To say that the recent Presidential election was contentious would be a gross understatement. It was, in my opinion, the most hotly contested Presidential election I have witnessed. To say that many were disappointed by the outcome would also be an understatement. Of course, the same thing would be true had the results gone in the other direction.
So, as Christians, what should be our reaction to the recent political developments? I have friends, relatives, and even fellow Christians who strongly disagree when it comes to politicians and political matters. How should we interact with one another when we disagree on such matters? The answer is very simple. We should react in the same way that Jesus would – with love, compassion, kindness, and generosity. Not with anger, bitterness, or malice. Is that going to be an easy thing to do? Not likely. But God has never called upon us to do the easy thing. He has called upon us to do the right thing. Please consider carefully the apostle Peter’s injunctions in 1 Peter 4:1-19. As many other passages also teach, there is a certain way in which those who are Christ’s are to conduct themselves. That way is NOT the way that is normally accepted by the world.
In the first century Christians lived under a government that was as oppressive and in a society that was as antithetical to Christianity as any government and society that has ever existed. Yet, in spite of both governmental and societal opposition Christianity grew and prospered. While it is currently fashionable to either completely deny the existence of an Almighty God or, at the very least, to conceive of a god fashioned according to one’s own personal desires it should be remembered that in the days of the apostles the vast majority of people believed in a multiplicity of pagan gods. Very often the things done in “worship” to those gods were exactly the opposite of what the Creator desires. Sexual promiscuity, human sacrifice, prostitution, homosexuality and other such practices were not only the norm but were often required in the service of those gods. To resist such practices was considered radical, disloyal, antisocial, and, in some cases, unpatriotic. In much the same way, people today who refuse to give in to and not just tolerate but condone what society deems appropriate behaviors are often ostracized, shunned, denied economic opportunities, and face other obstacles to remaining true to their convictions.
Jesus encourages us to “go the second mile” with those who would compel us to go the first (Matthew 5:38-42). The apostle Paul encourages to live peaceably with everyone (Romans 12:8), be good citizens (Romans 13:1-7), and to pray for the opportunity to lead quiet and peaceable lives (1 Timothy 2:1-4). The apostle Peter lets us know that if we suffer because we are striving to live as a Christian it is to our glory rather than our shame (1 Peter 4:14-19).
In conclusion let me say that what happened in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, was a sad, deplorable, despicable thing. It is also true that the rioting, looting, and arson perpetrated in such cities as Seattle, Minneapolis, and other cities across the country was just as sad, deplorable, and despicable. As citizens of the United States we have the God-given, Constitutionally protected right to peaceably assemble. As Christians we can use that right to assemble for worship, Bible study, or any other religious purpose. However, as Christians we need to be very careful in our exercise of that right when it comes to political matters. Sometimes people can get caught up in a moment and a movement in which they had no original intention of participating in.
When you are considering your actions think first of how your words, conduct, and appearance reflect on the Lord and His church.