Why Christian Writers Should Be Political Centrists

Why Christian Writers Should Be Political Centrists

I’ve been a political Centrist almost all my adult life. I believe it is a good place for all Christians to be, especially Christian writers. Why? Because Christians should not be pointing accusatory fingers at anyone.

What is a Centrist? It is someone who is not on the far Left or far Right of the political spectrum. We get out vales from the Bible, not flavor-of-the-week political ideology.  This graphic shows how I see the political and social landscape today. As you see, you can register with any of the well-known parties, but your values make the difference.  Centrists seek the Common Good, not power based on class, race, creed, economics, geography, or any other status. It insists on a level playing field for all.

The Centrist Position - A Graphic by Donald L. Hughes

Political polarization is a growing problem. People seem to be becoming more entrenched in their political views and less willing to listen to or engage with those who hold different opinions. This kind of polarization is harmful. As we see every day, it leads to increased division, animosity, and violence.

Let’s see how Christians, and especially Christian writers, can bring about change that honors the Lord.

The Political Left

The political Left is often associated with a commitment to social justice, equality, and individual freedoms. Left-leaning politicians tend to advocate for policies that support these values, such as progressive taxation, social welfare programs, and protections for marginalized groups. The Left also tends to prioritize the environment, education, and healthcare and often advocates for policies that support these areas.

One drawback of the political Left is that their policies can be expensive and difficult to implement. Some critics of Left-leaning policies argue that they create a dependency on the government, discourage innovation and entrepreneurship, and can even harm the economy. For example, some economists argue that high taxes can stifle economic growth and that overly-generous social welfare programs can create a disincentive to work.

Perhaps one of the greatest faults of Leftists is that they think “justice” is possible on this earth. They feel they can bring in the Millennium by their good works. Evangelical Christians know that is a foolhardy idea. True justice is only found in Christ and his Kingdom. Justice, equality, and equity are all illusions. The “justice” that allows a man to transition to a woman steals the justice of fair competition between women athletes. The “justice” in allowing minority races to get the best education is stolen by school administrators who suppress the achievements of others.

Leftists are typically anti-religion. They have taken Christianity out of the marketplace of ideas and seldom miss an opportunity to belittle Christian values. They typically embrace secularism, humanism, and hedonism at the expense of family values.

The Political Right

The political Right is often associated with a commitment to individual freedoms, personal responsibility, and traditional values. Right-leaning politicians tend to advocate for policies that support these values, such as low taxes, free markets, and limited government regulation. The Right also tends to prioritize issues such as national security, law and order, and the protection of individual rights.

One drawback of the political Right is that their policies can be seen as exclusive or discriminatory towards certain groups. For example, some Right-leaning policies have been criticized for exacerbating income inequality, neglecting the environment, and limiting access to healthcare and education for marginalized groups. Critics also argue that some Right-leaning policies can be harmful to individual rights. People on the Right know these claims are mostly untrue and damaging political rhetoric.

Christians are more likely to be on the Right-wing, especially when they are Bible-believing people. That poses the problem of Christian Nationalism, which we must all reject. I am a proud American, but I do not mix that with my faith in Christ. No flag and cross for me. They are separate. My allegiance is ultimately judged by the Bible since I am, first and foremost, a citizen of the Kingdom of God. My votes go to those candidates in the American Republic who uphold Kingdom values.

Bridging the Gap

One way to bridge the divide between these two positions is through a Centrist position. Centrism is the political position that lies between the Left and Right and advocates for a balance between social and economic policies. Centrists often believe that government should play a role in promoting social welfare and fairness while also supporting free markets and individual freedom.

One potential benefit of Centrism is that it can reduce political polarization by promoting compromise and collaboration between different political views. By seeking common ground and finding solutions that address the Left and Right concerns, Centrists can promote greater understanding and cooperation across the political spectrum.

Educating people on the importance of a balanced political system and the value of collaboration and compromise can help create a more informed and engaged citizenry. This can help to promote a culture of dialogue and mutual respect, and foster a more inclusive and effective political system.

Another potential benefit of Centrism is that it can lead to more effective governance. By prioritizing practical solutions and evidence-based policy-making, Centrists can avoid the pitfalls of ideological extremism and focus on policies that impact people’s lives. By promoting accountability and transparency, Centrists can also ensure that government operates in the best interests of the people it serves.

Some critics argue that Centrism can be seen as indecisive or wishy-washy and that it may lack a clear vision or direction. Some Christians, particularly, think of this position as “lukewarm” (Revelation 3:16), but that is not the case.  It is more like the “Come now, let us reason together, of Isaiah 1:18.

Other critics argue that Centrism can be vulnerable to criticism from both the Left and Right and may struggle to build a strong support base. But that is far better than what we endure now, isn’t it?

Centrism can offer a way forward by bridging the divide between Left and Right and promoting greater understanding and collaboration. By taking a balanced approach to social and economic policies, Centrists can promote both effective and fair policies that address the needs of a wide range of people without reverting to the suicide pact of identity politics.

Why Centrism is Important to Christians

Christians should be Centrists because we represent Christ, not any political party or currently popular social campaign. We take the long haul and want to be all things to all men (1 Corinthians 9:22-23). Our role is not to be neutral but to be in the center of human need so we can proclaim the gospel to all.

Centrism is not without its challenges and may require greater compromise and flexibility than other political positions. It may also need to develop a clearer vision and sense of direction to gain support and legitimacy in a polarized and divided political landscape.

One way to promote Centrism is to encourage greater civic engagement and political literacy.. It also requires that we take the emphasis off the things that divide us, like equality, and focus on simply being kind to each other no matter what our status, race, income, religion, or other superficial qualities generate hate and division. Kindness is the only way we can slice through the anger so prevalent in our society. Jesus Christ can teach us all about kindness.

Ultimately, the key to overcoming political polarization is recognizing human ideas of justice, equity, diversity, and all the rest will not improve society. Dividing people into groups of any kind only engenders hate, as we have seen in recent times.  By embracing a Centrist position and Christian kindness, we can build bridges between different political perspectives and help create a more stable society.