Over the past few months, my social media feeds have been filled with nothing but political posts, fueled by differing opinions and an ever-growing rift between the left and right from my friends on both sides of the aisle; both Republicans and Democrats alike. But what really baffles me is the actions of those who claim to be followers of Jesus, regardless of their political affiliation. Over the past few months, I’ve watched as Christians fervently support their candidate and furiously rip apart the opposition. When did we forget that we are called to be different and not of the world? When has love been overcome by hatred and division? When has our Lord and Savior switched from Jesus to whichever political candidate is running one of the two main parties in the United States?
This became very evident to me on Friday, President Donald Trump’s inauguration. I watched as my Republican brothers and sisters praised God for the restoration of America as if Trump is Jesus incarnate. It doesn’t surprise me much seeing as how almost every major church leader and prophet was endorsing Trump as “God’s Candidate.” But then on the flip side, I watched as my Democratic brothers and sisters posted countdown timers that showed the amount of time Trump has remaining in office or post about how the United States is all but over. How have we walked so far away from our calling as sons and daughters of Christ—which is to be Representatives of the Kingdom—to a far lesser calling as modern Christians, where legalism and worldly issues matter more than loving your enemies and treating our neighbours as ourselves?
And no, Jesus didn't endorse Caesar, he was being facetious when he said "Give to Caesar what is his" (Matt 22:15-22, Mark 12:13-17, and Luke 20:20-26). Jesus was pointing out that Caesar's name and face were on the coin, so it must belong to Caesar! Anyway, I digress… Jesus spent his three years in ministry building relationship and advancing his kingdom. He didn’t concern himself with the man made issues in the world because, in the end it really doesn’t matter. He came to transform the lives of those who would believe in him and his kingdom so that they could be free from the worries of the world. Somehow we have lost track of that and put our faith in a flawed man-made system.
Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t vote. If you are a citizen of a democratic country, it is your right and privilege to vote during elections. I am also not saying that we shouldn’t pray for those in leadership in the country. I believe it’s our responsibility to pray for those in government. What I am saying is that we shouldn’t be causing division and strife in matters that don’t truly matter when all is said and done. Our focus should be on Jesus and advancing his Kingdom. We are called to love not division.
Dear Republicans: Donald Trump is not your savior or protector of your faith. No man or government can guarantee your right to practice your faith. Jesus never guaranteed the freedom to do anything. In fact, he said that there would be trials and persecution because of him and that the world would hate us because it hated him first. At anytime any government could take away the rights of their citizens to assemble and practice their set of beliefs. What if the government takes away your right to religion? What will you do? Will you comply or will you resist because you know the truth? I personally don’t believe God ever cared about nations. I believe he was always concerned about the people that make up the nation. Empires have risen and fallen throughout history, yet the people move on. God isn’t in the business of redeeming countries, he is in the business of transforming lives and redeeming souls.
Dear Democrats: I know you are afraid and feel marginalized, but Trump is not the devil who’s come to destroy your life. He is one man who has limited powers. The checks and balances set up by the Founding Fathers of the United States make sure that all branches of the government must work together. Remember that the way you feel now is the way many Republicans felt when Obama took office, fearful that the things they felt were important would be stripped from them. Now is the time that we all need to pull together and try to make this country a place worth living in. No matter your opinion of Trump, he is your President for at least the next 4 years. Fighting against his presidency does nothing but cause more division and hinder productivity.
Remember we are called to be representatives of the Kingdom first. Everything else comes second, and in the end, they mean absolutely nothing. Shift your focus from this world to the world above. Look toward the God that can actually change lives and to the saviour that has set you free from worries of the world. You’ve been called to so much more than childish bickering over corrupt politicians.
Bryan Myers was born and raised outside of Philadelphia; in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Son of a Mennonite Farm boy and Baptist nurse. Oldest of three children. He was brought up in the church and is a recovering cessationist. Most of his adolescent years were spent in a deep depression, stemming from years of ridicule and abuse at the hand of his peers. After many failed suicide attempts, the Lord pulled Bryan out of the Darkness of his Depression and into the Light of Freedom. Since then, Bryan has strived to be a representative of the Kingdom of Heaven and a Beacon of Light to the hopeless. He has served as a Missionary, in Germany and Kenya, and has seen the Power of the Lord radically change people’s lives. He is currently working full-time while also serving in his Church and writing his first book.
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