The third perspective of the First Chapters Project is Social Transformation. Social Transformation is yet another dimension of Christian Politics, or perhaps the main objective of Christian Politics. Ephesians 4:22-24 says: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Scripture teaches us that the true determinants of development – social transformation – are not the ones usually taught in universities. It is commonly accepted that (economic) development depends on variables such as the level of education, the degree of market freedom, the protection of property rights and rule of law, technological innovation, or the availability of natural resources are the main determinants of social change.
While these elements are important, they ignore the underlying determinants of change and (economic) development that are concealed in God’s Word. These are related to God’s relational structuring of society around social covenants such as the family. In fact, the family, the church attendance and education are far more determining for social transformation. Public policy should focus on these variables instead, in order to achieve sustainable social transformation.
In God’s creational design, the family is the cornerstone of society and therefore one of the main institutions to rescue. Families have a decisive influence on the education of children, even when this is not a mainstream perspective in society. Strong, stable and healthy families are determinant for social transformation, as they are fundamental structures for the formation of the good character of people.
The church is equally fundamental for social transformation. For the quality of democracy it is healthy that there is a free expression of all voices in society, including churches. The Church, understood as the body of Christ and not as an institution, is called to engage in the healing of society – Religious Freedom. It is legitimate to base our political positions on our Christian faith as we know that Christ is the source of life and that its sovereignty is resplendent in all of the institutions of society, from the Church to the government. Christian involvement in society and political advocacy are opportunities for Christians to use their talents to build the kingdom of God and transform the spiritual, political, cultural and social sphere.
Finally, education is one of the fundamental institutions of society and a powerful vector of social transformation. Promoting healthy values and teaching the Christian worldview is a priority. Education is not only a process in which people receive influences for the development of learning, behaviour or attitudes, but also an avenue for the promotion of a culture of peace that enriches life values.
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