I’ve never seen our nation so divided, not like this. Interestingly enough, I’ve never seen the church so divided either. When did the church, the body of Christ, the redeemed of God Almighty, fall to the fears of politics? When? I keep hearing that there has never been a time like this in history, but that isn’t true. I heard a wise pastor once say that in Jesus’ day they were killing all the young male babies. Not abortion, mind you, all the male children, long after they were born, were ripped from their mother’s arms and outright murdered on the spot. The pastor makes a good point. Today is certainly not worse than that. So here’s my first question: did the political atrocity from an evil monarch in Jesus’ day, even one so deplorable as this, stop God and His plans? Did Jesus throw up his hands and say, “well, I was going to save the world, but it looks like king Herod won’t let me. I think I’ll sit this one out until Herod passes on.”
Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? But isn’t that exactly what we’re doing? We’re acting like a particular president is going to make an end of the church of God. If so and so is elected, then God help us all, we’re done. Really? According to God’s word, the gates of hell would not prevail against His church. But we’re acting as if the left or right wing just might make up where the enemy is lacking— like the narrow margin between the church prevailing or hell’s gates prevailing is a four year term in office? I can see some of you, right now, head bobbing up and down vigorously. Seriously though, what are we to do? I’m not trivializing the weightiness of this moment in history. The truth is, I was so concerned about offending someone that I almost didn’t release this part of my journal. I changed my mind early this morning because as soon my eyes popped open, it felt as if God dropped the idea straight into my noggin. I changed my mind because these are the questions and fears of the people I love. What do we do, when just like in Jesus day, leaders walk in Godless disregard for human life? Who do we vote for when truth, to them, is as relative as the shifting trends and needs of their own campaigns? Who do we vote for when lies are past the point of counting and frankly, expected, and dignity and character are sacrificed for the shallows of approval and performance?
I want to be clear, or as clear as a post can be. There are things worth standing up for and convictions worth dying for. Scripture teaches this and Jesus lived this.
But… are we in the least bit careful of how we stand lest we undo the work of the cause that is worth dying for?
I know this election process has been abysmal, at best. But as bad as it seems, that isn’t the worst part. What breaks my heart is the church. The church is taking sides. We’re taking sides like one of these candidates was clearly the right choice. And to prove it, we’re willing to sacrifice the spiritual fruits of our testimony, just to be right. We send out our posts to social media, knowing full well that it will explode with all the impact of a verbal grenade and we don’t seem to care. I’ve had friends admit as much to me. In fact, they love doing it! Why? Why are we so primed and ready? Why in the world are we taking so much time to painstakingly craft the perfect post? That’s what we do, right? We make it powerful, full of factual criticisms, a pinch of sarcasm and just the right touch of humor. Oh, and scripture, let’s not forget scripture. There has to be a Jesus juke in there somewhere to add the final touch of validity and high motive. We’re ready y’all. We’re chomping at the bit to be right and we’re gonna prove it all on the glorious public stage of social media. When they read our post all will be revealed. Right? For the record, it tempts me too. I’m human, God help me. Am I doing the thing that I’m writing about this very moment? Who doesn’t want to be right? And what could be more tempting than to prove it in front of everyone? But there’s a danger we’re neglecting. I’m convinced of it. A canker is growing right under our noses. Somewhere along the way, Christians decided that we want to be right more than we want to love. We want to be right more than we want to be family. We want to be right more than we want to trust God. We want to be right and we don’t care who gets in the way to prove it. So we fling our grenades, because being right is the god we kneel to now. Where has the love of my brother gone? Where is the restraint of the men and women of God? In John’s gospel it says: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”(John 13:35).
Could I be spotted? Would the world even know me by reading my posts? In their eyes, do I resemble my Savior or is my brother and the world too busy defending themselves from my own great arsenal to notice anything else?
Jesus was asked about politics. His answer was downright priceless. When asked about government/money issues, Jesus said,
“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”(Mark 12:17) In other words, what in the world does that have to do with me?
What does Caesar’s money have to do with sins that need forgiving?
What does Caesar’s money have to do with a cross that needs carrying?
What does Caesar’s money have to do with the architect of Love?
And what on earth does Caesar’s money have to do with eternity’s children–my church?
That is what breaks my heart today. We say the landscape has changed, but has it really? Or is it just that our answers have changed? Our answers no longer resemble our Savior’s answers and neither do we. In fact, we’re not even turning our answers toward the Caesars of today, but we’ve turned on each other, like ravenous dogs. It’s wrong…
Jesus knew how to stand. Jesus knew what was worth dying for. So, what would Jesus post about our political drama? How would Jesus address His brothers and sisters? Where would His energies lie? He has all knowledge—all of it. That’s a stacked deck. Needless to say, His post would be unequivocally right. He could stand, high and lifted up, and sock it to all of us and be totally in the right. But would he?
Or would He say…