Tim Keller on Faith and Politics
Timothy Keller is an American author, speaker, and the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in New York City, New York. Timothy is the author of The Reason for God and The Prodigal God.
He was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary. However, he learned the most from his nine years as a pastor of West Hopewell Presbyterian Church in the small blue-collar town of Hopewell, Virginia. The congregation there loved him, suffered through his earliest days as a pastor, and taught an intellectual northerner to be clear. His second church was Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which he started in 1989 with his wife, Kathy, and three young sons.
Question: Do either of the parties espouse true Christian values?
Keller: I never told anybody how I vote and the reason I’ve done that is I, number 1, I believe that neither the Democratic nor the Republican Party can capture all of the, how do I say, Christian social, ethical points. I mean, you know, it’s interesting, Catholic social policy, Evangelical Christian social policy are roughly the same. They tend to be more conservative on things like abortion, sex, that sort of thing. They tend to be more liberal on things like the environment, [IB] pro-union. And so I think most thoughtful Christians, Catholic and Protestant would agree that neither party can just capture the whole Christian social, ethical agenda. And therefore we need to say get in to whatever party you think you can do the best job in as Christians and be very critical. Don’t sell your soul. And, as a church, let’s not so much lift up candidates sort of parties, but as a congregation, what we ought to do is work directly on needs like education needs, poverty, environmental problems, sex trafficking, whatever. So, as a congregation, we try to work directly on issues in our city that have political ramifications but aren’t particularly in a line of one party or the other. As individuals, I say, go get involve in parties, don’t stay out of that, but just do it critically. And that’s the reason why I don’t tell people how I vote because then folks in my church would be feeling that one party or another was being made to feel less than welcome. And all I have to do as a Senior Pastor is to say I vote this way or that way and people from another party will just feel less welcome and that’s not what I want to do.
The Pastor speaks of religion’s place in the political sphere.
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