I can’t tell you how many times over the past month or so I’ve seen a controversy come across my social media feed and been disgusted. I’ve had thoughts, so many thoughts, but other than discussing them with my husband, I’ve mostly pushed them aside. And I certainly haven’t blogged about them. It’s felt pointless, straddling on hopeless, and I suppose the depressing thought of that has for the most part caused me to crawl into a hole when it comes to sharing my opinion on political/religious matters.
This morning I received an email from a pastor/reader of my posts. Thank you, sir. Your encouragement and comments of camaraderie were a blessing to me. It’s nice to remember I’m not alone in my feelings of sadness for the direction the church has taken. And while disappointing overall, it’s also encouraging to know I’m not the only lover of Jesus who has been attacked or vilified when suggesting we as followers of Christ should carry ourselves in a manner that models our Savior. Yes, I’ve been discouraged to share, even though my words are ones of love, because it’s exhausting to share what you deeply believe is true, in a spirit of kindness, and be met with jeers and laughter from your Christian brothers or sisters. Yet, isn’t that what Jesus did? Despite the angry voices, He pressed forward. When called a blasphemer, He held His tongue. Instead of going with popular opinion of religion at the time, He spoke about things like drinking His blood and eating His flesh. He knew He would lose followers, but He had no choice but to share the truth.
Now, first off, I’m in no way comparing myself to Jesus. Not at all! But I do pay close attention to His behavior. Every day when I read the Bible I absorb His Way. My goal in this life is to be His disciple. Not because I must do this for salvation! His grace is enough. I strive to be a good disciple because I love Him. With that in mind, I follow His example as much as I can. For today, that means speaking truth even when it hurts my feelings and heart at the reception of my words by some Christians. But again, the church leaders of Christ’s time didn’t like being told they were wrong either.
Big news was released today concerning Kyle Rittenhouse, and while this is a very deep subject that sheds a sad light on the inadequacy of our systems, I won’t go into every aspect of the case. As a human, I believe inequality could easily be witnessed in the proceedings, but I only want to touch on a small slice of this pie. That piece is how we as Christians should be responding to situations like this. I don’t care how those who don’t follow Jesus are talking about this case. I mean, I do, but it doesn’t bother me as much as fellow Christians speaking erroneously on earthly matters. Because our words impact Kingdom Matters. Allow me to explain.
As a proclaimed Christian we must understand we are representing Christ. When our words and actions thereafter don’t consistently speak love, we are misrepresenting our Lord. Jesus told His disciples that people would know they followed Him because of their love. We cannot forget that most important commandment, and when we do, we are a stumbling block to the salvation of others.
For example, we cannot say we are Christians, aka, followers of Christ, but then put a bumper sticker on our truck that proclaims, “let’s go, Brandon.”
We cannot choose to say a young man who killed people is a “hero.” We can’t celebrate the very poor decision of a immature mind to take a weapon across state lines to a civil unrest situation.
I mean, we can, but we shouldn’t.
We have to stop “taking sides” based on politics and understand that as followers of Jesus, the only side is love. We have to stop basing our opinions and decisions on our political platforms. When we do this, a sad situation where poor decisions were made becomes more about gun rights than it does the pointless death of fellow humans made in the image of the God we serve. We end up seeing rioters through the human eyes of destruction of property rather than empathetic eyes that try and see how a person can be pushed to make a big demonstration to get the desired results.
It seems like, to me, when I read the life of Jesus, I see a man who was without sin, yet He tried to sacrifice, serve, and love those who did sin. He saw to the heart of why the woman at the well did what she did. He loved her there. That love brought her out of her pit. He knew how to understand pain, and how to help others walk out of that pain. He never told someone, “that happened, like, a hundred years ago. Why are you still mad?!”
He was totally selfless! When something was an inconvenience to Him (like hoards of people following Him when He was just trying to grieve the murder of His cousin, John), He didn’t respond with anger. He didn’t say, “you should have thought to pack your lunch for a desert trek!”
The scripture says, “He had compassion on them.”
Despite His pain, He fed them.
He didn’t tell the woman with the blood condition He was busy with another ministry. He didn’t get angry when she touched His garment without asking. He didn’t worry that the crowd He fed would become dependent on Him for their fish and bread. He saw the pain on Martha’s face and brought her brother back to her, even though He knew the eternity that awaited him. Yes, He did it to lead others to the Father, but He also had compassion. He always had compassion. We are lacking in compassion, and our behavior isn’t bringing anyone to the Father.
We have confused our relationship with Christ with our political affiliations. We have assumed that Christianity and political platforms go hand in hand, but this is causing us to ostracize the people Jesus has called us to love and serve. We have taken a very fleshly stand and it’s having Kingdom repercussions. So, people who would benefit from the love of Christ, are instead being branded the enemy. We have taken a divisive stand rather than a servant heart. When we do this, we make a hero out of a confused boy, and a villain out of a president.
In fact, we laugh at chants of “f*€k Biden,” and we smirk at hateful rants. A political leader (if they’re on your particular side) can share a cartoon of themselves murdering their political opponents with a samurai sword, and we can say, “he didn’t mean anything by it. It was just a joke.”
Because, see, hurtful jokes become ok. Jeers, sarcasm, hatred, bigotry, selfishness, and greed become something we celebrate, and in fact, elect to office. We don’t want a Savior like Jesus anymore. We want a warrior who will annihilate our enemies (if memory serves, that’s what the disciples originally wanted Jesus to do too, yet that wasn’t His way.) How in the world we came to a place where this seems the way of Jesus is beyond me! The only thing I can figure out is people must not be reading their Bibles. I guess they’re simply listening to TikTok videos or their favorite news channel for their beliefs on life.
And that’s fine! If you want to be hateful and selfish, that’s your right. God has given us free will. My problem is when you give yourself the label of Christian, yet forget it means you are a disciple of His way. Not the way of Republicans, Fox News, or Breitbart. If you’re going to use the family name, you have to uphold the stellar reputation set by a man who told His bodyguard Peter to put down the sword. And then He put His abductor and murderer’s ear back on!
This country has become very divisive, but we can never put things back together by choosing sides. Instead we as Christians must understand when to surrender. We have to surrender our earthly ideals to His vision for the Church. We have to understand that servanthood is what He calls us to. We have to remember that the fruits of the Spirit are what we must bear, according to scripture, and that it says very little about bearing arms, unless it’s to lay them down, turn our cheeks, or “forgive them” when they know not what they’re doing.
We have a responsibility as Christians to respond to earthly and political matters in a certain way, and it’s not to “stand our ground” and protect our freedoms or rights here on earth. Our responsibility is to the Kingdom of Heaven and building that Kingdom. The Kingdom isn’t built by politicians, but rather built by love, by healing, and by repentance. Jesus showed us that healing, repentance, and eternal life did not come by earthly matters or the law, but through His sacrifice of love. Now our job, as disciples of Christ, is to show the way to eternal life and freedom from sin. Recently we’ve been pointing a path that while it will lead to religious accolades, will not necessarily lead people to Jesus. We have to work on this.