The North Carolina Family Policy Council has been working diligently in our state’s political and policy arena for over 25 years. By God’s grace, and through the prayers and support of citizens across this state, this organization has been blessed with consistent growth, success and favor—even in the face of some pretty challenging times, issues and circumstances. We thank God for that every day!
As we pursue our vision of “A state and nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished,” we actively engage in partnerships with elected and appointed officials, pastors and church leaders, and other citizens across the state. We don’t do this to rack up wins on some political scoreboard, but to do our best to live out the Greatest Commandment as proclaimed by Christ Jesus in Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV):
36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Clearly, Jesus acknowledges not only that loving God and loving our neighbor are fundamental, but that they are uniquely intertwined with the law. We believe that God is an intentional Creator and Designer and that His law, as set out in the Scriptures, purposefully establishes a framework for how we are to live and relate to one another on a day-to-day basis. Jesus says we first must submit to God with all our heart, soul and mind, and then He will enable and equip us to genuinely and authentically love each other.
In the coming months, as you may have noticed in this issue of Family North Carolina magazine, NC Family is highlighting the principle, “Behind Every Issue Is A Person!”
We think this is important, because in our current vitriolic political climate it is easy to lose sight of what really matters. We can become consumed by rancorous campaigns, embroiled in policy debates, and enraged when others don’t see things the way we do. We can fail to remember that there are real people and real lives behind the issues we are debating and discussing.
“Behind Every Issue Is A Person!” A mother, a daughter, a father, a son, an unborn child, an infirmed adult, a victim of trafficking, an opioid addict, an immigrant, a troubled adolescent, a struggling student, a pregnant teen, a divorced parent, a bankrupt businessman, an atheist, a new believer… Each and every one is our neighbor, and Jesus calls us to love each one as we love ourselves.
Every year the leaders of Family Policy Councils from around the country gather together to teach, learn, share and encourage one another. At this year’s meeting in Atlanta we were tasked with answering the question “Why?” Why do we do what we do?
Nearly 40 FPC leaders broke up into small groups to unpack, debate and ponder this most basic question, and we were instructed that our answer could only be FOUR words long! Seriously, four words?
After nearly two hours of digging and discussing, my group wrote four words on our board: “Love God, Love Neighbor!”
The Greatest Commandment—that is why we do what we do!
So, let’s never forget in the heat of the battle, when tension is at its peak and nerves are frayed, that we are not fighting to win an issue or to claim a political victory, but to honor God and to love our neighbor. After all, “Behind Every Issue Is A Person!”
John L. Rustin is President of the North Carolina Policy Council