In a tense, divided America, many Christians are anything but loving.
By Sydni Wolpert, Staff Writer and Artist
The 2020 American presidential election has been a wild ride. Two candidates with very different opinions and viewpoints on the world have deeply divided Americans, including Christians in America. “We the People” have demonized any person that doesn’t agree with us. We are quick to argue and slow to listen, which gets us nowhere but to more hatred and frustration.
People in America today are making an idol out of nationalism, political party and candidate. Intentionally or not, we are placing our citizenship in America over our citizenship in Heaven and therefore losing sight of the fact that our God is a Global God. He cares for all nations and never once made the United States of America His “chosen land.”
I was recently moved by a sermon by Pastor Chris at City Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana (can be found at 47:00 in this Facebook live link: https://www.facebook.com/citychurchfw/videos/368874721096662). He made a point that stuck with me:
“If you are in Christ, you are not an American first. You are not an American Christian. You are a Christian, citizen of Heaven who happens to reside in America…We have to stop looking at Jesus through the lens of politics and start looking at politics through the lens of Jesus.”
What a powerful reminder that we all need to take a step back, cool off and readjust. Through everything, even politics, Jesus would love first. How can the world know that we are Christians if we can’t even love one another? 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 is a powerful verse from the Apostle Paul:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Does this passage accurately describe the way you are reacting to politics today? If not, what can you do to make it so?
No matter where our political bearings align, we should be treating other people, especially other Christians, with the respect that Jesus would. That is one of the very first steps in bringing our divided nation together.