As the political season is dying down, it has been a great opportunity to reflect. Throughout the past months I have been frustrated with choices of parties, policies, Christians and myself.
I did not emulate well how a Christian should navigate the political sphere, and I do not think many others did, either. Too often I was on the receiving end of criticism and frustration, and just as many times I was dishing it out to others.
Through reflection, I am thankful God does not function the same way I do. I am thankful that in his holiness, he does not have hatred, annoyance or impatience. Many times in the past few months the Church and I fell into the trap of making government our idol.
We tirelessly fought and debated which candidates would be better for our town, our state and our nation. Now that the election is over it seems the storm is dying down, and people are back to acting humane towards one another (for the most part). Time after time, we made the government our idol and shifted the responsibility we have from action to words.
Election season is an interesting time. More than ever, the problems of the country and flaws of candidates get blown up from the size of bacteria in a petri dish to large ads in Times Square. Churches all across America could have used this time to assess the needs of the community and see how they could fill the gap. Instead, as a collective whole, we resorted to debating about which candidates would have policies to solve the problem for us.
Even now I know many Christians believe they did what they could to solve the issues in America. But in reality, we are only kidding ourselves. As the Church, we are failing at showing the love of Christ to all people.
The call of Christ is much more than to tell someone about Jesus. I know what you may be thinking: “We are called to make disciples and that is it.” I have seen that in way too many comment bars on Facebook, and it is truly saddening. What a testimony of faith it would be to see every church sacrificially serve its community in any way it can. Rather than simply holding a “pro-life” stance throughout election time, it would be amazing to see churches jumping at every opportunity to adopt, or even to walk with the women who decide to keep their child and to serve and support them.
What a beautiful day it would be when you could hear from someone, “Dang, those Christians are too caring. They just want to serve everyone.” However, you and I both know this is almost never the case. I desire more than anything for the Church to wake up to its call to be servants so people can experience the full love of Christ.
The time is now for the Church to stop relying on the government or other powers to stop the injustice that happens in our communities. It is our responsibility.
In the closing statements of MLK’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” he boldly states: “If the church of today does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church it will lose its authentic ring, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.”