Chaos is the rule.
Trouble is brewing across the nation as we head into the final weekend of campaigning for the presidency of the United States. All of the congressional seats are up for grabs as are a third of the Senate seats. No matter what happens, somebody will be mad.
Philadelphia faces riots after the shooting of an African-American man. The protests are similar to what we saw earlier this year in the Northwest. (1)Hurdle, J., Robertson, C., & Oppel, R. (2020, October 28). Days From Election, Police Killing of Black Man Roils Philadelphia. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/28/us/philadelphia-police-shooting.html In Washington D.C. protests turned violent after the death of a black man police were trying to stop. (2)DeMarche, E. (2020, October 29). Protesters clash with DC police for second night over fatal moped crash. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://www.foxnews.com/us/protesters-clash-with-dc-police-for-second-night-over-fatal-moped-crash Armed adical right-wing and radical left-wing groups square-off to “protect” people from the opposing side. (3)Fountaine, H. (2020, September 5). Armed group ‘patriots,’ local protesters face off near Jefferson Square Park. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/armed-patriot-group-local-protesters-face-off-near-jefferson-square-park/ar-BB18Km4h Thompson-Reuters news service reports that dozens of groups are preparing for protests, hopefully peaceful, depending upon the outcome of the election. (4)Timmons, H., & Alper, A. (2020, October 29). Americans plan widespread protests if Trump interferes with election. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://news.trust.org/item/20201029090612-t69f4
We could be facing civil unrest greater than many have ever witnessed. Christians must not contribute to the troubles. We are people of peace and witnesses of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether in-person or via social media we must not lend our voice to the voices of hate.
Be a Christian with your mouth
James says the tongue is incredibly dangerous.
So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.James 3:5-8
Inspired Solomon says it this way:
A worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire.Proverbs 16:27
Christians must not use their tongue (or keyboards) to foment hatred and chaos in the aftermath of the election. The winner is unimportant. How we behave is vital.
Be a Christian; Be salt
Participating in the democratic process is a perfect way to be the needed salt and influence the direction of our country. It was Jesus who reminded us that we are the salt of the earth.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.Matthew 5:13
Salt that does not function properly is useless! Don’t use your presence on social media to sow discord. Salt the conversation with words of goodness, hope, and courage. Let the world see your light so that they will give glory to God for what you have said (Matthew 5:14-16). Think about it! God can be glorified because of you! For those weaned on vinegar how wonderful to garnish them with a proper pinch of salt. Maybe I’m weird, but I’d rather people glorify God instead of Biden or Trump.
Be a Christian; Talk Jesus
Conversation is political. If you meet a friend in-person or talk with them online, it is probable that politics is the topic. Often, that chat is pleasant because we agree. Still, the topic is Trump or Biden, not Jesus.
When the original Christians were savagely attacked, they became refugees and went everywhere preaching Jesus (Acts 8:4). Even when unfairly arrested by the religious leaders, Peter and John responded with a lesson about Jesus (Acts 4:5-12).
It doesn’t matter how the election ends; if we don’t know Jesus we are absolutely, unquestionably lost!
Be a Christian; Wander
I read Hebrews this morning. I was struck by this verse:
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.Hebrews 11:13
In verse 38 they are described as wandering about but always awaiting the promised glory. We must not become so comfortable with this world that we are not homesick for heaven. Albert Brumley penned the immortal words of the song that begins, “This world is not my home I’m just a passing through…” Let that be our daily anthem. The Biden’s Trumps, Obamas, Clintons, and Bushs are all just temporary. Wander to thoughts of glory!
Be a Christian; Be peace
It’s ironic that an internet search for “peacemaker” returns stories and images of the classic Colt M1873 revolver which was called “The Peacemaker.(5)Colt Single Action Army. (2020, October 07). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colt_Single_Action_Army. Not far behind were pictures of the B36 bomber used during the Cold War Years.(6)Convair B-36 Peacemaker. (2020, September 23). Retrieved October 30, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convair_B-36_Peacemaker
Christian peacemaking is different.
Jesus called us to peace and expected his people to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9). Wouldn’t it be great if we were known as people of reconciliation. What if we called for peace after the election? What if our bonding with Jesus were better known than our like for a particular candidate? What glory would flow to the Lord!
Some will claim that Jesus was no peacemaker and they will cite Matthew 10:34. Jesus claim had nothing to do with the everyday cares of the world and surely had no reference to politics! Jesus spoke of the conflict that between ultimate good and ultimate evil. The context is clear.
As I write this on Thursday and Friday before the election next week, I have no way of knowing the outcome. I will vote. Although I do not endorse candidates I suspect most know where I stand. I will promise my readers that I will be a beacon of light, a dash of salt and a voice of peace as I wander through our common future. Will you join me? Your comments are welcomed as always.
|↑1||Hurdle, J., Robertson, C., & Oppel, R. (2020, October 28). Days From Election, Police Killing of Black Man Roils Philadelphia. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/28/us/philadelphia-police-shooting.html|
|↑2||DeMarche, E. (2020, October 29). Protesters clash with DC police for second night over fatal moped crash. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://www.foxnews.com/us/protesters-clash-with-dc-police-for-second-night-over-fatal-moped-crash|
|↑3||Fountaine, H. (2020, September 5). Armed group ‘patriots,’ local protesters face off near Jefferson Square Park. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/armed-patriot-group-local-protesters-face-off-near-jefferson-square-park/ar-BB18Km4h|
|↑4||Timmons, H., & Alper, A. (2020, October 29). Americans plan widespread protests if Trump interferes with election. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://news.trust.org/item/20201029090612-t69f4|
|↑5||Colt Single Action Army. (2020, October 07). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colt_Single_Action_Army|
|↑6||Convair B-36 Peacemaker. (2020, September 23). Retrieved October 30, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convair_B-36_Peacemaker|