I am conflicted. Political ads make my stomach hurt. The next election looms before me like a thick gray cloud, filled with double standards and broken systems and sanctimonious voices crying that their way is the best way. I can’t choose, because I see light and darkness on BOTH sides, and sadly, I see my Christian brothers and sisters contributing to the noise.
On one political side, we say black lives matter. The other side scrambles to save the unborn black lives (at the expense of voting a self-proclaimed womanizer into the highest office).
On one side, we say we want freedom for women to choose, to have control over their own bodies. But we still believe in one-size-fits-all medicine. We don’t want those women to have informed consent and choose what they believe to be necessary for their children based on genetic factors and previous medical history. The vaccine-injured fight to be heard, yet we want the sexually abused and misused to have freedom and safety to cry out “me too!”
We don’t want to serve a “gay wedding cake” and we want rights to be able to serve whom we choose for religious reasons, but only for OUR religion. Posting the Ten Commandments in a building is okay, but don’t mention anything about the Koran.
Both sides want to address mental health reforms, but neither side wants to acknowledge that maybe the corrupt food industry and big pharma with all its “side effects” play a part in making matters worse.
We want to honor those who give their lives for freedom to peacefully protest, but we don’t want to honor a peaceful protest for those who give their lives HERE, based on the color of their skin.
It is all hypocrisy to me. It is all backwards. One side cancels out the other. But I shouldn’t be surprised. There is nothing new. Jesus promised us we would have trouble in this world. The trouble I see right now, in my Christian community, is that we have made a political battle an opportunity for a new “Messiah” to rescue us. That’s scary.
When believers of Jesus choose to align themselves with a political party’s message over the message of Jesus Himself, the world tunes us out.
That’s what the Pharisees did, right? They wanted a Messiah, they wanted the message of Jesus, but they didn’t want it like THAT.
Jesus’ message is counter-cultural in every generation, every political climate.
Where in the Bible does it say that who you vote into political office is going to rescue you? Where does it say that the government should be on our side?
I believe some Christians would die for their political beliefs before they would die for their faith. Before they would “die” to their pride. Before they would question… what if I am a racist? What if I am a misogynist? What if I truly don’t care for the least of these as much as I care for myself?
Let’s be real. I probably don’t.
My pride keeps me from listening well. My pride keeps me from loving others the way I should. My pride keeps me from seeing without the thick lens of my white privilege. My pride keeps me from seeing women for who they are on the inside, as opposed to what they present on the outside. My pride keeps me from wanting to leave my bubble of comfort and “the way things have always been.”
I, at my human core, am a racist, misogynist, and very self-serving jerk.
What if there’s a better way? What if beyond the noise and the conflicting messages, Jesus is calling us to BE LOVE. The Holy Spirit whispers to me through the confusion, through my bias and selfish pursuits: be an ambassador of light. Love God. Love others. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But take action through the way you speak and walk, in wisdom and truth, taking time to make the most of every opportunity to speak up for those who can’t be heard in the muffled cacophony. On either side. Right or left. Love them well.
Love Jesus more than your pride. More than you want your side to win. Love Jesus. If you really do, those are the words people will hear the loudest. If they don’t, maybe you should question where your real loyalty is.