Something has happened to our Christian culture. I sit in chapel and speakers are making political jabs. Students are venting through Facebook, cursing and questioning their fellow Christians’ commitment to God because they did not vote for the same person. One minute we are encouraging others to live in a Christ-like manner, but the next we do the exact opposite.
This is not to say everyone is acting this way, but after a personal attack on my faith because I voted for Trump, I figured it was time to say something. I wanted to respond immediately, but that would have been out of anger. I needed a reminder of how I should respond as a Christian, and I think this world right now needs to take a step back, like myself, and reevaluate how we speak to one another.
First, opinions are completely valid. We all have the right to speak our mind, to support different causes and be heard. We have the right to protest a wall or support increased protection of the country. We have the right to question others and why they voted for someone we did not.
But as Christians, we must stop attacking others out of anger. We are called to spread God’s love, and hateful Facebook posts and comments in chapel are not the way to do that. I see the Christian culture of our generation being so eager to love and encourage at first glance, but looking closer, emotions have been rising and are taking over. Instead of stepping back, taking a deep breath, cooling down and then responding in a Christ-like way, we seem to disregard our commitment to love and act in a manner that goes against the way we preach Christians should.
I understand it is normal to be human. Remember Padme and Anakin talking in “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones”? Padme says, “To be angry is to be human,” and Anakin responds, “I’m a Jedi. I can be better than this.” Both are right. Humans get angry; it is what we do, our sinful nature and all that jazz. Anakin also realizes that he can be better than the anger he feels (he eventually gets there, years down the road). In the same way, Christians sin just like everyone else, so it is completely normal to act out in anger, but we can be so much more than our knee-jerk reactions.
Imagine if we all took that step back before we responded. Celebrities would not be going insane on Twitter, exploding about every single issue they disagree with. Chapel speakers would stick to spreading God’s Word instead of making the time of worship an uncomfortable one as they call out people who do not think the same way. Christians would respond in love, not in hate.
Taking that step back helped me to calm down in regards to the political chaos happening in the world. I have seen the effect of calm, loving conversation between two disagreeing views, so I know it is possible. The end goal is not to agree on everything; that is impossible to achieve. But to leave a conversation feeling safe, comfortable and respected is not asking much. All it is asking is for Christians to remember what we are striving for and how love can speak so much stronger than hate.