A fight is usually the result of opposing forces trying to enforce their respective will. In the United States, we seem to be having a lot of that lately.
We are anything but united.
Our government has become a forum of disagreement rather than progress, where hate is replacing debate, vitriol replacing decorum, and idiology replacing patriotism.
In forging policy, opposing parties usually apply pressure until one side concedes. In today’s political climate neither side seems willing for concession. The conflict has spilled from Washington into the media with opposing networks choosing sides. From there it has hit our streets, sometimes with violence.
The divide is manifold. Racial, cultural and generational factions are pitted against one another in identity conflict. We are becoming a nation of citizens mistrusting anyone who doesn’t think, act or look the same. What can bring us together?
This is where the Christian Church should be vital. Where her character is more representative of God. Where theology overrides ideology. Where God’s love supersedes man’s prejudice.
Instead we see similar divides among Christ’s body. Organizations and individuals are more concerned about favorite tenets than Jesus’ Commission. It’s like, “I’m right, your wrong, I will not be moved.”
In the book of Jonah, God’s prophet ran from God’s call. He ran not because of fear but because of prejudice. Israel hated Nineveh.
Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians were a ruthless idolatrous nation bent on world domination. It had been an enemy to Israel for centuries. Now God was asking Jonah to go into the midst of these people and preach for their salvation.
Instead he used his resources to take him thousands of miles away. Is the American church guilty of the same sin?
Can you think of a group or an organization that you deem unrighteous? One where you have no compassion or understanding? Do you have an acquaintance or a coworker that is not of your political or religious stripe?
Perhaps this is where God is calling you to minister. With ministry comes respect and love. Remember, God did not approve or agree with everything about us when He reached out, but “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
If God responded to us as we respond to other people, perhaps none of us would be saved. We are called mostly to the people who do not think like us, act like us or even look like us.
It could be said Jesus disagreed with all humanity before leaving heaven and coming to us. He is perfect. His Theology is perfect and His politics is perfect. Yet he had compassion for all of us who are not perfect, whose character falls short of His perfection.
We must find God’s character inside of us and reach toward those with whom we disagree because politics will not unite us. Government cannot save us nor erase the ideological divide.
If the United States will once again become United, it won’t start with government but with Faith. It will start in the Church. Before we unite as a country we must unite The Church. That has to start with each local assembly! That has to start with you!