The recent Christianity Today features a Q & A with Senator Marco Rubio (R – Florida). I found Rubio to be sincere and authentic in his answers. He’s certainly an interesting cat – he was baptized Catholic, was converted to Mormonism under his mother, then returned to the Catholic church, but frequently attends an Evangelical church. What is striking in the two answers I’ve posted below is how he makes a distinction between the primary calling of Christians, as something different from political activism, but also affirms political vocation for those “called” to it and affirms that one is to glorify God in that calling, just like any other calling. I find Rubio’s primacy on the calling of all Christians “to glorify God in everything we do” also very Westminster Catechism-like. Is he pandering with his Christianese language, or does he really have a refined nuanced conviction born out of deep theological reflection? I’m not affirming Rubio, nor trying to validate his faith, but do find his upbringing quite fascinating.
In preparation for the 2012 election, how should Christians engage in the public sphere?
Well, there’s the spiritual activism, which saints are called to and which is separate from the political realm. If you’re living out your faith, it influences every aspect of your life. It teaches us to glorify God in everything we do. In everything we do in our lives, we’re called to bring glory to God, primarily by the way we live our lives and the things we do so people will look to us and say, “That’s what it means to be a Christian; that’s what it means to be ambassadors of Christ.” If our faith influences every aspect of our lives, then if we decide to become politically active, it should influence that as well.
You distinguished spiritual activism from political activism. Do you see political activism as a ministry?
You can if that’s what you’re called to, for example, with how we treat the less fortunate. I believe in a safety net, not as a way of life, but as a way to help those who cannot help themselves. But I also believe the number one economic system that’s ever been created that allows people to rise above the circumstances of their birth and accomplish things beyond what they were born into is the American free enterprise system. My faith influences me in believing that. I don’t think everyone’s called to political engagement. No matter what we’re called to do, we are called to glorify God in what we do. For those of us who have been called to political action, we’re called by our faith to glorify God in the way we carry ourselves in these roles.
© 2012, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.