In order to encourage Texas Baptists to participate in the democratic process, the CLC works at the Capitol to bring a biblical perspective to public policy, provides resources and encourages Texas Baptists to engage in informed advocacy on public policy issues affecting their churches and communities.


Kathryn Freeman

Director of Public Policy, Christian Life Commission


(512) 473-2288

Public Policy

Red Church, Blue Church: Why Christians Need to Avoid Hyper Partisanship


During the Texas Baptist Family Gathering, I led a workshop about how Christians can steward their public witness in an age of increasing tribalism. While the workshop room was packed, I think there are lessons from my workshop that deserve a broader audience because I am increasingly alarmed by the polarization in the church and what it is doing to our ability to make disciples. Many Christians are struggling within themselves to keep their partisan identities secondary to their identities as followers of Jesus Christ and it has lead to increased conflicts among believers.

According to a recent report by Lifeway, more than half of Protestant churchgoers under age 50 say they prefer to attend church with people who share their political views and few churchgoers say they attend services with people of a different political persuasion.

The increased partisan rancor in our country will have dire consequences. The church is following the culture rather than modeling how those of different political inclinations, races, genders, socioeconomic backgrounds can work together for the common good.Christians are increasingly moving to opposing corners based on politics, and our churches and our gospel witness is suffering because we have put our allegiance to our political parties before our allegiance to Christ and each other.

Unity does not mean uniformity. Democrats and Republicans -- not to mention partisans from Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America -- will be in heaven. Civic engagement and advocacy are important parts of what it means to be an American citizen, but we are first citizens of another kingdom, and must keep things in their proper order.

My pastor’s wife puts it this way, “Keep the main thing the main thing.” We are so beholden to our respective political parties we have lost sight of the main thing, namely the kingdom of God and our responsibility to make disciples.

Here are four pitfalls of the partisan trap for Christians and some suggestions for avoiding them...

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Public Policy Issues

We provide information on public policy issues such as Criminal Justice, Education, Gambling, and Immigration, so that the world we live in can reflect Biblical truth. Alcohol & Addiction, Education and Gambling, so that the world we live in can reflect Biblical truth. Learn more...

Faithful Response

Essays, devotionals, sermons and reflections on the role and practice of many faithful Christians and their experiences as advocates and faithful citizens. Learn more...

Legislative Sessions

Each session, the Christian Life Commission puts forth Public Policy Priorities. We also provide End of Session Reports from past sessions. Learn more about our goals for the 85th Legislative session. Learn more...

Resources

We are here to support both you and your church as you broaden ministry areas and transform your community through public policy and other active forms of Christian Citizenship. Learn more...

Advocacy Day

Each Legislative Session, the CLC convenes a group of pastors, lay leaders and students in Austin to learn more about the pressing policy challenges facing our state and meet with their elected officials. Learn more...