Tomorrow is the mid-term elections. I can say in all my years, I have never seen a mid-term election garner more focus, vitriol, and hatred than this one. It makes my stomach turn. The amount of time, energy and money that has gone into these elections has apparently eclipsed any other in history, further driving a wedge through the United States into what seems an inevitable shattering. Recently, I saw the billboard sign tacitly stating that Trump was the Word made flesh!
I do not know how our country is going to survive all of this. The lines are deep and wide. Those on the other side are enemies, with no common ground and indeed no humanity left in them.
Comedians and entertainers are our favorite political pundits. Laughter and mockery at those Other than us is the norm. To disagree is to hate. Civil discourse is neither civil nor discourse. It has been replaced by shouting down speakers, ‘shaming’ people out of restaurants and bullying people in public areas. We are slowly eating ourselves alive.
It is Trump's fault. It is Hillary’s fault. It is Obama’s fault. It is Bush’s fault. It is Clinton’s fault. It is H.W. Bush’s fault. It is Reagan’s fault. It is Carter’s fault. It is Nixon’s fault. But it is never our fault. It could not be that we are to blame for the mess we are in. It is always someone else. Big corporations, systems that pigeon hole people and rampant racism only further the problem. We are told ‘the problem’ all the time. We are told it is the Left or the Right. We are told that men or women are the problem. We choose who to listen to and who to gag, creating echo chambers of what we want to hear.
“A Blue wave is coming,” I heard on the news. This is an expectation of Democratic party wins, a back-lash to Trump and his presidency. This Blue wave will hit a Red tide of Republican resistance, a strong opposition the Democrats winning the House or the Senate majority.
Christians are caught up on both sides, seemingly unable to differentiate between Jesus and politics.
If you call yourself a Christian, and you find yourself caught up in this rhetoric, I have some questions for you.
What did Jesus call us to do?
Nearly every church and most Christians know this passage, “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22.34-39 NIV.
It is clear we have some directives. Love God, Love Others. That doesn’t mean we fight, call names, and increase division among us.
Further, Jesus says, “43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5.43-48
This doesn’t mean we love our country above loving our enemy. Jesus NEVER said ‘Love America.’ It is that simple. If you we love our country more than our enemy, we are in error.
For the purposes of this article, I am not addressing Matthew 28, where Jesus gives us another command, which is to make disciples, teach and baptize. Although, we could use more teaching around how we are to engage with politics.
Given we are told to love God, love our neighbors and love our enemies, how is it possible for Christians to become venomous in their politics (or anything else for that matter).
It doesn’t matter if you are Blue (Democrat) or Red (Republican). In an interesting twist, those colors brought together create Purple. Purple is a royal color and THE color we should be paying attention to. The die was incredibly difficult to obtain in the ancient world, which made it valuable. It was reserved for only the greatest. Why care about it?
Because as Christians we follow a King. In fact, He is the King of King and Lord of Lords. He is greater than Trump or any political leader at any time in history. He is the one we follow, and He is the one in whom we hope. Our hope is not in politics. It can’t be. If it is, we will be placing our faith in a billion-dollar machine. This machine is run by millionaires who get privileges from being in office. These millionaires are supported by billion-dollar corporations whose primary interest is in making sure they make more money.
No thank you.
Our hope is in the One who defeated hell, sin, and death. Our faith is in helping to establish His Kingdom, here on earth, as it is in heaven. Our hope is that we might somehow reflect His love and mercy to a world in desperate need. If our faith is in the political system, how do we offer any better hope than what the world offers? We don’t, and the world won’t care.
So, what are we to do as we go to the polls tomorrow? Vote Purple.
Vote for the candidate you believe best represents the Kingdom of Christ. Vote for the candidate that promotes the King of Kings. Become a Royalist, a Jewish-King-supporting-Royalist. Vote for Royalty and the Kingdom.
Vote then get back to what you are supposed to be doing; Go love. Go and love God with all you have. Love your neighbor in creative, unique and extravagant ways. Love your enemy. Let loving your enemy cost you something. Love the Democrat. Love the Republican. Love. In doing so, the world will see the church acting like they love Christ and He loves them. I believe the Church rising up this way is the only thing that will heal our fractured land. I believe we are called “for such a time as this.” Esther 4.14 NIV Not for the sake of unity, or our country, but for the sake of Christ, may it be so.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13.35 NIV