Fear has infected the US, and fear has infected the Church. It shouldn’t surprise us that the Church is dealing with the same thing as the culture since Jesus told us that the Church as we experience it is made up of both Christians and nonChristians (sheep and goats, wheat and weeds…), and that even those who do belong to Christ continue to sin and give way to fear (hence so many admonitions in scripture for Christians to repent and seek forgiveness, as well as not to live by fear). Perhaps the biggest responsibility for each of us who follows Jesus is to ensure that we do not become part of the problem.
For example, those of us who believe life begins at conception are justly concerned about abortion. Obviously, many don’t believe the baby in the womb is human, and are not at all concerned about the killing of millions of babies each year. It is rarely even mentioned. At the same time, I see many Christians being far more concerned about other issues (oddly, we don’t seem to be able to give concern to more than one issue at a time) and I hear little about abortion from the Church today. It has become the rallying cry of the far-right, not because they are so just minded, but because the rest of the Church is silent. And those on the right are correct: a vote for Biden is, in essence, a vote for continued abortions. That said, I see many concerned Christians posting about the evils of Donald Trump (accurately in most cases), who never address abortion or calling out the left (or right) for their acceptance of the slaughter of babies. I find this to be true of other Christians who find Trump to be an abomination (as I do). It’s as though these people believe calling out the left on an issue such as this (and there are many others: homosexual marriage, “transgenderism”, valid concern over racism that borders on racism itself, acceptance of violence from one “side” of an issue, etc.) would help Trump, so they don’t speak out.
On the other hand, I see the same myopic focus on the part of those who are more right-wing and support Trump. Where is the outrage over his obvious misogyny? His dishonesty? His apparent racism. His pandering to Christians, while at the same time mocking them? It is as though they believe calling him and his supporters out for these things would help Biden, so they remain silent about them.
Both “sides” are choosing to only emphasize one set of issues because of fear. I believe this is the clearest evidence that Christians are actually “choosing sides” in a worldly conflict rather than being peacemakers.
I have stated many times over the last two decades that I believe the only legitimate Christian response must be to speak for truth–all of it, not just the part we choose to emphasize to support one candidate or party of a worldly political system. We need to encourage the right to hear the legitimate concerns of the left, and vice versa. We need to speak to the issues that Jesus Himself spoke to. We need to encourage people to actively talk about the need for reconciliation with God before thinking we can make a difference politically. Our posts and comments should be balanced between critiques of the right and the left–both overshadowed by our proclamation that there is a better way and an invitation to be reconciled to God!
And then, yes, we need to vote if we are citizens. But if we belong to Jesus, then our vote must also belong to Him!
As I have made clear, I do not understand any Christian who pretends that either the right or the left is anything but worldly, corrupt, and evil.
I do understand those Christians who claim to be choosing the least of two evils, though I do not agree that we only have two choices. My problem with many of these is they tend to forget that their choice is indeed evil. Instead, in an apparent attempt to get others to vote with them, they leave their integrity and become cheerleaders for the “evil” they have chosen.
Above all, we have to remember who we are and why, according to scripture, we are here. I follow many Christians–right and left–who consistently post about the “other side”. I rarely, if ever, see those people posting about Jesus, about the gospel, and about the fact that the real answer to today’s issues is submission to Christ. In none of these cases have I seen such posts approach, much less exceed, the volume of posts attacking Trump or Biden (depending on which “side” that Christian has joined). We cannot allow such opinions to cause us to respond to one another in Christ with disrespect or a lack of love. We do not have the freedom in Christ to sin–which includes arrogance, putting each other down, or even airing disagreements in front of the world. All such behavior betrays a perspective that we are more part of the world than the body of Christ.
Fear has blinded many of us to the reality that a choice for the lesser of two evils is still a choice for evil. We do not have to make that choice!
Know Jesus and Be Faithful!