This Was the Question I Was Asking Myself
When I tell people that I want to go into politics, they look at me like I’m a tax collector in the New Testament.
And I completely get it.
In our highly polarized society, any mention of politics makes people tense up and want to put on their fighting gloves. How can we be like Christ in a field like this? And yet, I am still considering a career in politics after graduation. Why?
As I approached the Jubilee conference last year, this was the question I was asking myself.
I came to the conference with many doubts. Throughout that year, I had read a lot about the corruption between the Church and governments, from the time of the Romans until now. I was disheartened. I really wanted to know: Does God really care about governments throughout history? How can I as a Christian pursue politics and profess the gospel? Is it worth staying in a field for which I am so passionate?
And if the answer to the last question was “no,” maybe I needed a new career path.
I thought long and hard about the sessions that were offered, and I chose “History Matters,” and “Announcing the Kingdom.”
Here is what I learned:
- Religious political corruption was the abused gospel, not the used gospel. In the past when individuals would use religion to oppress people, grow political agendas, etc., they were not preaching the gospel. They were abusing the gospel. The gospel tells us that the greatest thing that we can do is love, not hurt. The gospel reminds us to care for the poor and oppressed, not destroy them. The gospel tells us to reconcile with our neighbors, not be at war with them. This is foundational in modern politics. If abused, yes, the field of politics can destroy communities and make us hate our enemies. But if we use the gospel, we are given the foundations of love and progress. In my field, I can listen to the poor and oppressed and love them by advocating for them.
- God has given us all different gifts, and the important thing is using those gifts to glorify his name. If there is anything that the gospel has taught me, if God can use a donkey (multiple times at that) then he can certainly use a historian or politician. I should not negate the passion God has given me for reformation and restoration, but instead use them for his glory. Whether this be through educating people on why policies matter for people or whether it be designing the policies themselves, God is able to use the gifts he has given me to in turn glorify his name.
- Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration apply to everything we do. Overall, history and politics tell a human story that aligns God’s work in the world. God has created this field to do good, and people abuse power and politics to destroy that good. But because of the gospel, the Lord has given me power to use his love in everything I do, including politics. And through his restoration, I can make policies that can help the world.
When I returned to my studies after Jubilee, these concepts changed my approach to my field. Instead of being disheartened, I now hope to change my world through the political passions God has given me.
If you are a student going to Jubilee, I would encourage you to think about this story. If you are doubting, do not be afraid to bring it to Christ. He knows your heart, he knows your worries, and he knows his plan for you.
And by taking this step at Jubilee, you are in for a powerful journey.
Allison Hritz is a junior at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.