The divide is vast. The hypocrisy is thick. The church of Jesus must rise above.
Last week, as self-proclaimed Patriots stormed our nations capital in undeniably heinous anarchy, I witnessed progressive Christian friends and left-leaning church leaders point fingers across the aisle not only at Donald Trump but at anyone who had the nerve to cast a vote for the Republican President last November. Conservatives were painted with one broad brush stroke, consigning all to censure, ridicule, and blame. Like with so many moments over the past year, even in the church, I was saddened but not surprised. It was a glaring reversal of the rhetoric and blame-casting that we saw last summer as BLM protesters rioted, looted, and burned businesses leading many conservative Christians to broad-brush all progressives as violent, freedom-suppressing, America-hating imbeciles. In the summer months liberals – some of them anyway – justified the protests saying that they were “mostly peaceful” with a few dissenters. Those same liberals blasted the assault on the capital last Wednesday. Conversely, conservatives decried the violent riots last summer, while a few sought to justify the attack on Congress as a “mostly peaceful protest.” Four years ago, when Donald Trump took his oath of office, a cry of “not my president” rose from one side much to the angered dismay of the other. Presumably, when Joe Biden lays his hand on the Bible next week, a similar sentiment will rise from that other side, much to the consternation of the first. As I said, the hypocrisy is thick.
After the events at the capital Lebron James and other athletes, artists, and celebrities stoked the fires of division by appealing to the racial divide once more. Joe Biden and the left, who have undeniably been vicious and unrelenting in their hateful rhetoric, are now calling for peace and unity on their terms. Donald Trump, who undeniably has been brazen, belligerent, and demeaning, is now calling for healing and reconciliation. If it wasn’t so sad it would all be laughable. How can so many do so much to destroy and then with a straight face call for peace, justice, and love? Again, the divide is vast – and our politicians, celebrities, and social media memes/rants are never going to bridge that yawning chasm.
Enter the church. The blood-purchased bride of Jesus. The people for His own possession. The royal Priesthood. The citizens of the heavenly kingdom. The ministers of reconciliation equipped with the only message that can heal the soul and bridge the divide. We know our mission. It’s rather glaringly clear in the pages of Scripture and in the records of church history.
We are light. We are the salt of the earth. We are Gospel ambassadors.
We are to unapologetically declare God’s truth. Yet many Christians instead either spread misinformation, conspiracy theories, and wild speculations; or they shelter the truth, unwilling to welcome the storm of ridicule that may follow.
We are to seek unity – a unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17 – within the church. Yet many continue to point fingers, spew venom, make accusations, maliciously slander, and almost willingly splinter the church.
We are to trust in the only King who is truly sovereign, surprised by nothing, and declares the beginning of time to the end of days (which includes the appointment of political rulers [Daniel 2:21; Romans 13:1]). Yet with unrivaled (or so it seems) conviction, we trust in a man, a party, a judicial system, or a personal arsenal.
We must be people of the Book – reading, believing, being comforted by, and proclaiming the revelation there-in. Yet our eyes and minds are dominated by social platforms, media outlets, radical bloggers, and enslaved to the bias of our own hearts.
We are people who will be known for our love (those are red-letter words); yet we have become known for almost everything but true, Biblical, compassion-filled love.
Washington is an easy target and buying cultural lies, standing on political platforms, and worshipping fallen leaders is popular. But (and we know this) we are not called to the easy or the popular. Christian friend, stop with the name-calling, the broad-brushing, the venom-spewing, the hate, the divisiveness, the idolatry, and all the rest. It’s not cute, it’s barely clever, and it’s convincing no one of anything. More importantly, your sin grieves the heart of God, wounds His people, and confirms to the world that we are no different than they. Purpose to live according to your calling. Rise above this tumult to be salt and light. Too much is at stake.
Couldn’t agree more!
A word fitly spoken. The Church must not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.
That is what happens, when our focus becomes worldly. Jesus had to live with Herod, the Roman government and the Pharisees, he never lost his focus. We as Christians should have the same focus as Christ. We live in this world, but we do not belong here. Remember that!
Live in Christ
There has rarely been a better opportunity for churches to ‘lead’ to a higher way. They were mistaken to enter into politics so strongly and the party who claims to be of religion and patriotism is no better than the other party – its all just about getting votes and obtaining power. Politics is no place for churches. Jesus never engaged in it, nor did the twelve. So many (from broken homes, or no home) need genuine leadership today that if not from the church, no clue where it will come from. The church is where truth, honesty, genuineness, and love should come from. It starts with each of us, and then we must protect it as evil attempts to turn it into greed. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Well, as an occasional antagonist of most things Christian, I have to say that I agree with much of what you said above. I wonder though, are you optimistic at all? I’m not. It has been almost two years and indications are that it may take many years for even the lesser radical left and the lesser fanatical right to calm down enough to tolerate each other.