- The Washington Times - Monday, October 10, 2016

In an America increasingly fractured by race, class and presidential politics, a group of Christians is launching an effort to revitalize the nation’s institutions by emphasizing what unites the country rather than divides it.

Headlined by Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias — who defends the faith from detractors — hip-hop artist Lecrae and columnists Ross Douthat and Kirsten Powers, the Q Commons forum will be nationally broadcast Thursday in more than 100 cities.

The discussion topics include how Christians should approach the problems that plague the nation after the election, the role Christians should play in the political process, why Christians are perceived as part of the problem and how evangelicals can bring healing to the current atmosphere of racial strife.

Individual venues will switch between the national broadcast and in-person talks organized by local Christian leaders, which are aimed at applying solutions to problems afflicting individual communities. Rep. Trey Gowdy, for instance, is hosting one of the talks in Greenville, South Carolina.

Q Commons founder Gabe Lyons, who is moderating the forum, said the bipartisan talks are not aimed at endorsing either presidential nominee or political party.

Rather, he said the talk will provoke Christians to think about how faith interacts with and is distinct from politics.

“I think part of what we’ll find in that conversation is that the solution is not only going to come down to a chief executive and whoever is chosen to lead this country,” Mr. Lyons said. “It’s actually going to be up to each of us in the months and years after this election to continue being part of the solution and renewing and restoring our communities.”

He described the present moment as a “pivotal” one for determining the course of the nation, pointing to polls that show the vast majority of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track.

Indeed, 72 percent of Americans believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction, according to a recent Barma poll. And 56 percent describe themselves as “angry” with the role that the federal government is playing.

Mr. Lyons said faith communities care deeply about the problems facing their communities and the nation as a whole, but often feel alienated by the political process.

“This particular evening is designed to be something that actually unifies us with a posture and a way that we can be a part of solving problems in our communities, not creating more of them or contributing to the noise,” he said.

This year’s forum marks the fifth that Q Commons has organized in its three-year history. Mr. Lyons said it will be the largest one yet, with tens of thousands of participants expected to tune in this week.

He said the forum will offer Christians perspective and remind them “not to put too much faith into presidential politics.”

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