If you’re anything like me, I’m sure that you are ready to be done with all the talk about this current election cycle. Never before have such controversial candidates been put forth by both of the major political parties in America. Sometimes as I am watching the news I truly feel like one day we will all wake up and we won’t be faced with the decision to vote for a compulsive liar or a compulsive slanderer who both are dividing our nation more than they are uniting it.
However, I am now faced with the reality that in just a little over a month we will be casting our votes for the next POTUS.
Although the situation looks bleak, as a Christian I can honestly say that I still have some hope in this nation. I haven’t given up on the sentiment famously written in our Declaration of Independence stating, “That all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
It is clear to me that at the creation of this new nation, one that is now looked to as the most powerful nation on Earth, the founding fathers intended for all people to live and enjoy these rights. As time went on, and our sinful nature further corrupted our nation slavery and other forms of discrimination began to be set in as the norm. Time and time again however, our nation fought through these disputes and ultimately fixed them for the most part.
Donald Trump continues to make the claim that he is going to make America great again. How will he accomplish this? By sending refugees back to their war torn third-world countries? By repealing legislation that he personally disagrees with? By making life difficult for those who adhere to a different religion as him?
There it is. The elephant in the room. This division that is celebrated on both sides of the aisle because even if we don’t want to admit it, we really only care about our ideology and our beliefs.
As I sat at the coffee shop the other day and saw a sticker that said “All Kinds Welcome Here” I couldn’t help but remind myself that if the Church is truly doing our job, we would be seen in the same way that this coffee shop was; as a place where we can meet with those who have differing beliefs, and have mature conversations about the struggles in our life and in our nation.
The burden of proof falls on the Christian when we say things like “if this nation would return to God, it would be a much better place.” I think it would be more accurate to make a claim like “If Christians would actually return to God, our nation would be a much better place.” The problem lies in the fact that most Christians who are making those claims aren’t even in a close relationship with God themselves. This is evident because many Christians refuse to follow the commands of Jesus when He tells us to “love our neighbor as we love ourselves.” Instead, we bash those who are sinning differently than we are and instead of having meaningful dialogue we label these people as our “enemies” even though they have never done anything to earn that title.
America can be made great again and yes, I do agree that this will come from another great awakening of sorts. This will happen when our nation begins to trust in God and the truth of His Word. But that is only part of the solution. I also feel that as a Christian, it is our job to be a catalyst of change, and the only thing that I believe can truly revive this nation is an outpouring of sacrificial love (like Jesus showed us) for our neighbors, even if we don’t share their beliefs. If Jesus could die for us even when we were still sinners, then we can show that same kind of love to those who politically, morally, and religiously disagree with us.