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As Primaries Draw Near, Let’s Not Forget Civility

Things are about to get crazy in Texas – or crazier.

It is less than two months before the Republican and Democratic primary elections here (March 1), and early voting begins Feb. 16.

No party speaks for God. There will be committed Christians, as well as others, running in both parties. Some of them will actually use language that connects deeply with those of us who seek to follow Christ.

Language is a powerful tool for good or evil, right or wrong. As a result, we Christians need to listen with all the intelligence and wisdom we can muster through the help of the Holy Spirit.

We listen with the ears of Texans and Americans, but we also seek to turn up our spiritual hearing aids in order to hear with the ears of Christ.

The Christian Life Commission (CLC) of the Baptist General Convention of Texas has prepared a document on civility in public discourse from a biblical perspective.

Please check it out, share it with friends, or preach and teach from it in church. If you do the latter, please email me a recording or copy of what you do.

For a copy of this CLC resource, click here.

CLC Micah 6:8 Conference speaker Jen Hatmaker recently exhorted Christians to use our words for good and be kind even when we passionately disagree with one another.

Her words serve as a reminder as we enter election season that we can disagree without being disagreeable.

Let’s be at our best as we exert this high privilege of voting to determine our local, state and national direction in regard to government. Many people have died so we would have this privilege.

As Ephesians 4:29 reminds us, “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.”

Ferrell Foster is director of ethics and justice for the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission. A version of this column first appeared on the Texas Baptists website and is used with permission. You can follow him on Twitter @FerrellFoster and the CLC @TxCLC.