I’ve been spending a lot of time reading and listening to Christian’s response to this election. It’s quite interesting. As we all know this election has most of the country polarized. And so is the church. When I read comments like, “How can a Christian vote for____?”, I get so annoyed! Why do so quickly question each other’s identity? Do we become sons and daughters of the Living God because we vote for the “right” candidate? Is that what makes us a Christian? Do we somehow become unsaved because we vote for the “wrong” candidate? I think most of us are very clear about the answer to these questions. Jesus did ALL of the work. We simply receive the extravagant gift he offers.
What’s most disturbing to me is that the church is responding no differently than the rest of America to this election. This election has exposed some the deeply embedded divisions which exist within the body of Christ. It’s also exposed the truth about our hearts. It is NOT a pretty sight! This is very clear. We need a Savior! Thankfully, we have one.
There is a lot I don’t know about the complexities of the problems in our nation and world. A LOT! But I do know this: Jesus wants his body to be unified as ONE.
Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. John 17:11
I also know this. Oneness isn’t easy, and it’s not our natural tendency. Because the body of Christ isn’t a monolithic group of people with the same experiences or perspectives or cultural backgrounds, or socio-economic backgrounds, etc., we are bound to have conflict. Why do you think Jesus prayed to the Father that we would be one? He knew how hard it would be for people who are so different to come together to work together as ONE BODY.
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. Mark 3:24
If the Body of Christ intends to transform this world, we cannot afford to be divided. This is a nonnegotiable! On the other hand, we have an enemy whose primary goal is to kill, steal and destroy. He knows that he renders us ineffective, when we are divided. Bickering, arguing, judging, and blaming do not reflect the heart of God. Neither does only accepting people who look like us, think like us, and act like us. This is kind of “oneness” is artificial. Even the godless accomplish this.
I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his son rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:44-45
For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? So you must be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:46-48
So what are we to do? We must look for opportunities to interact with people who are different from us in order to love them. This means going places we may not normally go and talking with people we would usually not talk to. Listen to their story. Validate their worth as humans. Pray for them. Show them kindness. We must not shrink back from the tension and discomfort. Let’s press into the hard places together with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Don’t you know God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? Romans 2:4
We as the body of Christ have much we can agree upon. Let’s focus on what we can agree upon.
Agree that ultimately Jesus is the hope of the world.
Agree that our world is in desperate need of help, and no government will ultimately solve all of the complex problems of our world.
Agree that the Church has the answer, but we must serve from a posture of humility and sincere love, not judgement.
Agree to listen as one imperfect human being listening to another imperfect human being. Really listen.
Agree that we ALL have much to learn from one another.
Agree that each of us is valuable since we’ve been given our value by our Creator.
Agree that it is only through the supernatural intervention of the Holy Spirit that we can be One as Jesus and the Father are One
Agree that we need people in our lives who come from very different perspectives. We make each other better and stronger.
Agree that the perfect love of God poured out through his people will transform this world and CAST OUT FEAR!
Agree that we must recognize the work of the real enemy–Satan. We must stand firm against his attempts to divide us! We must remember that the human in front of us is not the enemy. (Hilary isn’t the enemy. Trump isn’t the enemy. Obama isn’t the enemy. Your neighbor isn’t the enemy. Your spouse isn’t the enemy.)
Agree to use the divine weapons of prayer and God’s word to come against any and everything that sets itself up against the knowledge of Christ Jesus.
Agree to always choose the way of love, for love defeats hate!
The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that THEY MAY BE UNIFIED, as we are unified. I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly unified, SO THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW THAT YOU SENT ME AND LOVED THEM EVEN AS YOU LOVED ME. John 17:22-23
Unity that is not a result of forced coercion, or based on fear, or hatred is a rare and beautiful thing. A diverse group of people who have found a common bond, and who have a genuine love for one another cannot be ignored. Only the power of a Living and Loving God can accomplish this. People want to join of a group of people like this!