At risk of pointing out the obvious, the political climate today has become extremely volatile and explosive in nature. On all sides of the political spectrum we see people everywhere branding the opposition as the devil incarnate and the source of all things evil in the world. The rhetoric has become so venomous and politically charged it truly threatens to tear this country apart. The guilty parties fueling this atmosphere of hate in our country can be found in the media, in movies, in the churches, in our universities, on the presidential debate stage, and even in the Whitehouse. On the surface it looks like a natural phenomena as the country is politically at odds as to how to deal with a plethora of issues that face our nation. Issues like gay marriage, abortion, immigration, terrorism, war and refugees are absolutely important, but they are still issues we have been dealing with for decades. They are not new issues by any means. What is new is the fact that everyone from presidential candidates down to your grandma on Facebook is spewing venom these days. The level of political insanity is so over the top that we need to step back and ask isn’t this exactly what the devil would have us do? Doesn’t he want us to tear the greatest, most principled and free nation on the planet asunder? Of course he does.
I recognize that the issues being addressed nationally are critical issues and they threaten the safety of our republic. Yet as God fearing, Christian men and women we have to ask, are we addressing our perceived enemies in the Muslim world and on the political Left as Jesus would have us, or are we playing into the devil’s hand escalating tensions exponentially ourselves? An honest assessment of the political climate in this country would undoubtedly concluded that both sides have been equally radicalized towards hate by media pundits and opportunistic politicians. This rhetoric has spilled over into the daily lives of the average people of this country. Men and woman are literally at one another’s throat in the workplaces, on social media, on campuses and in town hall meetings. For example, here are two videos demonstrating how people from opposite sides of the political spectrum are going ballistic in public forums, totally broad brushing entire groups of people as terrorists and mass murderers, in horribly cringe worthy fashion.
These are the viral images that get exported around the globe, this is what people see when they think of the political scene here in the United States. We no longer discuss principles, we no longer seek unity, and we are no longer civil in our discourse. These truly are the images of a dying society.
I think people in America instinctively recognize this, no one side wants to take the blame for their own role in the destruction of our nation so we all begin to point fingers. This finger pointing causes us to begin to take sides and as a natural result we collectivize into our respective groups blaming the other for the woes facing us as a nation. The collapse of America is a scary prospect, people feel we are reaching that tipping point, and we can see the fear manifest in their eyes as they begin to recognize and respond to this very real possibility. So we must ask at this time of heightened tensions what is our responsibility as conservatives and most importantly as Christians to our country, our families and our God during this time? Is it to inflame the situation by engaging in the vitriol and politicized speech of our own? Or shouldn’t we demand from one another that we operate in a spirit of love, civility, integrity, patience, and truth when dealing with our perceived enemies. We can’t control how the other side acts, but we can control how we act.
Here are 5 verses and commentary that will help us understand how we are to act and conduct ourselves in the face of media fueled tensions with our enemies.
Love thy Enemy
It is sad to say but many self-professing Christians who have been force fed war time propaganda by Fox News for an entire decade actually do believe the statement “All Muslims are Terrorists.” The resulting brain damage this propaganda causes is perfectly exemplified by the man in the above video. The statement that “all Muslims are terrorists” is an outright lie, mischaracterization of the facts and a statistical impossibility. For every 10,000 Muslims in the world you might be able to find one that is willing to blow themselves up in some religious fervor. The radicalized Muslims hardly have the numbers to do any significant damage to our country and our way of life. Given that number goes up every time we bomb a small township and kill untold amounts of civilian which then gives people actual cause to radicalize. Even still they could not sustain a substantial attack that could threaten the hegemony of our Union. So what did Jesus say that we should do to our enemies? We should bless them, pray for them and Love them, and that applies to our individual enemies as well as our national enemies. Just think how our culture would change if leadership on the Right would hold prayer rallies for our enemies as opposed to slinging hate. We truly would regain the moral high ground and respect of the nation almost overnight.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44
Respond with Kindness
In the video above we see a man ranting and raving about how Christians are responsible for every evil imagined in the hearts of men. He levels insult, after insult in his profanity laced tirade at the Christian street preacher there at the University of California in Berkeley. The funny thing is that after 8 minutes of ranting, hoping that the student body would join him, they instead infuriate him even more by asking him to calm down, and telling him his mannerisms are inappropriate. The street preacher didn’t have to do anything but smile and hold his sign, and God rewarded him with the crowd AND the police who were called to the scene as this guy embarrassed himself to an infinite degree. Really that is all we have to do with our enemies. Liberal’s arguments are false appeals of emotion, and reason almost always wins out in time, but only if we keep our dignity about us.
If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee. Proverbs 25: 21-22
Overcome Evil with Good
Ask yourself after the attacks on 9/11/2001 when 3 buildings fell including the suspect collapse of Building 7 killing 3000 people, was it a proportional response to take out Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and now working on Syria through the US backed funding of ISIS? Of course it wasn’t. In a response to evil we ourselves have become overcome with evil. As a result God’s curse is upon us in the form of NSA spying, a massive police state, failed economy, un-Godly leadership in the Whitehouse, Gay Marriage rulings, and political upheaval that threatens the core of our country. Given the nature of the political climate we have now, we can safely assume that everything the Bush administration and Obama administration has done has undermined our liberties and security because they choose to repay evil with evil. Just think how different our country would look right now, if there was a limited response against the guilty terrorist parties, and then the 1 Trillion dollars in war money was instead spent on strengthening diplomatic ties across the Muslim world as opposed to bombing every man, woman and child into oblivion. That is the difference between being overcome by evil and overcoming evil with good.
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
Live as an Example
When Christians give into to their fleshy desires to yell and become divisive over political issues in the churches, on the social media accounts and in their places of work they have to understand that they cease to represent Christ in a positive light. It is an unfortunate reality of our Christian culture where Christians will profess the name of Christ but then go on to sleep around, use profanity, curse out people from other religions or political groups and seed division within those circles of influence God has surrounded them with to impact for the Kingdom. We have to demand that we all act in accordance to the teachings of the Bible, and Jesus Christ because when we don’t the world sees us as hypocrites dragging the name of Jesus through the mud. Next time you see your brother, sister, mother, father, friend and fellow Christian acting the fool call them out, and especially call out the politicians and radio personalities that engage in that same sort of behavior. Seeing they represent Christ on a larger scale, the accountability Christ will demand of them is infinitely greater.
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34
Share the Gospel Rather than Your Political Opinion
Ultimately the best way to win over our political enemies of every stripe whether they be Liberal or Muslim, is convert them to the knowledge and saving power of Jesus Christ.
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20
Next time you are tempted to lash out over political issues remember that so much of the problems we face as a nation can be remedied by simply working toward de-escalating the situation with our words and actions. We must see through the facade provided us by the media and government. It is all there to whip good people into war-like frenzies. Your hate is just being monetized by the military industrial complex, political parties, the media and corporate whores. That is all that is happening when you give yourself over to propaganda. No good comes out of people losing their cool ever, even in the face of such perceived threats.
Those in power feeding the rhetoric are a blight on everything we ought to represent as a society and culture. The most beautiful thing our founders left us was the principles of liberty, their level headedness in the face of a truly oppressive tyranny, the civility in discourse and of course their love for the Christian religion. It is there that we find the dignity God has granted all men equally, but it is up to us to endeavor to represent these truths in our daily lives. So please for the sake of our nation, for the sake of our families, and for the sake of our faith, stop engaging in hate in the social and public forums God meant for you to witness in. If this has been you in the past it is never too late to apologize to friends and family and be the bigger man or woman and say it is wrong to have abandoned friendships and relationships over contrived political consternation. Just remember if it creates conflict why share it, why say it, instead do the exact opposite and heap coals on the devil’s head and stop playing into his hand.