Election season is upon us. Tempers have been high all through 2020 and now it feels we are coming to a boiling point. I see it happen every election, but this year particularly, I have been exceptionally disappointed in the way opposing sides treat each other.
I’m weary, folks. I’m tired of seeing “If you vote for Trump, you’re a racist,” and “Voting for Biden makes you ignorant.” The idea that you’re only a REAL Christian if you vote for one of these candidates is disheartening to say the least. It takes me back to 1 Corinthians.
“Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” 1 Corinthians 1:10-13
Except now, in 2020, I feel the question is, “Trump was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Biden?”
I see cruelty on all sides, tongues lashing out like swords to tear the other down. Insults are hurled down every aisle: racist, ignorant, facist, sheeple. These are heavy accusations and so ugly in the mouths of believers. In a social media age where Facebook and Instagram are public forums to share ideas, it is easy to quickly type a message and send it to the internet at large, forgetting the impact our words have on one another. Social media is media and we’ve all become simultaneous reporters and lawyers, displaying the facts as we see them and then stating our cases. But I fear this has prevented us from seeing each other as people, as human beings made in the image and likeness of God.
I want to urge my brothers and sisters to not forget the Imago Dei at this time. I want to urge you to remember that other believers, especially believers who may have differing political opinions, are still precious people who require dignity and kindness.
And I would encourage you too to not forget where your Hope lies. Our candidates are not our salvation. They may not even be our hope for America as we wish her. They are merely men, after all.
If there’s one thing I think we can agree on, it’s that this is a very emotionally charged election. We have two polarising candidates, both with almost cult-like followings. Both of these men have records of sexual misconduct (which is too mild a way to say it, but for the sake of peace in this post, those are the words I am choosing). (Trump vs Biden) Both of these men have made racist remarks. (Trump vs Biden) Both of these men claim to be Christians and both bear questionable fruit of that claim. Both of these men have done good and both have done evil.
But as Christians, we should not be defined by either of these men. Our ruler is Christ. If Trump wins, Jesus is still King. If Biden wins, Jesus is still King. Regardless of who is President of the United States come January, we as Christians still have a duty to follow His precepts. We will still be called to protect infants in the womb. We will still be called to banish racism from our hearts and from any system that still clings to it. We will still be called to value all life, black and white and old and young and rich and poor, because we are all made in the image and likeness of God. We will still be called to worship God together, no matter how easy or difficult the political climate makes that. We will still be called to obey the law and to walk uprightly. We will still be called to follow Jesus.
“But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8-11
There are ways to disagree with one another politically without degrading ourselves and others with insults and vitriol. Let us instead be loving towards one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other. In these uncertain days of frustration, what if we encouraged one another as we were commanded to do? Wherever we and our brothers stand politically, we all live under God’s rule. Can we not then avoid arguing like little children? Can we not live in a way that brings glory to God?
This is what I want my theme to be politically:
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Romans 12:10-18
I’m a New American Standard version girl, but I like the translation that says “outdoing each other in honour.” I want to honour my brothers, even my politically opposed brothers, because this is what is expected and commanded of me. Those who persecute me or differ from me, may I never call them slurs or give them offensive names. I want to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in the way of the Lord.