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Politics Without Fear

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
The Truth Network Radio
April 18, 2022 4:21 pm

Politics Without Fear

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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April 18, 2022 4:21 pm

This week on Family Policy Matters, host Traci DeVette Griggs sits down Dr. Brad Littlejohn to discuss his recent article, “Resisting the Politics of Fear.”

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Family policy matters in engaging and informative weekly radio show and podcast produced by the North Carolina family policy Council hi this is John Ralston, presidency, family, and were grateful to have you with us for this week's program is our prayer that you will be informed, encouraged and inspired by what you hear on family policy matters and that you will fold better equipped to be a voice of persuasion, family values in your community, state and nation, and now here's our house to family policy matters. Tracy Devitt brings thanks for joining us for family policy matter, be not afraid common admonition and then you test in it, and yet Christians let fear govern their engagement with the political arena while, how can we engage without fear in the important work of our society's political discourse and governance.

Dr. Brad Littlejohn joins us today to help answer that question. He is president of the data and Institute of fellow in the ethics and Public policy Center's evangelicals in civic life program and recently wrote a piece entitled resisting the politics of fear which we look forward to discussing today Dr. Brad Littlejohn. Welcome to family policy matters grabbed me happy to be here so started he would by giving us some examples of the ways you've noticed fear dominating our political discourse in recent times. What you don't have to look very far year in the age of the code 19 pandemic.

See example the beer taking hold. Obviously you can see that in terms of weight. People responded to the virus itself. There's 1/4 of a very prudent response. Speaking to be wise and and reduce the risk to yourself and family and friends, but you know there's obviously some people particular on the left into the potable spectrum who have led a kind of irrational fear begin to dominate their response into the exclusion of all other considerations.

But the interesting thing is that the note in the right side of potable spectrum have often been quick to point this out and you know you are using slogans like you. We refuse to be dominated by fear very quickly adopting a fear-based rhetoric of their own and it's a no fear of government overreach fear that the buyers being used at the excuse to curtail our freedom and either this thing is these are all legitimate concerns the buyers who do not concern the response, the buyers would do.

My concern, but when we let those concerns morph into beers that dominate our perception and in our reaction, we become less and less capable to engage his wise Christian is important not to be too quick to judge others noted that the if you do a criminal who responded they owe their objects adopted by fear, but you know you let me know that you don't know that the situation, but I think it is important to examine our own motives and asked ourselves whether our Christian political engagement is being governed primarily by love or by fear.

So you talk about motivation why is fear such a powerful motivator decent, especially in the political arena. You're very natural, basic instinctual human response God rightly wired us to be alert to danger and goods reactivated engendered universal biological impulses of how the body responds in the faith of danger you is nothing wrong with you see a car speeding toward you to have fear in both the jump out of the way. I think the problem is when we move from fear. The kind of emotional response in the moment to fear as a state of mind and I think it really happens from seeking too much to be in control of our surroundings in control of our lives in control of our reality such that we are constantly afraid of of of losing something that we feel like we have a right to die and I think that's the natural human impulse to fear but is also of other fallen human impulse to selfishness and to grasping into seeking to hold things closely instead of resting on God and when we do that it's very easy to be fearful of losing them. We navigate the difference between appropriate and disproportionate fear any practical suggestions for us on that. I made here between love and fear. First John said the quote this in my piece.

Perfect love casts out fear. Anything interesting to reflect on because we think about what kind of things cause us to fear.

We might say well it fear comes out of love, not giving them the car speeding towards me and the Internet. They do them or you see a car speeding toward your daughter. You're going to fear for her life, and you cannot react and try to get away so because you love something you are fearful of harm to it and extending that because we love our country. We are fearful of harm upon your country and so we might say it's appropriate for politics to be guided by fear, but we need to think what a passage perfect love casts out fear.

How is it that love is opposed to fear their and I think you may be entered in the adjective perfect love. What is perfect love. Well, perfect love is a rightly ordered love the Christmas tradition degree from and Augustine have a lot to say about the ordering of our love that we should love all good things we should love our family, our country are our possessions immensely, but we should let everything in relation to God was about it in the proper ordering instead of as an end in itself, and therefore, because we love things in relation to God. We recognize that those goods are given to us by God for his purposes and for his glory, and therefore that while we should seek to protect those goods we we protect the good, the God given us in confidence that he himself is working out his purposes, and so if we feel like some good that we desire to protect that risk of loss is appropriate concern there but I concern should be mitigated by a calm confidence in God is working his purposes out listening to family policy matters weekly radio show and podcast of the North Carolina family policy Council. This is just one of the many ways in seizing works to educate citizens across North Carolina about policy issues that impact a lot of families. Our vision is to create a state a nation where God is on religious freedom versus families for in life's cherished more information about his family and how you can help us to achieve this incredible vision for our state and nation. Visit our website and see family.org units in see family.org and be sure to sign up to receive our email updates, action alerts, and of course our flagship publication family North Carolina magazine. We also love for you to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, I think a lot of people would listen to you talking about engaging in politics and you're talking about love and they would think that's impossible. So how is that not impossible. Part of the problem. There is so much about politics now is consumed with such wide horizons we think will, politics, agility, what national politics we think in terms of kind of abstractions in terms of the parties in these issues, and politicians thousands of miles away, talking heads on TV. I we don't think of politics as a form of neighborly so I think you know one way to reinject love into our politics is to start local. Think local and see political engagement. First of all, is an is a form of love of neighbor and the nice thing about that is when you start doing that when you're engaging local politics, then the differences over issues have a face to them. A person that you might know when you like them even though you disagree with them. And so, from that you can extend that and say you made me if my my neighbors on the other end of the particle spectrum and disagrees with me at city Council meeting.

There still decent person and maybe that person in another state who both of them later presidential election will be the person to and as much of that might be concerned about the impact of the policies there advocating pride on one or else I think there are serious issues at stake that merit serious concern on the part of Christians, but if that can't be framed within the context of love for our fellow citizens. It just becomes a way of clinging protectively to our ideals and seeing them and all potential enemies were really going to move beyond politics that the units will use that language enemies constantly reference the politics that limited war related not limited politics, I think you're right in your your suggestion get involved in in local politics to late great idea course here at that North Carolina family policy Council we really try that explained that is often as possible that you note, local and state politics is huge and it can even have an effect oftentimes dies on national politics. So it is a good way. Good place to start for sure. Now you you talk about the political theater. You sit there like two ends of that, so one would be fear from political leaders and the other would be clinging to political leaders for safety. So explain how these are different and what you mean by that is to often coexist.

It's the people who might be most irrationally consumed by fear of certain political opposition. I don't notice the Copley talking about how bad this politician is now that they're going to ruin the country and then you turn around and you hear them just Copley extolling how the thought of clinical leaders going to be a solution. All this and we all need to go only to stand behind us later, we all need to get on board me to know about that but no matter what and said look I hang on rightly aware of harm that can come from bad leadership okay and that the Psalm 22, put no confidence in princes okay got that part right down but the compass printed but and you you are pretty competent and printed on the other side so I think if we have a product if our fears rightly ordered by fear of God and we recognize that you have before your like what Geico is just 120 blip is not even a tiny blip on the scale of eternity, but units a tiny blip on the scale of Christian history at the whatever harm can befall us from bad political leadership athlete contextualized within the great story that God is working out and that the triumph of the kingdom.

So what does that do.

It means that we are neither going to be overly fearful of bad political leadership, and neither are we going to interfere, turn and cling to other political leaders for protection when I have a healthy skepticism of bad leadership and a healthy skepticism of good leadership recognizes the difference in good and bad leadership. But we recognize not difference of Satan versus Jesus so you also talk in your article about how Christians should possess quote a curious calm that characterizes our political engagement.

There is this mature home they didn't unconcerned it isn't.

Detaches not just you know what will go to Ellen and Beth did, but it is saying in the grand scheme of things. I know I know that God is working purposes.note the kingdom of God will triumph. Whatever happens here and so what consumed me and I think practically one way to cultivate that is anchor yourself in God's word and worship every week, when I was there.

The other thing is you know just don't open much.don't watch the news that I'm a night I didn't. I don't want you that all i.e. I do check news on my smartphone more often than I should be in there. I use BBC News as my source, but figure anything anything in American politics is actually really big news will stop in the British news, but if it's just kind of a tempest in a teapot. They will bother covering it and so did not work were getting worked up about. So I think we just we are inundated with everything that's wrong with the world 24 seven.

It's so easy to get absorbed in that through to your smart phone years.

So Smitty feeds and you lose perspective and it's impossible to have that that calm confidence because because nobody trying to sell that you omitted 90 immediate places are telling you pay.

Things are not that bad because that's not the way you can return it writes the only thing to telling you is crisis breaking news and so were The consultative agitation. So I think we just have to cultivate the discipline of unplugging were just about out of time for this week's before we go Brad Littlejohn where listeners go to read more about your work and your article resisting the politics of fear. Yet that article is that the Gospel coalition who was to come and just search for the title listing the politics of fear and my work. More generally, you can find it E PPC.org. My organization, the Devon Institute, which is really engaged in attempting to give Christians of appropriate appropriate historical and theological perspective on their task as citizens do not encourage a check of the resources from the Devon Institute, which is BK the eat in ANP Institute.org Dr. Brad Littlejohn. So much for being with us today and family policy matters listing the family policy matters. We hope you enjoyed the program and play the tune in again next week to listen to the show online insulin more about NC families were to inform, encourage and inspire families across Carlotta go to our website it NC family.award that's NC family.org.

Thanks again for listening and may God bless you and your family


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