Red and Blue Christians, it’s time to stop this
When I found out this past Friday night that our United States President was hospitalized for the Corona Virus, I knew I’d read or hear some significant pops or pot shots against 45.
From both sides of the aisle, I’m through with the shots, the meanness, the pettiness, and the debased value system that has slithered its way onto the American landscape over the years. And if you’re a Jesus lover, you should be, too.
Enough. Yes. Enough.
I see what you do. Christians out there are Republicans. Likewise, Christians out there are Democrats. But dear red and blue, rally with me. Silence this debauchery. Speak up to left/right verbal assaults not with more barks and banter (yikes, we have all heard enough of this). Rather, speak in and from love. You know, the love Jesus consistently spoke about, the love that looks people not just in the eye, but through the heart not with a dagger but with compassion, a willingness to hear, and an agenda that simply means that you’d like to speak less and understand more.
We all know why church involvement is on the decline. Enough Sunday morning pew warmers are sending snarky messages that shoot a Politian or a party. Nothing is more harmful than a Jesus-touting alto in the choir trash talking either President Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Here’s the deal. Jesus’ command to love our enemy and those who persecute us also means we Bible thumpers are to love those whose political affiliation is not our own.
This speaks to what I have shared during a sermon a few months ago. Christians should lose their political affiliations all together. We are not of this world, so why hold to a part of it when it comes to politics?
Now when it comes to politics, the best political yard signs I have seen read JESUS: 2020.
Imagine this fully with me. Jesus 2020.
I have heard from fellow pastors who suggest that Jesus was, in fact, political. I disagree. Jesus was Jesus. Those making our Savior political do so only to substantiate their own political leanings. Jesus’ focus was never on this world. It was always on the one to come. He repeatedly makes it clear in scripture that we who love him are called to bring more to him and the eternal life he promises. Those we bring to him? Yeah. They are everywhere. They are everyone. Those we like and those we don’t. Those we see eye-to-eye with, and those who, in actuality, may make our skin crawl.
When did it become necessary for the Christian to be an either/or? If Christians are to love everyone, maybe we should start with each other. Seriously. I know a conversative preacher who barely speaks (okay, all out ignores) a gay pastor. I’ve known of business deals that sink because one Christian leans one way and the other leans the other way.
Is this not nonsense?
Consider those who are not Christian. Imagine what they see in Christians who are blue, and Christians who are red. That part isn’t so tricky. Then again, maybe it is. Maybe we shouldn’t be either party. Instead, we should be the ones who are well—one. United. Caring. Compassionate. Envisioned. Outspoken in the care for the marginalized, victimized, voiceless, broken, battered, and those disenfranchised like our widows and our orphans (and the people these two groups represent today). We should be the Samaritan who helps the one tossed out for dead on the street, regardless if the victim of hate is in a red shirt or a blue one, on this side of the street or that one. Instead, to many of us hunker down in our snarky political camps.
This division is a farce. It is no wonder those who do not identify as a Christian look at the institution of Christianity in general and continue to keep it distant.
Here’s a word about the institution. I remember meeting a lost soul who said repeatedly, “I just want to go to a church that speaks The Truth.”
The truth is we are all sinful, and Jesus died for the sins of not some in one party. He died for all of us. The truth is we all fall short of the glory of God. This should not divide but unite us. The truth is universal love and judgment originate not from anyone but God.
What we are not seeing is universal love. What we are seeing is judgment. And meanness.
Real rotten meanness.
Dear Christians, we are not doing enough to stop it. And we should.