SHORT HILLS, NJ - The Rev. Johann Bosman, Senior Minister at The Community Congregational Church, will be leading a discussion on faith and politics. The interactive discussion will talk about how personal faith may influence a voter's decision in the upcoming elections.
Reverend Bosman asks:
You should not bring up religion or politics at the dinner table or in public! Never mix faith and politics! Are these nothing but folkloric, commonsensical mantras to help us avoid public embarrassment? Or are they proof that faith really has no justifiable bearing on politics?
In the Old Testament there are multiple examples of governing officials, like pharaohs and kings, who were challenged by religious leaders like Moses, God’s prophets and the like. Jesus coached his disciples throughout that faith was more than a private matter. They had to go out in public and bear fruit, make disciples and manifest virtue. They were commissioned to care for the lowliest and needy in society through demonstrable acts of love. Nowhere does the Bible urge believers to stay put.
On the other hand, extremist religious views have recently inspired and sanctioned acts of terrorism as ordained by God. It was Blaise Pascal who wrote that “men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.” For many, the recent spate of extremist violence in God’s name proves why personal religious beliefs are best kept private.
Yet as the US presidential election approaches, we are learning more and more about the political views and social policies of the respective candidates. In mid-February the Pope commented on one such stated position, referring to the proponent of it as “not a Christian.” When the candidates address the slice of the voting public popularly referred to as “evangelical Christians,” they invoke the Bible and God freely in their campaign efforts.
But what about you, as a voter? What role, if any, will your faith and personal beliefs play in deciding between the candidates and/or the political party you may vote for? Not sure?
Questionnaire results will be shared during Sunday's "Faith and Politics" fourm at 12 p.m. held at the Community Congregational Church at 200 Hartshorn Dr. in Short Hills.