John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Longing for a Third Way

The fact is, there are Christians scattered all along the political spectrum, and many of those Christians vote the way they do because of their faith, rather than in spite of it. For example, a Christian may vote along conservative lines because of the way the Republican party tends to stress individual responsibility and an entrepreneurial spirit. However, some Christians are put off by the way the Republican party seems indifferent towards the weaker person who gets marginalized or buried by the fiercely competitive beast that is capitalism. On the other hand, a Christian may vote along more progressive lines because of the compassion the Democratic party has traditionally shown to the poor and the less fortunate. However, some Christians are put off by the way the Democratic party seems to smother creative enterprise with big government.

Some Republicans seem to care more about a human life before it is born into poverty. Some Democrats seem to care more about human life after it is born into poverty.

Each side attracts Christians because it emphasizes a truth about humanity — whether it is the need to give people freedom or the need to protect people from exploitation.

Each side repulses Christians when it fails to take the other side’s truth seriously. Both can be liberating; both can be stifling.

Understandably, many Christians long for a third way which would include the best of both sides. But the only way we’ll ever hope to achieve such a via media is by listening to the other side with a hefty dose of humility (realizing that our side doesn’t have a monopoly on truth) and diligently working together to pursue God’s purposes for our society.