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Christian Unity and Politics: Why Both Parties Are Wrong

Just as baptism requires us to hold together a proper relationship between dying and rising with Christ, so too politics work best when a nation’s liberal ideals are built upon a solid foundation of conservative truths.


My aim in part one of this series was to show how the two truths of baptism—dying with Christ and rising with Christ—correspond to our political impulses. I made the observation that the “dying with Christ” truth of baptism corresponds to a politically conservative impulse, and the “rising with Christ” truth of baptism corresponds to a politically liberal impulse. And the point for Christian unity is that both political impulses—though not always true or right in their application—are rooted in our baptismal truth. Therefore, we need to be generous to each other in the midst of our political diversity.

Broadly speaking, our baptism teaches us to see the good in all things, including politics. But our baptism also teaches us to see the brokenness in all things, including politics. So if last week’s message was about seeing the good in the political impulses of your brother and sister in Christ, this week’s message is about seeing the potential dangers of your own political impulses.

We’re going to return again to Romans 6 and baptism. Not only is the gospel composed of two truths—dying and rising with Christ—but these two truths exist in a particular relationship, or order. I want to observe this relationship, and then look at what happens when we get these two truths out of order—both spiritually in our Christian life, as well as politically. So like part one, the first half of the sermon will look at baptism, the second half will look at politics.

(Read Romans 6:1-8)

Dying and Rising with Christ

I want us to pay attention to a key phrase in verses four and six. Paul is saying the same thing three or four times, in three or four different ...

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Gerald Hiestand is the co-founder and part-time director of the Center for Pastor Theologians. He also serves as the Senior Pastor of Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Illinois. He is the author, with Todd Wilson, of The Pastor Theologian.

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