What happened to us? Most days I feel like I live a in parallel universe. There is no respect for anyone or anything. Name calling and mud slinging are the normal behavior. We post it on our social media, we scream it on the corners and we march down the streets. We don’t listen to anyone who thinks differently than us because they are stupid. We live in fear of what if’s and what’s next. We live in fear of being honest with our thoughts or feelings in fear of being labeled something we are not.
Division is all around us, and it’s not new. I get that. What I don’t get is us, the church. We seem to be just as scared as those who don’t claim to be the church. We throw insults and naming call like it’s our right to do. I am white so that must make me white privileged. Which means I must be racist, a bigot, a homophobe and against all immigration just to name a few…in case you are wondering, I don’t like being labeled or called names.
If I think we should respect each other regardless of where we find ourselves in this mess we call a political arena then I simply don’t understand what is going on around me. I see one group of Christians post negative comments and disrespect toward the president elect and incoming administration.
I see another group post against current President and administration. There are too many direct quotes to put them all here…
I know, freedom of speech… I get it! I am thankful for it. It’s why I can write and post a blog. It’s why I can stand on a stage each week and speak freely. But where does that freedom become dangerous? When words hurt and destroy and create division. Is that what Jesus stood for? I thought he came to reconcile…
Then I hear the fears of a mom who adopted children from Mexico. Her adult children, who served in the military, being harassed by people on the street saying they were going to be sent back to where they belong. This is not okay! This is wrong! Please stop!
I have dinner with a family who immigrated here many years ago and hear their stories of sacrifice to give up everything to come to America.
I am not excusing bad behavior but both political parties are full of bad behavior, name calling and disrespect. Can we please not model this in the church? My hope has never been in the President of the United States. Some presidential elections the candidate of my choice wins while other times they don’t. I have not taken to the streets to protest. I have not called my neighbors names because they didn’t agree with me, and I for sure did not offer up disrespect for those who hold the office. I might not agree but it doesn’t give me the right to lay down what it means to be Christlike. I ask myself often, do I want to be right… or do I want a relationship with that person? And frankly I want the relationship. I want people to see Jesus, and he modeled respect, love, forgiveness. He said to pray for those in authority over us. Pray! It is really hard to pray for someone you are bad mouthing on the side, and it’s really hard to continue to bad mouth someone you are spending time in prayer for.
Hillary Clinton was not the hope of this world! Donald Trump is not the hope of this World! Jesus Christ is! And the church I serve has let me down and left me disillusioned in what our calling is. Then I remind myself I serve the God of the universe, he is the One who saved me, transformed me and called me by name. I rest in that!
My prayer tonight is that healing will begin. That we will fervently pray for neighbors, for our new President and his family. That we will pray that those things that have been broken by this election season will be healed. That all people will see Jesus flowing from those of us who call ourselves Christ Followers. That the Church will be the church, feeding the hungry, caring for the widows and the orphans, sharing the gospel of Jesus.