In November, a reader asked, “How can/should one reconcile Christian faith with belonging to a political party (or even just patriotism)?” Being that the inauguration is just around the corner, it seemed a fitting time to respond.

Before we begin discussing this topic, I think it is important to recognize that one’s faith informs their political views, but faith does not require you to align with a particular political party.

The rhetoric which argues that if you believe in God then you must be Republican (because they lean toward pro-life); or if you believe in God then you must be a Democrat (because they care for the poor); or if you believe in God then you must not vote at all is unhealthy and reductionist.

There is a multitude of reasons why a person might choose to align themselves with one political party over another, and often the issues are extremely personal, which is why they become volatile.

This is not to say that I don’t have opinions on politics, I do, but I do not intend to discuss specifics here. Nor do I presume to think that everyone who follows my faith worldview should have the same political opinions that I do.

The simple truth is that if you want to be a follower of the Bible, no political party will line up 100 percent. You will have to compromise on things that are intrinsically important to your faith.

So, how do we balance adhering to a political party and being a people of faith? I have two main thoughts.

The first thought is that you must allow your faith to be the lens through which you view the world, including your politics.

You cannot just embrace a turnkey system in its entirety. As we engage with current social issues, be it related to race, immigration, abortion, poverty, foreign affairs, etc., we must be informed by our faith.

To check our faith at the door when debating political issues is a tragedy and borders on (if not dives…