Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thoughts on the Election

The 2016 campaign is over and I think it is safe to say that the result is not quite what a lot of folks expected. Full disclosure: I didn't vote for either of the major party candidates. So, I think I can speak on the result with somewhat of a neutral view.

I believe the last few months have uncovered some things about our country that most of us either didn't see, or simply refused to see. Throughout the primaries and on into the general election there were things said and done that should never be said about or done to another person. I know that there have been some pretty nasty campaigns in our nation's history, but that is no excuse for what came out of this election. That is one thing that saddens me.

Another thing that makes me sad is what I saw in the church. I saw people who claim to be followers of Jesus demean others who are made in the image of God, all because they supported another candidate. Questioning the faith of someone just because they don't wear the same political jersey is not what Jesus had in mind when he told to us love our brothers and sisters. Many seemed to forget that our first allegiance is to the King of Kings and not to a person or party. I have said it before and I'll say it again; some have sacrificed the gospel on the altars of political influence and prosperity.

I am also saddened by some of what I have seen in the days after the election. People on both sides are doing and saying things that they would condemn and have condemned in the folks on the other side. Folks on the winning side are decrying those who are chanting, "Not my president," while forgetting that some on their side said the same thing not very long ago. Others are committing acts of harassment and violence against those on the "other side."

 Americans have forgotten that we are all part of the same nation. We have divided along many lines and made it quite easy for power hungry demagogues to gain power by preying on our fears and convincing us that some of our fellow citizens are bent on destroying us. Even worse, those of us who claim to follow Jesus have forgotten that not only are we fellow Americans, but most importantly we are part of one body. Instead of hurting because one part of the body is in pain, we are telling other parts of the body Christ that they are useless and we don't need them. As the Apostle Paul said, that is ridiculous! How can we expect the world to listen to us when we are not showing love to those in our spiritual family!

Judging from the past year, we have a great opportunity to show those who are watching the truth, goodness, and beauty of Jesus by the way we treat each other and by the way we treat the least of these in our society. The problem is that we have not been doing a very good job of that lately. May God change our hearts and help us to live like who we say we are.

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