Someone posted a simple question on Facebook. It was… “Who are You Voting Against?” I thought it was brilliant.
Following that, I drove by a political sign in front of someone’s house. It read, “VOTE. Anyone But Trump”.
All this made me think. I have an ex-Muslim friend that once explained to me the nature of religion, using Islam as an example, that is based on a negative principle. I am not going to do this justice at all, but basically he said that Islam has a foundational aspect to it that is by nature “against” the teachings of Christianity. After I put this post out I am going to ask my friend to clarify this in a comment if I have this fact wrong. But I think he said the principle is inscribed on mosques, etc., and is starts with a negative, such as, “Allah is NOT…”
We might add:
“The President should NOT be…”
“God is NOT…”
“Church is NOT…”, “Christians are NOT….”
“That person should NOT say that or do that….”
I have noticed something in the last couple years. There is a huge – even major – segment of society, and Christians too, that is reacting. Reacting in anger. Reacting in disappointment. And reacting in hurt. Deep hurts. It’s like a war going on, even an Apocalypse, and it’s perhaps destroying more people’s souls and emotional well-being than all the physical wars put together.
It is evident everywhere in today’s society. Have you noticed? It’s not only in certain minority and other people groups, but also in some of your family members and people that you meet every day.
No wait. It’s likely much closer than that.
“A sad observation I have made. People with a heart wound, going on a head trip.” – Jay Ferris
How subtle this is, and how tragic when it begins in the heart of a child. People getting hurt and disappointed by authority figures who were respected and looked up to, or people who they were close to, who then failed them. A seed quietly grows inside, forming a root that no one knows is bitter at the start. Some say little, retreating into a world of relational or spiritual isolation, Some say more, taking on a more proud advance into attention-grabbing soapboxes or causes, including “bible thumping” people from a distance, in a way that protects themselves.
Enter the expression of Facebook posts. Blogs. Voting Booths. Pulpits. Religious (or non-religious) denominations and practices. Whatever it is, there is an outlet for the bitterness of the human soul to express itself, and what it is against.
I remember being a part of a bible study where for many weeks, even some months, all we did was talk about what was wrong with churches and other Christian’s doctrines. Finally someone visited who broke the negative spirit we were under. She asked, “So I know what you believe about that. But WHY do you believe it?” That set us in a different and better direction after that, than just being “against” stuff.
The disciples were against some people once, too. There were people who were healing the sick, etc., who weren’t a part of the Twelve. Of their attitude, Jesus said something very interesting.
“Whoever is not against us, is for us.” Mark 9:40
When it comes down to it, God IS love. He is not Hate. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t hate things (the bible says He does), but it doesn’t encapsulate Him into a negative, but a positive.
I think this is a good thing to keep in mind, not only during this political season, but in all our dealings.
Most importantly, in the deepest part of our hearts.