What I Am Learning From Us and God

Our current political climate has become extremely divisive and polarized. I know how easy it is to be consumed by the culture. In fact, if we stay close to those who mostly align with how we think, and get our intake from only relevant and supporting sources, it tends to lock us in and make it difficult for independent thought.

This sets us up for tribalism, one tribe against the other, liberal versus conservative. It’s loyalty to the tribe or death; well, almost. One side is right, and the other side is wrong. There is no nuance, nothing in-between, it’s one side or the other.

I have seen people admittedly unfriend people on social media because their opposing views just cannot be reconciled. I have also unfriended some, not because our views cannot be reconciled, but because I thought that they would not entertain a different perspective, and they literally demonized the other side.

What happened to us? Have we always been this divisive, polarized?  I don’t know. I do know that we all have biases, and that our biases are usually shaped and formed by our environment, be it family, church, socioeconomic status. Twenty-four cable news has also played a part, probably a big part, especially if we find ourselves watching those channels that only align with us. Do we dare watch the opposing channel or seek a more neutral source?

Just ten years ago, America elected its first black president. It was historic, but even during that election, we saw, I saw, cracks being exposed within the McCain/Palin campaign. For me, watching the rallies back then was scary. Demonizing the democratic candidate as a terrorist was par for the course during that election. However, it also displayed one of the late Senator John McCain’s finer moments, when he corrected the  woman who suggested that then candidate,  Senator Barack Obama, was an Arab, a terrorist.

Since then, we’ve delved even deeper into the polarization and demonization of the other side. Rallies during this last presidential election were the worst I’ve seen.

Currently, we are on the brink of our next Supreme Court Justice. Both sides have come out swinging. There was an allegation of a sexual assault against the nominee. Although, I believe her, there was no one that corroborated her allegation, even though this was not a trial. So, the issue for the senate at hand is to advise and consent on whether the nominee is fit for this lifetime appointment based on the hearings, findings of the investigations, review of his records and written opinions. However, because of where we are, some will find a vote to confirm as a vote against women.

Somehow, even as I watched on TV, Senator Flake being confronted by women alleging that they too were sexual assault survivors, and that a vote for the nominee was a vote against them, I did not see it that way. It really was a “false choice” as Senator Ben Sasse stated from the Senate floor. But that is where we are.

Full disclosure: I’ve been a conservative Democrat most of my life, but have not always voted along party line. Early in my voting years, another Christian, when he learned that I was Democrat, questioned how could I then be a Christian? I have to admit too, there was a time that I questioned a couple of people how they could be a Republican, but it had nothing to do with them being Christian.

What have I learned and am learning from us and God? We all have biases. We must be  cognizant of our biases and how they color how we view things. We must seek out and not be afraid to hear opposite and various views. Be aware that we have blindspots. Talk to someone who is not afraid to let us know. Know that there is no Christian political party, and let that serve as a reminder of our status as pilgrims passing through.

Joshua’s Outpost blog warned in a post Does the Bible Warn Against Division“If you’re a Christian who is heavily involved in politics; first stay true to God’s commandments, and secondly, be conscience of what your words and actions might do.”  Yes, we must always live out our lives biblically, and let its truths and principles form our worldview, and yes too, we must be conscious of our words and actions. Remember, even though we have the cover of safety behind a screen, our words matter.

This week, I was listening to a sermon by John Piper on Romans 14, that speaks volumes especially to those of us who enjoy political engagement.

Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. Romans 14:5b KJV

My personal Bible reading this week from the book of Ephesians perfectly speaks to how to douse the divisiveness.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 31-32 ESV

Last Sunday night, one our pastors said in his sermon: “If you can’t have a social media account without being quick to judge or being easily angered, then STOP IT, CUT IT OFF.”

So, for me now, it’s off with the cable news, and more HGTV. Of course, then I will have to guard against coveting….

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “What I Am Learning From Us and God

  1. G’day Barbara, thanks for sharing.

    I reckon the crazy media and social media have a lot to answer for when it comes to this division you speak of. At the heart of it we each need to be responsible with how we treat others and be like Christ but unfort we are doing it in a world that is very self focused and is all about views lol. We need to be extra careful. Lots of prayer

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Barbara. You are a beautiful blessing. As I was reminded recently, The Lord doesn’t come to sake sides; He comes to take over! I pray that the Lors will somehow cause the gospel to shine in the midst of a such a divided country.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s sad that we cannot have dialog. As I get older and read more history, I find that politics has always been acrimonious. The major difference that I see is the lack of true conviction. Politicians care more about reelection than principles and people care more about being popular than about seeking truth. I find both parties hypocritical and destructive, so I remind myself constantly that my fate rests in God’s capable hands. He raises up nations and removes them, but He holds my eternal destiny safely in His power.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen, I couldn’t agree with you more. It is God who sets up one and puts down another, all for his purposes and glory that we may never comprehend in this side. So, yes, ours is to rest in jim who holds all things. Thank you so much for reading my post and providing such a comforting reminder.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Elephant and Donkey games. We don’t follow the elephants or the donkeys…we follow the lamb! Of course I am a wide eyed idealist who believes it IS possible for us to follow and walk in the footprints laid down by the lamb…

    If we follow the beast of empire, and listen to those FROGS of propaganda (for us the DEMONIC 24 hour news cycle), if we live in perpetual hate and fear and us vs them politics (well played by both the elephants and the donkeys), we will always wind up at another Armageddon. There is always another Armageddon.

    So we have our free will. We are free to follow the beast, the dragon, and his frogs to the next Armageddon. Or we can follow the lamb into the New Jerusalem. Where the chosen people is the human race, and the whole earth is holy ground.

    Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

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