As I was listening to the news on the radio a few days ago, I was struck by the conversation I had just heard by Reince Priebus, the chairman of the GOP.
Mr Priebus had just lamented over, once again, Donald Trump. The complaint was that Trump brings division to the GOP and that is the main problem of the Republican Party, and that Trump could, in fact, be responsible for the division of the entire country.
That’s ludicrous, but I agree that the GOP has some deep seated issues, but Donald Trump, as polarizing as he is, is not the biggest Republican problem. Not by a long shot.
But that is another article altogether.
What this news report really did is, it got me thinking about a popular question that you’ve no doubt heard a million times: what would Jesus do?
How would Jesus respond to the current political and social climate of extreme division we see across our land today?
What would he do to resolve the differences and bring this unity we hear being discussed across all social and political platforms?
Would He unite us?Trump, Sanders, FBI investigations, these rights, your rights, my rights, WWJD?Click To Tweet
Not Unity, but Division
During his ministry on earth, nearly everyone who had flocked to Jesus believed that when he spoke of freedom, unity and of power that he intended to free Israel from the rule of the Roman Empire. The assumption was that he would unite and restore Israel, nationally and politically.
Even some of his own disciples argued over who among them is greatest (Luke 22:24), while James and John lobbied for position (Mark 10:37) in what they assumed would be his coming, immediate, earthly reign over their country.
Not all that different from our own political system. We hear tons about unity and equality from the podium of every political stance, while at the same time, policies and backroom deals are struck that produce the exact opposite of what’s being presented to the public. The goal being power, authority and position.
Understanding the hearts of his followers, and their own lack of understanding of the deeper things that he taught, Jesus boldly proclaimed division in Luke 12:51 saying, “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” (Luke 12:49-53)
I know I cannot be alone here in concluding that Jesus would not be concerned with the political division in our nation today, but rather with the hearts and the attitudes behind that division which brings separation, most importantly, from Himself and from the truth of God.Jesus cares more about hearts/attitudes behind division than about politics of divisionClick To Tweet
Election Years Do Not Bring Salvation
When I was in my 20’s, I was so politically charged, believing the saving of a nation was the work of any thinking conservative, and election years were my time. I lived for election years.
Those were the times when I was so excited that this candidate, or that platform, or some certain issue would certainly save America and put us back on a Constitutional track.
“It’s not merely a Democracy,” I would cry, “It’s a Republic! And you should learn the difference!”
Admittedly, I’m twice older now and perhaps just a little bit more wise, but my, how things have changed.
Not only did those political years in my life create anger and division in my heart, but I was constantly left empty, feeling let down by the constant battle, and even more so by the people within the political process.
Especially the “good guys” that I believed were on my side.
Then I began to see hope in something much larger than election years and candidates promising to “save America” from it’s certain death at the hand of liberalism.
I also discovered that sometimes nations are even saved and restored, but only by the power of God.
In his post Why I’m Not Worried About the Election, blogger Jeffery Poor at Rethink nailed it: “It’s not wrong to desire change for this country. It’s not wrong to vote for the person you feel is best for our country. However I believe we are putting too much hope in social change and not enough hope in Jesus.”
That is exactly where I had begun to find myself in the political process of the election years.
Eventually, I began to despise the American system of party politics, especially the division it brought to all sides. My distaste for politics increased to a point that I simply cannot stand much of it any longer, beyond my own personal responsibility to cast my votes in the process.
And, as I grew in my new found faith, I began to realize the futility of my formerly precious election years, at least so far as I believed the process could ever save anything.Election years do not save nations...Click To Tweet
Taking a Stand, Making a Difference
Those “politically charged” years of mine were not entirely bad. Those years were an expression of my desire to make a difference in the world. Admittedly, I was motivated more so by pride then as my goal was to make certain the world knew I was here after I had left it.
I still want to make the world around me a better place, but the difference is I want to be the difference. Now, I don’t care if the world remembers my name, only that someone somewhere knows what God can do through one broken guy.
So let me ask you. . .
Do you want to make a difference? Have you ever thought you could make your mark?
Have you, like me thought that you just might have a chance to leave the world a better place than you found it?
Do you want to make history?
If you’re answer to any of these is yes, then the ball is in your court.
What’s required is that you and I experience a renewing change that enables us to take a stand. Change that starts with me and with you deep within our own personal lives. The kind of change that transforms who we are when no one is watching, and what thoughts we keep when no one can hear them.
It’s a change of heart, a heart that is fully surrendered to Christ Jesus, and that is what can save a nation.
Maybe even change the world.
And when my heart and your heart is transformed, then we can impact the world immediately around us. One changed heart at a time.
This is what no political party or power, what no candidate and what no grassroots social organization will accomplish. Not ever.
And the irony of this is the simplicity of it all. It takes following two simple, but not easy commands of Christ: love God, and love your neighbor.
All of our neighbors. Even when they vote for the other guy.Love God, love your neighbor. Even when he votes for the other guy.Click To Tweet