I have been watching political discourse in this country for years. The first President I have any memory of was Jimmy Carter. I was 4 when he was inaugurated. So I do not remember much about it.
I have even gone through my phases politically. I, like many others, had a stretch where I was more liberal minded than I am now. I grew out of it eventually. Today I would almost call myself a card carrying Libertarian. I am not down with all Libertarians. And there are parts of the platform I would not agree to. But I am for less government interference, and more freedom any day of the week.
That being said, we are living in a time like I (and I am sure many of you) have never seen before.
It is now apparently ok to riot (read “childish temper tantrum”) in the streets when one’s candidate does not win an election. I use the term riot because that is what it is. These are not protests. What you see, in spite of what the media might call them…are riots…not peaceful demonstrations.
It is enough to make us step back a bit…look at the situation, and ask…”What happened here? Have these people gone mad?”
In my view, the answer is not a simple yes or no. I believe that we have reached a point where this is really no longer about Republicans and Democrats. It isn’t even Conservative versus Liberal. What we are seeing is more like the average people versus the fringes of society. If you want to get down to the least common denominator…its good versus evil.
Now understand…I am not saying that the Republicans are good and the Democrats are evil. I am also not saying that God has taken a side. I do believe that to some extent, the parties have chosen sides in terms of where they stand with God. As you may recall, Democrats literally booed God at their convention in 2012. Fortunately, they decided for their convention in 2016…maybe that was not such a good idea.
But I do believe that the great political divide in this country is not necessarily drawn along party lines. It is much deeper than that.
As Christians, we should not be surprised by these things. The Bible tells us that days would come where men (that can be read to include both genders) would be lovers of self rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Spiritual warfare is very real. Or as the kids say today, “Its a thing.” We are used to seeing it more in terms of individual battles. People endure personal spiritual warfare all the time. However, what I see in our nation today is a spiritual warfare for the soul of America. To understand the significance of this, one need only pay attention to what is being protested and why. We also need to understand with whom people are aligning themselves. I will get into this in more detail in later articles.
Pay attention, see what is happening and judge for yourself. There is a battle for the soul of America…and you and I are a huge part of God’s game plan in it.
So as followers of Christ, how should we respond to what we are seeing?
Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:5 to “have nothing to do” with those types of people. How far should you take this? To draw an example, scripture does not distinctly tell us that we should never drink. However, we as Baptists choose to totally abstain from it. Its in the Baptist Faith and Message. Why do we do this you ask? Alcohol affects our testimony in such a way, that it is best to completely abstain. If a weaker believer or a non-believer sees me with a beer, that will affect my ability to lead them to Christ or disciple them. Also, if I were to become intoxicated, my behavior might cause one to stumble as well. So it is best to avoid it altogether.
The same is true in this situation, if we associate with people who behave in such a violent and vile manner, it can affect or hinder our ability to be used by God. So we need to watch our testimonies.
Paul also instructs Timothy beginning in verse 10 of the same chapter to keep living a Christ like life, and follow the example he and others have set forth for him. But we also need to understand, that in doing so…we should expect to be persecuted for our faith and the stand we take.
Is this not something we see constantly? All you have to do is watch Twitter for a while. People say the most vile things about Christians and the Christian faith. We must be prepared to love those who persecute us…while hating the things they stand for. A hard balance to strike. But that is how God views sin.
To be Christlike, we need to think like Christ. Maybe its the ultimate “What Would Jesus Do?” It is much easier said than done. But we must keep up the good fight of faith.
Pray for those who are blinded to the truth by The Evil One…that the Light of God will reveal truth to their hearts.
Pray that God would have His way in our nation…and let that begin with me and you.