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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Where Christians Divide

“Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.”  Mahatma Gandhi

When I think of Christians I want to think of a group of people who care for the needs of other people out of love and concern for their “brothers and sisters”.  I want to believe that if I fall down someone will be there to pick me up physically and spiritually.  I want to believe that the unconditional love modeled for those who identify themselves with Christ, would be offered to me no matter the circumstance.  I want to believe this, but frankly I’ve seen and experienced too much of the opposite.

Each time an election year approaches I brace myself for dissention among the ranks.  There are expected ads pitting Democrats against Republicans, this community leader against the other one.  This is expected as candidates jockey for position and to get our votes.  The media battle is frustrating and the battle between politicians is certainly annoying at best.  But the dissention that I am most concerned with is the war that rages among Christians during times of major political decisions. 

Time and people have taught me two things.  There are Christians who wouldn’t cross the street to help our Nation’s president if he were in harms way simply because they disagree with his politics. In fact this group of people would later post on social networks prideful statements of how they were unwilling to compromise their convictions by aiding such a “liberal”.  But there is another kind of Christian.

There is the Christian who no matter where you’ve come from, no matter how you may have gone against their ideals would stand beside you in your pain.  I want to be this kind of Christian.  I want my Republican and Democratic friends alike to know without hesitation that I will be at their side to pick them up should they fall.  I want to be the kind of person who no matter who our President is, I would support him or her in prayer.  I want to be the kind of Christian that no matter who you are and where you have come from, I will simply listen to understand your view so not to offend you when we differ.  I want to do these things, but I fear I too fall short at times.

Today I want to take a deep look inside myself and ask the question: Is there anyone in my life who I have pushed away simply because of political differences?  If there is then I want to find the humility and courage to make right the damage I may have already done.

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference

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