Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Make America Nice Again!

Dear Friends,

Is it finally over? Has the smoke finally cleared from the ugliest, sleaziest and most vicious presidential campaign in America’s history? We used to disagree. Sometimes even argue. Now we hate, shame, threaten violence, ruin businesses and burn churches. We have watched the end of friendships, marriages, romances and relationships among family members. On the night before the election, Hillary Clinton is claiming to be the “candidate of love, healing and reconciliation” as she incongruously continues to savagely attack all those who do not support her. She is a Christian but has said that if you are an Evangelical Christian or a Catholic, then your “religious beliefs” must be changed to conform to her liberal Christianity and her key political advisors have called you “irredeemable.” Hillary’s campaign slogan was “Stronger Together,” but how do you unite our country when you’ve been vilifying half of its population? If Hillary is our president, before she can make our country “Stronger Together,” she needs to work to make it “Nicer Together.”

Donald Trump has vilified women and immigrants as he has led the conservatives in our country in a brutal attack against Hillary and her supporters. Ruth Malhotra works for a Christian ministry and is a conservative Republican who has filed federal law suits against schools who trample on religious freedom. She worked on Mitt Romney’s campaign for President, but she found herself unable to mark the circle next to Trump’s name on her ballot. And as the only one in her Baptist church who refuses to do so, her beloved church has turned hostile towards her. She’s been screamed at during Bible study, interrogated by church elders and shunned by her spiritual mentor who told her she needs to “get right with God” by voting for Trump. Ruth said that one woman in her church told her that by criticizing and opposing Trump she was “siding with Satan.” The good Christian folks at her church have manifested their “inner Donald” and filled up her Facebook with hateful rhetoric. If Donald is our president, before he can “Make America Great Again,” he needs to “Make America Nice Again.”

What has saddened me the most is how we Christian believers have spewed the most vile and violent hatred toward each other. We have allowed the nastiness pouring out of the two presidential candidates to influence how we ourselves have treated our brothers and sisters in Christ. We have allowed today’s secular culture of hate to invade our churches and we have demonized other believers simply because they disagreed with us politically.

Now that the election is over, some of us Christians may have some spiritual fence-mending to do. We may need to self-examine and take the words of Jesus to heart: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 Another translation says it like this: “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35 NLT Does that mean that our hate for one another will prove to the world that we are not His disciples? According to the Word of God it does...
“..He who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” 1 John 2:11 “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don't love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.” 1 John 4:20-21 NLT
For all of us who have expressed or manifested to others any of Hillary’s or Donald’s nastiness, we have stumbled in our spiritual walk and the Holy Spirit is grieved. As I wrote in a recent AMEN Corner, a poll just showed that 88% of Americans don’t believe Trump is a Christian believer based on his words and behavior. That same poll showed that 82% of Americans don’t believe that Clinton is an authentic Christian based on her words and behavior. But, based on your words and behavior toward others who do not vote like you do, what would people say about your authenticity as a follower of Jesus? 

If you allowed the darkness of our political culture to blind your eyes and have spewed hatred toward a Christian brother or sister, let the Holy Spirit give you an attitude adjustment. Then go to those who you have offended and seek forgiveness. “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 The people of God need to stop ranting and start loving each other again so that we can show the world that we really truly are His disciples. Amen?

1 comment:

  1. I just posted this on my FB page. Thanks Pastor John. It's great to be nice!