Christians, Cowboys, and Temple Prostitutes
To my fellow believers…
In previous elections, I enjoyed attending rallies for different candidates representing multiple parties. As someone who appreciates sociology and social psychology I thought it was fascinating to be in an environment where people passionately expressed their support of certain issues and rallied around a candidate. I objectively listened to the issues and spoke with supporters to hear their perspectives. There were a few occasions I didn’t feel welcomed due to some clear stereotyping that was going on, but feeling uncomfortable is a far stretch from what I feel watching footage of some of these rallies this year. I’m not the type to protest or openly complain because I want to hear who you are as expressed through your words and beliefs. I want to hear about your experiences that explain your choices, your ideals. You won’t see me wearing a Redskins shirt at a Cowboy’s tailgate party, but do you. I don’t pick fights with irrational people.
However, the kind of hatred I see exhibited by my fellow Americans this year directs me to utilize much wisdom regarding the events I attend. What hurts me the most is the thought of how many people identifying as believers in Christ are attending these rallies and either are ignoring what’s happening or inciting violent responses towards protesters. When you place your respect for humanity in a subordinate position to your political affiliation, I’m honestly scared to know you. If the seed of hatred is there in your heart, I’m scared to see how it will unexpectedly bear fruit in our interactions, but I’m committed to our friendship.
Why? Because although it isn’t easy, I was instructed to love everyone and treat them how I want to be treated.
Hundreds of years ago, the Apostle Paul wrote many letters to a burgeoning group of radicals who were from all walks of life, representing different races, religious histories, and political allegiances. They were considered radical because they were taught to flee from displays of the flesh, clinging to a theology that defied the very disunity and hatred for one another their societies encouraged. It wasn’t easy. A few minutes spent reading Paul’s letters to Timothy will confirm that they had their fair share of knuckleheads in the ancient world. Some wanted to join their cause but found their theology was being tainted by the culture that birthed them. Jews had problems with Greeks. Other Gentiles had problems with Jews. There were former temple prostitutes taking off too many layers while trying to dance like David. The point is, in order for their theology to have any power they had to be unified in how they conducted themselves.
That doesn’t mean we all need to vote for the same person (I’m not opening that can..), but the way we speak about presidential candidates, our political leaders, protesters, “those people”, and all that’s going on in our world, reflects whether or not we truly believe what we preach, sing, or post a million scripture memes about across our social media feeds. All I’m saying is, save your scriptures about loving God and people if that love is only for those dear to your heart who love you in return. That’s not the gospel. And our actions are false advertising.
Let’s purpose to do better, folks.
Now if you’re a Dallas Cowboy fan, Jesus is still helping me in my love walk towards you.
#respectthecandidates #walkinlove #respectoneanother