Last week, Nike dropped their “Just Do It” ad narrated by former NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. This ad caused the internet to buzz. Now, I’ve watched the full ad, and I found it to be inspiring, uplifting, and overall, puts forward a positive message, but the message of the ad was quickly overshadowed by the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick politics. Sadly, something as inspiring and positive, caused Americans to quickly become divided politically. Now I’m not here to write about Colin Kaepernick’s politics. What concerns me is the deep division we are seeing in this country. I’ve personally witness friendships end, and fellow Christian brothers and sisters fight all over politics. Full disclosure, I’ve been a registered Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, and now Independent. My loyalty is not to any political party, but rather to God and my family. Sadly, I used to be someone who argued and debated politics for fun, but I’ve found my faith has changed my priorities.
Division the Work of the Devil?
Politics can be useful and I will not argue against Christians running for office. But there is something intrinsically wrong with our political culture. It’s one thing to disagree, but it’s another, if politics is causing this much hate and strife. One side is calling the other side Nazi’s and bigots, and the other side calling the other Communists. If your a Democrat and you hate Republicans, this is the work of the devil. Similarly, if you’re a Republican and you hate Democrats, this is the work of the devil too. Being divided is the work of the devil, and unity and love are the antidote prescribed by God.
The Bible warns us against division. In Romans 16:17, the Apostle Paul writes “I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.” Paul also wrote to the church in Corinth “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. (1 Corinthians 1:10). In Proverbs 6:16-19, it lists six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:
- haughty eyes,
- a lying tongue,
- hands that shed innocent blood,
- a heart that devises wicked schemes,
- feet that are quick to rush into evil,
- a false witness who pours out lies and
- a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
If your someone who enjoys trolling the internet to cause the other side to get upset, God finds this detestable. The Bible continuously warns against division, and as Christians, we need to be aware of what we say and what our actions are doing in our community, both within Christian circles and in the larger secular community. We need to be aware that we share the world with many non-believers, and they may not always have our best interest at heart. So whatever you do, try to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). If you’re a Christian who is heavily involved in politics; first stay true to God’s commandments, and secondly, be conscience of what your words and actions might do. Do not be someone who causes division; whether intentionally or not. Division is the work of the devil, so beware. You’re loyalty shouldn’t be a political party, but rather to God.
Love my enemy?
In Matthew 22, in response to a test question from one of the Pharisees on which is the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (37-39). As Christians we are called to love our neighbor. Jesus does not include a conditional of “only if” or to only those, who follow Him. But should we love our enemies? In Matthew 5:44, Jesus commands “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” In Luke 6:27-28, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” You might be thinking, wait what? I should be loving my enemy? Yes!! For those who vehemently dislike President Trump, Jesus calls you to love him and pray for him. You should be praying for blessings over his presidency, not calling him a racist or a Nazi or hoping he gets ousted from office. God will judge both the living and the dead, and you should not be judging Trump’s heart, but rather praying that God can soften his heart and follow God’s commandments. Same goes for those who dislike Colin Kaepernick and his politics. Jesus calls you to love him and pray for him.
Loving our enemies is not easy to do, but God commands us to do so. We need to be countercultural now more than ever. As Christians we should not be indulging in political bickering or venomous debate that could cause strife, but rather be the middle that bridges both sides. We should not be showing hate or demonizing the other side because we disagree with their views. What we are seeing is hate from both sides, and the devil is winning. Let’s change course. Let’s bridge the gap. But first, we need to start showing love and praying over our enemies, regardless of their political views, and it starts with us Christians showing the rest of the world the way out of the darkness.
Please let me know your thoughts.
Christian, Husband, Political junkie, Braves fan, Marvel Nerd, craft beer aficionado, and a sinner saved by grace. He has a passion for helping Christian men grow in their faith. He is the founder and editor of Joshua’s Outpost.