A Deeper Politics (Part 1): 1 Peter & the Call to ‘Honor Everyone’

Fact #1:  It is an election year.

Fact #2:  Christians (both on the right and on the left) have a tendency to voice their political opinions with a certain edge.

Fact #3:  More than a few Christians will alienate and estrange themselves from un-churched people around them by using harsh or judgmental political rhetoric

Fact #4: Christians are called to something higher than this.

Question #1:  How can Christians maintain their political convictions (whether on the right or the left) and still obey the politically charged commandment to “Honor everyone.”

1 Peter is about politics… sort of.  It is really about summarizing the peculiar call of Christians who are situated rather uncomfortably in the world.  The particular situation of Peter’s audience is one (apparently) of suffering and struggle.  The people Peter writes to do not find themselves on the top end of the social order.  They are relatively powerless; some are even slaves.  Yet, amid the apparent suffering, the plea of Peter is not for the community to “demand their rights” as citizens.  Instead, Peter asks disciples of Jesus to “Honor everyone”  (I Peter 2:17a NRSV) – a quite shocking 2-word command written to Christians situated at the bottom (and unjust) end of the socio-political order of their day.

Miroslav Volf has done some thinking, writing,  and speaking on 1 Peter & Politics.  In this video, you can see a glimpse of Volf introducing us to a “forgotten idea” – that we Christians are called to be both “set apart” or “holy” while simultaneously “honoring all people.”  The question for us is “How can we honor those we disagree with, while maintaining our sense of conviction about certain issues that may arise?  Listen to Volf’s thoughts:

I will, as we move closer and closer toward the election, offer some thoughts in this series “A Deeper Politics.”  My thoughts will include, but are not limited to:

1. Options for Christian Political Involvement

2. A Plea for a Loving & Thoughtful Political Speech

3. Offer a Vision for “Franciscan Politics”

4. Offer Steps to Loving Our Political Enemies

5. Argue Against the Effectiveness of Political/Religious Coercion

6. Present that “Human Flourishing” ought to be a Central Political Concern of Christians

7. Make a Plea for Religious/Political Pluralism

8. Discuss Options for Christians Maintaining Their Identity Amid Political/Religious Pluralism

9. Make a Case for “Deep Democracy”

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