I know that many have been upset by the election of Trump and have chosen to act out violently in response. I also know that there are those who feel free, under a Trump presidency, to unleash their racist, homophobic, xenophobic beliefs in sickening acts of hostility. I’m not here to add another voice to the madness of politics, rather I wish to call on my fellow Christians during this season of political and social upheaval.
As Christians we are called to spread love and peace. To serve those who suffer and to live a life beneath others. In our materialistic American world we’ve lost sight of that and we’ve all suffered. We’ve grown complacent. We don’t wish to offend. We are too busy to do one more thing. I understand, really, I do.
We all know we have failings. We all, no matter religion or political party, hear about our many flaws on a constant loop. And again, I’m not here to go into that.
What I ask, as one Christian to another, is that we band together and serve the hurting hearts of our country. Let those who lost this election have their protest. Pray over them. Bless them. Bring them food and water. Listen to their feelings and fears. Encourage them in their despair.
Quiet the voice inside you that wishes to gloat, to speak of your feelings, to draw attention to your pain. Yes, I know, many of you have felt (and are) oppressed, persecuted, and patronized for being conservative. Let them persecute you and instead give them your kindness, your generosity. As we often do not know why we do foolish things, so is true of those who are afraid and hurting.
“Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
We all want the same thing, a unified country, we want peace. Ultimately someone has to humble themselves and reach out with open arms. As Christians this is our calling.
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
As Christians we all have a specific calling and duty in Christ. I encourage you to use your gifts and calling in this time to encourage and uplift the hurting. For those that are unsure what their calling or gifts are; I encourage you to ask God for revelation and guidance and to speak to a trusted mentor in the faith.
In the same way, I encourage my fellow Christians to listen to the voice of the church and openly, in Christ’s name and love, rebuke those who carry words of hate and a lukewarm faith. Now is not the time to be proud and selfish. This is a season of humility, responsibility, revival, and rebirth. Do not lose your way in a sea of hateful and foolish speech.
“As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.” [Paul instructing Timothy in regard to the church.] 1 Timothy 5:20
“If anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” Galatians 6:1
“All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” 2 Timothy 3:16
Most importantly, I strongly remind those in the faith to remember that rebuke is to be given to those within the church, not to those outside of Christianity.
“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people – not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world [those not in the faith], or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother [Christian] if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler-not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. ‘Purge the evil person from among you.'” 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
Modern examples of this behavior (I imagine you understand drunkard and sexual immorality):
Greed: Selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food. Materialism (materialism is one of my greatest struggles), self-indulgence, lust
Idolatry: Extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone. i.e. celebrity preachers, self-gratification over worship, busyness (I’m guilty of this), personal prosperity (I struggle with this), treasuring anything more than God (even our loved ones), a desire to please others more than God (I’m guilty of this), sexual stimulation, education, career, etc. Great article here.
Revile: criticize in an abusive or angrily insulting manner. Denounce, slander, vilify, bad mouth. i.e. speaking poorly of baby boomers, speaking poorly of millennials, criticizing Clinton voters, criticizing Trump voters, disliking those who differ from you, speaking against those who have different beliefs
(I have been and can be a reviler at times, aren’t we all? Thank God he convicts us of our foolishness! I’d be a bigoted angry mess without him.)
Swindler: use deception to deprive of money or possessions. i.e. fraud, cheat, deceive, deceiving other Christians with the amount you put in the offering plate, using the church for personal gain or even power, Christians can swindle more than money
I encourage my fellow Christians to ask God to purge any evil within yourselves, purify your heart before God, and follow his calling for your life so that we can unite this once great nation. Politics and intelligent conversation will never unite us, but Jesus can, love can.
“…Perfect love drives out fear…” 1 John 4:18
We are to be the balm to aching souls, but to many we have become a poison. We can only correct this through humility and God’s grace and guidance. We have purpose, we have a calling, and I am calling on you to join me in uniting a fractured nation, not through politics or grand gestures, but through Jesus Christ and his love.