Hear O Israel, the Lord our God. The Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.
Readers familiar to this blog will recognize the words of the Jesus Creed. The last few months have stretched my understanding of the challenge and necessity of living these words. Not that I ever thought they were easy words. They’re dying to myself difficult. But they’re very oxygen of the kingdom of God.
No matter where we fall on the political spectrum, many believers have experienced fractures in our relationships with family, friends, and fellow church members as a result of the election cycle. Some relationships have been completely severed. Countless others have been frayed. Whether it is from rabid posting of hyper-partisan news stories from click-bait faux news sites on social media or in-real-life shaming (or even questioning the salvation of those who disagree with a particular political point of view), plenty of damage has been done to relationships both between believers and between believers and the watching world. I’ve been on the receiving end, and I have no doubt I’ve probably been an irritant to someone as I’ve expressed an opinion or question.Evangelicals have focused on a particular kind of political involvement in the last generation. Some – perhaps 81% of white Evangelicals (or possibly a smaller but still sizable number, depending on who is doing the counting) – are reveling, or at least hopeful, regarding President Trump’s victory as an expression of that involvement. Others in our churches are deeply concerned about Trump’s character, shady business dealings, political appointments, and handling of policy. Supporters and resisters both claim the name of Jesus.
Things are not going to get any easier for us in the Church. [Read more]