As the weeks roll on, we get closer and closer to the 2020 election... yet another topic that is dividing Americans at warp speed. As many of you know, Josh and I had a pretty special moment with President Obama back in 2012. Below is an excerpt from our book about the day the president came to visit.
As a member of the United States Military, (most*) veterans have a very different view of the President of the United States. Regardless of where their political affiliations lie, members of the military must, under every circumstance, address the president as their commander-in-chief. Respect for the position and the orders given from the position are non-negotiable. Thus, our prayer with President Obama was not offered because of who he is, but because of what he was-- our leader. The end.
I would challenge all American believers to spend the next two weeks fervently praying for both the current president and the next president elect. As Christ-followers, we cannot fall into the schemes that lead us to division which tell us the following:
One party is totally right and one party is totally wrong
Democrats and Republicans cannot/should not work together
If my favorite candidate doesn't win, I get to sit back and say "I told you so" for the next four years
Voting for a certain candidate should end friendships
I am allowed to bash/hate a president because they sin differently than me.
One final lie that I think many Americans feel is that they have those five points under control, but if someone where to look at your social media account, would they know you were a Christian or would they know your political stance? Self-awareness is the key to the unity this country so desperately needs. Friends, no matter what, the next president will be a sinner. Pray for him, ESPECIALLY if you disagree with him. The Church MUST respond differently than the rest of the world, which brings me to my 6th and probably most important lie to recognize:
6. I don't have to see the president as someone created in God's image
How can our hearts grow so cold to the humanness of people? Jesus talks about it in the Sermon on the Mount--
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’(Aramaic word for contempt) is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell." Matthew 5:21-22
I never thought I would have to worry about going to hell for calling someone a fool! In this passage, Jesus is talking about/to the Pharisees. Just before He starts talking about the 10 Commandments, Jesus claims deity and says He is here to "fulfill the law" (v. 17), thus giving Him authority to talk about how the doers of the law will be judged. Many read the commandment to not murder and thought "I'm good on that rule," but Jesus comes along to teach the religious people that murderous thoughts begin with feelings of contempt.
The definition of contempt is the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn. The Pharisees were guilty of this as they cared very little for the poor, women, and the sick, never seeing these people as their own citizens. When we look at another human soul with contempt; no matter how controversial, sinful, or offensive they may be; we have entered the thought life of a murderer. Was this an extreme thing for Jesus to say? Yes. Was He kidding? No.
How do we get here? Through my own disobedience and repentance to this very subject, I believe it is the scheme of the devil to make us believe we are guarding ourselves from failure by secretly wishing failure on others. The evil one knows that by positioning certain things at certain times, he can sit back and watch us devour each other on the belief that for me to win, you must lose. We have to rebuke this with all we have in us because it is not the way of Christ.
PRAY for the president elect.
November will not be a win for some and a loss for others, it will be a test of character... one that Christ-followers must pass.
Love your neighbor fiercely! Christ's death counts just as much for them as it does for you!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
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