We have successfully endured the months and months of campaigning for the office of president. President Obama may have been the first president to utilize social media but President-elect Trump (yep.) has taken social media over. I have never enjoyed pictures of food, videos of everything minus politics, and Jaguars fandom as much as I have these last couple of months. They have been sweet pockets of sanctuary from Trump vs. Clinton talk.
On Wednesday nights I have been leading a series called “Church Life”. Our young adults have been discussing what our role is as the “bride and body of Christ”. One of the most recent points we discussed was our need to know truth so we can stand on truth so we may ultimately proclaim truth. The issue is that far too many Christians are content with not learning. We cease to hold onto the desire to learn about our faith. Wrestling with our faith is too much work. Searching truth is tedious and that process may take some time. So, christians sit back and grow complacent in their walk and allow errors to take root all around them. Unable to tell the difference because they do no know the truth. Unable to defend their faith because they do no know the truth.
Why does this connect with our recent political season? Well, if you are capable of knowing your candidates policies, vision, and desires but can not give a solid defense of the gospel of Jesus Christ then you have revealed to yourself and others who you worship. (Hint: It isn’t Jesus as much as we might hope.) If you know your opponents talking points, errors within their policies, etc. then you are without excuse as to why you are unable to defend the truth of who Christ is, why he came, and what he desires for each individual.
That is probably what bothers me most about the church during a time like this. Myself included perhaps more than I would care to admit. We have little issue with defending my political view, my candidate, or whatever else might fall under the umbrella of politics. We believe it matters. Our social media feeds are filled with men and women of the church fighting for and against policies and politicians. I would offer though that in the midst of those discussions let the church fight not for the culture at hand but instead, fight to present and display a radically different culture. A culture of men and women who fight for the truth of the beautiful gospel of Jesus Christ. A culture that fights for her brothers and sisters because they are men and women who have been redeemed and partakers of a new nature. A culture that fights for the least of these. A culture that serves and loves because the One we follow has demonstrated a service and love that will forever go unmatched. That is the beauty of the bride and power of the body. That culture is one worth defending. That truth is worth knowing, defending, and proclaiming!
Politics. Trump. Clinton. #NeverTrump or #NeverClinton. It has been a consuming world, this one we call the American political system. Consuming in all the worst ways imaginable. The rhetoric of our candidates and their campaigns have led much to be desired and many of us with a hint of nausea. It is with no surprise that this season has brought many to verbal attacks, criticisms, and outright dismissals of peers. No verbal sparring is more concerning for me than that which has taken place between brothers and sisters of the Father, Christ Jesus, who hold different positions on the current political affairs.
The bride of Christ is beautiful. She is eternal. She is what Christ died for (Acts 20:28). She is a body made up of many yet moving as one. The very gospel she was founded on has been afforded her victory over Satan, hell, and death. She is the picture of Christ, called to put on display the gospel, grace, and refuge found in Christ alone. Oh, I implore you and me to truly understand just how beautiful His bride is. Yet, we seem to forget this the moment a dissenting voice within the body speaks. We are His bride. Intended to be satisfied with Christ alone. Nothing else will do. Not even your “perfect” president. We would do well to remember this when we encounter a brother or sister on the other side of the discussion.
If anyone knows my brother and me you would know that we didn’t always have the “brothers who are truly best friends” type of relationship. We competed. Hard. We did so at everything and so much so that it often forced us to concede areas of our lives just to escape the competition. I played sports. He was athletic but walked away after some time. He enjoyed performing musically. I was an international sensation (thanks Word of Life) but walked away. All of this to say that while our relationship was not always one that viewed life from the same perspective, nothing, and I mean nothing, separated the bond that was created from us being family. He was my brother. He was mine and I was his. No circumstance changed that and when others might attempt to create genuine strife for him I would not hesitate to defend him. Fight for him. When he wronged me or I wronged him, we would forgive and reconcile. We were brothers.
Church, remember we are family. When a brother/sister has stepped in error let us not run to twitter or Facebook. We might be successful in creating armies for our angst but we create an even larger chasm within the body of Christ. When a brother/sister articulates a position you can not understand, fight the urge to spit fire. Remember, Proverbs 12:18 is still in your Bible, “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing”.
Brothers and sisters, this political season will end. Empires will grow. Empires will crumble. Those is power will rise and they will fall. Why be so quick to cast all your cares on the very things we know will exist for such a fleeting moment? No, in the midst of all the noise, let us not lose our voice or our focus. We are His bride. We are beautiful. We are eternal. We are brothers and sisters. Let’s act accordingly.