Southern Evangelical Seminary: ‘Christians Are Called to Love Our Neighbors as Ourselves and to Defend the Gospel’
January 5, 2021
CHARLOTTE, N.C.— Public policy in a constitutional republic like the United States necessarily includes being involved in politics. While politics may be simply a game and power-play for far too many people, in reality the role of politics is to pursue and secure the common good of society. Man is a social creature by nature, and we rely on each other to obtain various goods to which we are directed. Therefore, man is political by nature, and we must necessarily work together for the common good. Given this, Adam Tucker, the director of recruiting and admissions at Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), explains that Christians should be passionate about politics for two crucial reasons:
- Christians are Called to Love Our Neighbors as Ourselves
- Christians are Called to Defend the Gospel
Christians are Called to Love Our Neighbors as Ourselves.
“No less than Jesus Himself says the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31),” said Tucker. “What does it mean to love our neighbors? How do we do that? Certainly, we do that in tangible ways like feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, caring for orphans, etc. I submit to you this is not all that Jesus had in mind. Loving our neighbors is not less than these tangible acts. Rather, loving our neighbors involves so much more.”
Tucker points to the natural law tradition of Christian thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas, good is that which fulfills the end/purpose of something according to its nature. “I believe this natural law morality is what Paul refers to in the second chapter of Romans regarding ‘the works of the law’ written on the hearts of Gentiles,” said Tucker. “One does not have to be a Christ follower to understand the general precepts of natural law because, as human beings, everyone is naturally able to understand the basics of good and evil.”
Recall that politics is the means by which we pursue the common good of our society. Said Tucker, “There is an objective basis (based on natural law) upon which to judge certain political platforms as objectively good or bad. In other words, loving our neighbors and working ‘for the good of all’ involves communicating within the political arena truth about reality. As Paul says in 1 Cor. 13, love rejoices in the truth.”
Thus, willing others (citizens, politicians, or societies) to pursue things that are contrary to the purposes towards which man is naturally directed is not being “enthusiastic about good.” To not will the good of our neighbors is, in fact, necessarily and objectively unloving.
Christians are Called to Defend the Gospel.
Of course, the most loving thing we can do for our neighbors is to share with them the Gospel. “The Gospel involves a certain minimal set of truth claims that must be accepted in order for the Good News to be efficacious,” explained Tucker. “In a culture where darkness has often progressed unabated, the minds of the individuals that make up that culture become darkened as well. This creates tremendous barriers for evangelism.”
A common sense grasp of reality and the basic precepts of truth and goodness have largely been indoctrinated out of the majority of modern westerners today. The rich philosophical (and biblical) truths that formed much of Western culture have often been ignored or forgotten. “The darkness left in the wake of such moral and intellectual errors has led to a number of obstacles that now stand in the way of someone even considering the truthfulness of the Gospel,” said Tucker. “It is our job to remove those obstacles so that people can see the Gospel for what it truly is.”
SES offers the 15 hour Certificate in Philosophy, Politics, & Economics (PPE). The PPE can also be used as a concentration within most master’s degrees (excluding M.A.R.).We believe that one must minister to the present generation according to its needs, and to do so with truth and power our students need training in the ethical, political, and economic implications of the unchanging Faith “once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). This combination of PPE training and classical seminary education can be a potent one in combating the new heresies and false doctrines rooted in a secularist, progressivist worldview.
To interview Dr. Richard Land or Adam Tucker of Southern Evangelical Seminary, contact Hamilton Strategies, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.