confrontational and healing word for every ‘caesar’ of every time. To the extent that we truly do acknowledge Jesus as Lord, we will engage the Caesar before us with compassion, respect, and wisdom, speaking and acting in ways that contribute to the common Good. In other words, the more we pledge allegiance to Christ, the better citizens of the United States of America we’ll become. (23)
The importance of worship.
Sunday morning public worship prepares us for Monday morning public life. (35)
On public civility.
What we need is not the dogmatic virulence of political correctness but the respect and decency of public civility. (100)
Being American is not everything, but it’s something.
Being American is not the most important aspect of our identity, but it is an inescapable aspect and one for which we will give an account. (208)