This is a very difficult topic to write about, particularly in this polarized, contemptuous climate in our country. But I do feel compelled and called to address this as it’s happening in real time, and needs attention by those of us claiming Christianity as our way of life.
I have cried so much these past few weeks. I have been involved in more arguments and misunderstandings via text, phone, and social media than I can count. I have “liked” all of my professors and colleagues posts on empathy and compassion for refugees, and felt my stomach physically turn seeing glaringly opposite posts from those I know who defiantly claim America first. All of these people are Christians. Some quote Jesus’ verses about loving our neighbors as ourselves, and some claim staunch nationalism and lack of concern about the refugees. Again, all of these people claim Christ on their hearts. It is such a quandary to read the words from Jesus Christ’s mouth, express them, and for those words of His to be thrown back like a weapon, as if they don’t apply in this situation. I couldn’t be more convicted that I am to love refugees as myself. But I have sweet friends who do not see it that way. Who’s right, who’s wrong?
I don’t want to cry disheartened tears, or wonder anymore who is seeking what, and whose agenda is being followed. I know Jesus’ words. I trust the ones lashing out know them too, they just see the world completely opposite. So, what are we to do? I don’t have an answer unfortunately. Things are just so explosive and quickly responded to online, it’s certainly seeming to me to be more a curse than a blessing, particularly in this arc of intensity.
I see wholeheartedly why atheists have given up on belief in God after seeing Christians attacking each other online just this past week. Ultimately, it hurts everyone. All I know to do to proceed is give my heart to those in need, and follow the commandment Jesus spoke: “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love the neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
In order to reach some level of peace within our faith communities, and be a positive example for the world at large, the rage and arguing needs to cease, and we must accept that we just disagree amongst ourselves. Truly this is the only avenue I can see to achieve some sense of unity. And as always, my hope, my prayer, my pilot light is that LOVE does and will prevail.