Friday, November 02, 2018

Blessed are the peacemakers--in politics too?

"I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war" (Ps. 120:7)

It's easy to be misunderstood these days, what with all of the rancor in political and social discourse.  We've become so ensconced in our right to be right, we make assumptions about each other long before they open their mouths (or write their posts on social media).  There is no benefit of the doubt.  No room for nuance.  No consideration of the other.  Our sense of infallibility has kicked it hard as we retreat to our fortresses and aim to shoot down the American enemy.  And, the closer we get to November 6th, the worse it gets.  The political calendar has ordered our days. Almost like the holidays, I'll be so relieved when it's over.  Indeed, it seems that all other calendars--cultural and religious--have been eclipsed by politics. That's true even for Christians, who are supposed to operate according to a sacred rhythm of life:  Sabbaths and holy days.

We've not only lost a sense of sacred time, but sacred words.  Every time I hear a Christian bash another Christian over politics, I think about the evil one--how much he must be pleased.  Paul warned us about this:  our fight isn't with one another, it's with unseen forces of darkness, malevolent powers that are out to destroy us.  In fact, every time the devil shows up in Paul's writings, it's when he's warning us about his schemes:  to destroy the church by getting us to war with each other.  Paul never blames the devil for sin (he blames the flesh, the law, and Sin is a malevolent power).  But the apostle was convinced that when he saw Christians fighting each other, the devil was in the middle of it:  the chief instigator of strife and factions.

The devil is winning.  He's dividing families, workplaces, even churches over politics.  And I thought nothing could separate us from the love of Christ.  But that doesn't seem to be the case these days.

There is an evil spirit in the air that I haven't seen in a long time.  Hatred.  Pure hatred for our American enemy.  And I thought Christians were supposed to love our enemies.  But that doesn't seem to be the case these days.

There is a war that is raging.  Christians wounding Christians with vile words.  And I thought peacemakers we're supposed to be blessed.  But that doesn't seem to be the case these days.

American politics reigns over everything.  And I thought we're supposed to seek first the kingdom of God.  But that doesn't seem to the case these days.

Come, Lord Jesus.