Monday, November 7, 2016

After the Election Comes Thanksgiving

Will there be anything to be thankful for, after the election?

Many will say that that will depend on who wins the election.  Is that so?

Whatever happened to “We the people”?  One particular man or woman in the presidential office will not make or break us.  Or will it?  Are we that fragile now?  WE, we will make or break ourselves.  Collectively speaking, WE are stronger (or weaker) than any one individual in office.

Thus, it comes down to US, and that means it comes down to who we are on the inside.

If we are angry, fearful, bitter, resentful, hateful, stingy, greedy, selfishly me-oriented, and preoccupied with thoughts of blame and vengeance, yes, we are fragile.  For, if our fears, hatreds, insecurities, and prejudices become that which defines who we are, we have most certainly become fragile.

Anger breeds anger, hate breeds hate, and fear breeds fear; put together, these core emotions breed divisive distrust and acts of injustice and cruelty in our treatment of others who think/act differently than we do.  The end result is destruction—the prevailing attitude being defensive and protective: “This is WAR!”

Hence, we, WE, are our worst enemy.

If there is no faith in the other, no trust, no acceptance of and allowance for difference, by default we become enemies.  And enemies seek to destroy The Enemy.  If there is no desire or faith in the possibility of peace and unity, no trust in the give-and-take process, no interest in distributing and sharing power, no belief that we can and should work together toward common goals with common interest toward a common vision, knowing that we can’t always have it all our own way, we fail ourselves, we fail the system, and we fail as a democratic nation.

On a different note, this is why it is sad that some of the most divisive and bitter sounding voices that we hear in the political arena are Christian voices or Evangelical voices, voices that supposedly believe in a Sovereign and Holy Providential God.

It’s as if Evangelicals know who God has anointed for office of the presidency.  But it doesn’t work that way.  Because if Evangelical Christians are true to their own confession of faith, there is only one truly Anointed One of God (Messiah/Christ), and that is Jesus.  Jesus is Lord!  What saddens me is that Evangelical Christians seem to have put American Patriotism over and above allegiance and loyalty to Kingdom of God principles such as Christ’s command to His followers that we are to “love your enemy” and be salt and light to the world rather than self-righteous and abusive Pharisaical condemners of the world.

In Christ we have a greater power, a greater Lord, and a greater promise—which should minimize or even neutralize our distresses and anxieties about the things of the world.  Therefore, as long as our faith is in Christ and our citizenship is in the Kingdom of God, as loyal citizens of the Kingdom of heaven, we need NOT be nasty, mean-spirited, bigots who hate and despise those who are different from us or who don’t live and believe as we do.  In short, of all people, Christians should have much more to be hopeful and thankful for.

First there is the promise of salvation, release from guilt and condemnation and a cleansing from our sin, the promise of heaven—eternal life with God in His glory.  Secondly there is the promise of a new heavens and a new earth where there will be no more tears or sorrow or pain or grief.  Thirdly, there is the promise of Christ’s Second Coming, which will initiate the completion and final fulfillment of the above two promises.  And fourthly there is the promise of the Holy Spirit, the comforter and helper, given to Believers as Christ’s guarantee that these promises will be fulfilled in Him.

With such promises and guarantees in Christ, why worry, why fret, why fear and disdain and condemn those who live differently, walk differently, or believe differently than us?  With such a divisive and fear laced election before us, Christians are giving up their greatest opportunity to bear witness to a greater good, a mightier God, and a most promising future by becoming enmeshed in the political polarities of our time.

For we seem to no longer be spreading a message of Good News and hope in Christ.  The Evangelical message now seems to be a sour message of distrust and exclusion, a message of superiority and self-righteousness, a message of judgment and condemnation fueled by hate.  In short, Evangelical Christians now seem to be preaching the false gospel of American power dominance and supremacy, where we condemn the poor for being poor, praise the rich for being rich, hate the sinner for being sinful, and take the name of God in vain by attaching it to a very human political party, candidate, or cause.

There is a third way, and it’s the Way of Christ.  If only we Christians were to truly adhere to and subscribe to the confession that Jesus is truly our Lord, master of our hearts and souls, our witness to Him would not fall on deaf ears at it now does.

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