In the United States, we have seen people divide themselves along party lines. The only titles that we allow ourselves are conservative right or liberal left. The only titles we allow each other are friendly if you’re in the same tribe or enemy if you’re on the other side.
The problem gets worse. When we do not trust each other, we think the other side is a threat to our survival. Much like warring tribes of the old days, we tear each other apart. We keep thinking that the other is a threat to survival and think that they need to be stopped.
This election was the prime example. One side kept saying the other was crooked. The other side said the opposite side was deplorable. Then goes the yelling, the fighting, and then violent expressions of hate and disgust.
It wasn’t always this way. Go back to the generation that lived through the Second World War. Most of politicians from that era did more to work together and get things done than our politicians today. There were more liberals who were republicans and more conservatives who were democrats. You didn’t need a third party because both parties were diverse.
Christians are in prime position to show this. Jesus did not want us aggressively be against people who had different opinions:
“If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Matthew 5:46-48 NLT
Jesus did not believe in tribes warring against each other. He saw too much of it and it led to too much bloodshed between Israel and everyone else. When He started the Church, He meant for it to be a uniting tribe of peace. We have our beliefs that make us unique, but it does not mean we use those beliefs to make enemies. Even inside the Church, there are those that lean left and those that lean right. What holds us together is the Spirit of God in all of us.
When you feel the urge to talk about abortion, marriage, guns, or the stupidity those who threatened to leave if a certain candidate won, remember that if you claim Christ, you are claiming the Christ that the other side claims too. Speak with your convictions, but taper it compassion and love. We weren’t designed for prolonged conflict based on arbitrary divisions. We were made to be an expression of the hope that springs out of Heaven.