I was going to add a picture referring to the “build the wall” camp or “keep the refugees out”, but the pics and amount of ignorance toward these subjects sickened me even more, which just solidified the reason I felt compelled to write this brief post. So I will start with this:
I sit here at my computer feeling brokenhearted and struggling with where I see the evangelical church in America has evolved, especially in the past few years (since the past 20 years is the only time I really paid much attention to the church in America). The political climate has now infiltrated the minds of those who consider themselves conservatives as well as liberals, and both sides have seemed to have totally lost their ever-loving minds, in my opinion of course.
I see a person in the White House who says he believes in God and says words that claim to be a Christian, and regardless of his actions and words, and if they actually look anything like Jesus, many who say they are evangelical Christians just blindly look past the completely un-Christlike behaviors of this man and line up to not only vote him in as president (and support that vote to the end) but follow his every lead along the way regardless of the dissension and separation it has and does lead to on a daily basis in America.
I see people who call themselves liberal, or simply not the “conservative” right, spend an inordinate amount of time bashing, cursing, and ranting to and about anything that feels to them like conservatism or Christianity, never with the intent to make a difference or get to know others who think differently than they do.
Or how about the millions and millions of dollars donated to GoFundMe to “build the wall”, when those dollars could help someone in your local community feed their kids.
And don’t get me started on the gross amounts of money being spent to build the local (c)hurch kingdoms instead of commissioning their people with that money to go into their communities and be generous in love and deed. “If we build it, they will come” and give us more so we can continue to grow our kingdoms. Just gross…
I may be a bit biased because I come from many years in the depths of the deception, but all sides share fault here. “Sides” create division, and division breeds hatred and fear – thus is the state of America as we know it!
Fear and hate in the local (c)hurch have led to chants of “build the wall”, and “refugees are not welcome”, but what I see is a man, Jesus, who compels those who truly follow his lead to simply love…and sometimes that love is uncomfortable and may require a little courage! Unfortunately, the word “love” doesn’t describe much of what the local church and it’s members have become (simply look to social media and you can find exactly what many evangelicals are against, but not much of what they are for unless it is sharing the #blessed life, that is as fake as the smile on the posed faces). Fear and hate are driving forces in many, and like so many other generations from our past, they do so in the name of God, but that’s not a Jesus I would follow….and it’s not THE Jesus I do follow either! Maybe it is time for the local (c)hurch to do some soul-searching to discover The Church in which Jesus called us all to become – one that leads with love and grace!
If you happen to call yourself a follower of Jesus (or not for that matter), simply go to the words of the New Testament in red and read what he said. Look at who he hung out with, broke bread with, extended grace to, and loved. Then look in the mirror and you just may see the reflection of the ones Jesus rebuked the most – the religious whose only intentions were of their own kingdom, one in which power and greed, along with fear led their actions and behaviors! The kingdom of God that Jesus describes to us is in us and can only be found through love, acceptance, inclusion, grace, and peace. That kingdom is led with love and grace, not hateful words and walls!
The conservative “right” and the liberal “left” need to come together in the rational “middle” and share a beer or coffee and have a conversation!
We can do better! We HAVE to do better! How?
Maybe the next step is to actually sit down with someone who thinks differently than you and talk. Build a relationship and if you have differences in opinion, great! We have all but lost the ability to disagree with someone and also be friends! And that is what the political climate, religion, and media (social or big media) in this country have created – separation, hate, and division. But we have a choice!
We can choose love! We can choose grace! We can choose to disagree and still love! Connect with people, care about others…then and only then will the idea of Christlikeness return to the local church as well as the idea of love and grace to our local communities we live regardless of our political, religious or other belief!
Lead with love!