As I listen to the voices of the Nation, the inability to extend divine love (many followers of Christ are perpetuating the problem) is where there appears to be a problem.
Because of the inability to extend forgiveness, there is a continued lack of communication. Mercy is the hardest; compassion compels the Christ follower to love humanity even those who have caused great hurt. Mercy requires forgiveness and extending kindness to those who may not “deserve” it.
In Matthew 28:16-20 Jesus gives the church instructions. Followers of Christ are called to be a part of the mission of God in “sharing the gospel” if we believe in Christ we are challenged to go to the people. God sends believers into the world. Believers are challenged to go to all kinds of individuals because the message of repentance and forgiveness, the good news is for everyone. And believers are empowered by the Holy Spirit to share this particular message.
In our going followers of Christ discover where mercy is needed. Essential parts of going are to assist and to be sensitive enough to notice and discern where people are hurting, struggling, and in need and making ourselves available to help. Being good neighbors to ALL people even those we “justifiably” deem as unworthy.
The church is not being the Church if it is not demonstrating genuine, unconditional acts of Christian compassion. When the Christ follower extends mercy, that is what makes him/her “not of this world.”
“I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ. But I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!” (I Cor. 9:19-23 The Message)
How much further towards unity would “we the people” be if we tried to experience things from the point of view of our enemy? How close would we be if followers of Christ got in on the bridging the divide as opposed to digging deeper trenches? I contend that in the experiencing and being in on it, is when we see God move for the betterment of ALL. Somewhere along the way, certain factions of the Protestant church have become to believe that they have cornered the market on righteousness. And this erroneous belief has caused more harm to an already divided Republic.
I love having conversations with people who disagree with me, notice I am speaking of talks, not arguments. As an undergraduate, I had conversations of race with suitemates who had never encountered an ethnic minority, yes, those places existed and still exist in America, I did not label them as ignorant or write-off their questions. Even today my friends, colleagues, associates, and others often say they can have conversations with me that they would not have with others. These conversations challenge me to be in on it, to check my bias. As long as the parties play fair discussion of divergent views can be rich and lead to growth, healing, and unity.
America is unkind, and no one people group has cornered the market on treating humanity well or caring. The democrat, republican, independent, firearm owner, anti-gunner, kneeler, stander, or anyone who stands in agreement or disagreement is not the problem. The problem is a lack of mercy. Our inability to view an issue from the other side, continues to and may always keep the Republic divided…
Closing Thought: I am not naïve, I do not believe that we will ever reach a place of agreement, I am just hoping for common understanding.