There is something that has been chained to my heart for a while now that I feel compelled to let free. It’s been hurting, gnawing, and writhing within my soul and this morning as I walked out of church, I knew it needed to be said. So… disclaimer, this post will be long but I hope you will take the time to read it (or at least skim it).
Now, let me begin by saying that this does have to do with politics (specifically regarding the upcoming presidential election and its candidates) but I would venture to say that it is perhaps not what you may assume. So, if that peaks your interest— and I hope it does— please continue reading.
I think we can all agree that so far life in 2016 has been kind of an emotional roller coaster—and while life tends to lend itself to ups and downs, this year has been overstocked with maneuvers that even an adrenaline junkie would get nervous about. And the election and the presidential campaigns are just more spirals that have put us through the ringer. It’s no secret that a massive divide has been created within our country. A chasm between the countries in the world we live in. It has caused hatred and conflict and altogether ugliness. It’s the devil’s playground. But I think what hurts my heart the most about all of it, is the ugliness that has spawned among Christians and the Church because of the trivial difference in opinion as to which candidate they like/agree with more.
I’ve witnessed friends have unhealthy and malicious debates on what they believe is right and who they believe is best. I’ve heard gossip and hate-filled words spew from the lips of men and women that I’ve looked up to in the faith, condemning one candidate or the other for their behavior. I’ve experienced tense arguments with the ones I love about issues that, in the big picture, aren’t for us to solve. And after nights of heartache, hurting, and worry, I finally know what I have to say about it…
Enough of this.
It’s time to wake up.
This morning my pastor spoke about “The body image of the Body of Christ” and how the image of what the church is intended and called to be is so grossly misaligned from how the world actually sees us and it’s not on account of what the Bible teaches, it is because of the inability for a lot of Christians to walk out of church on Sunday and live a life that is one with Christ.
Brennan Manning says it perfectly.
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. This is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
When I read this quote I cannot help but to think about the the words I’ve seen and heard come from Christians about either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and their supporters. The condemnations they jab at them. The hateful remarks posted about them that pollute Twitter and Facebook. It’s vile and it’s destructive and in a place where those words and feelings live, love and mercy and grace cannot be found. I often wonder just how much God hurts over the things that are being said about his children. Yeah, I said it. Something that I think we neglect to remember and whether you like hearing it or not, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are both children of God and they are loved unconditionally by Him. And because they are loved by Him, we are called to love them too despite what we think of their behavior, their policies, or their lifestyles.
I guess my hope in saying all of this is that whether you’re a follower of Jesus or not, you might see a little more clearly the the sick game that hate and judgment play in our relationships, our country, the world we live in, and our hearts. It’s my prayer that we can wake up and take a step in the right direction. Because isn’t that what we are called to do?
In the words of musical artist Jon Bellion, “Walk towards love”.
John 13:34-35 MSG
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”