RON HAMILTON, CCCC CONFERENCE MINISTER
It is important for followers of Jesus to be aware of what the Bible says about critical issues facing our nation. Our conversation with others about these matters should be well informed and full of grace. The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) has updated a helpful resource to serve as a seminal guide for public policy, “For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility.” The revised version includes a new section on racial justice and reconciliation, among other updates.
NAE President Leith Anderson said,
“The foundational truth in ‘For the Health of the Nation’ is that all people are made in the image of God. Each principle in the document flows from that truth. Our hope is that this guide will help those of shared faith work together to bless others in the public square.”
The original version of “For the Health of the Nation” was adopted in 2004 and became the platform for the NAE’s advocacy, along with NAE resolutions. It has been widely studied and used by evangelicals and has served as a unifying framework for evangelical engagement in public policy.
While the underlying principles of the document have not changed, the NAE Board of Directors updated and adopted the revised version in light of the shifting American context. New attention has been called to long-time social ills, including the broken immigration system, sexual harassment and abuse, human trafficking, racial injustice and white supremacy. Concern about these issues was implicit in the original document and is further elaborated in the updated edition, notably through the addition of a section on racial justice and reconciliation.
In addition to sections on the basis and method for Christian civic engagement and the structures of public life, the NAE offers the following principles for Christian political engagement:
- Protecting religious freedom and liberty of conscience;
- Safeguarding the nature and sanctity of human life;
- Strengthening marriages, families and children;
- Seeking justice and compassion for the poor and vulnerable;
- Preserving human rights;
- Pursuing racial justice and reconciliation;
- Promoting just peace and restraining violence; and
- Caring for God’s creation.
While these issues do not exhaust the concerns of good government, they provide a platform from which evangelicals can engage in common action.
To access a free PDF download or order printed copies of
“For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility,” visit NAE.net/forthehealth.