Who are we who call ourselves or are known as Evangelical Christians? From my perspective and an increasing number of folks, the word evangelical lost it’s clear distinction a number of years back. What are we really about? Sometimes it seems like we’ve whittled God’s mandate down to a one or two pony show? What is their stand on abortion? gay rights? What other issues concern thoughtful Christians, evangelical Christians? Which ones fall under God’s clear mandate to Love One Another?
Jud was a Micah man. Not a perfect man, but a good man. Jud’s focus was to follow Jesus. His desire was to live out God’s call in Micah 6:8 and in so doing, he led and taught us more by example than words. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Jud and I were both raised in Republican voting families. We chose to be registered as Independent rather than settle on one party. Over the years we’ve voted for both Republicans and Democrats. We tried to decide based on which ones we believed would be better at furthering issues related to justice and mercy. We also looked at proven experience, character and ability to listen and work with people with whom they differed. This election? I’m very undecided.
It’s painful and nauseating for me to watch the current Republican “debates.” Three of the candidates, each claiming to be Christians, bully, taunt and ridicule each other like Middle School boys, sometimes resorting to language that would land them in after-school detention. How could such tactics possibly land any of them in the Oval Office as President of the United States?
I’m neither politician, philosopher nor theologian but I am a very concerned grandmother. Our grandchildren deserve more from us and it is about us. We can vote, most of them probably aren’t old enough to do so. We can take thought about how we talk about men and women who currently hold office, as well as those who are political candidates. We can watch our words and examine the thinking behind our views, our smirks, and jokes when we speak about illegal immigrants, refugees, gays, women, Muslims, the poor or others with whom we may disagree or fear.
Have we lost our fear of the One who hears our words, knows our thoughts and the intents of our hearts? Are we better than the ones we verbally dissect? I shiver as I write, recalling words I’ve said, jokes I’ve laughed at. Lord have mercy on me. Christ have mercy.
It’s not too hard to imagine how this political nightmare plays in other parts of the world. What have we lost inside and outside this country for the sake of some votes? It seems like we’re becoming the land of the red, white and BOO: shunning, belittling, threatening, hating, frightening and sometimes inciting those for whom Christ died and commanded us to Love.
To become GREAT is not the model of the Christ we Christians claim to follow. The Bible, too readily thumped during campaigns, contains God’s clear mandates for those of us who call ourselves Christians. These commands are not debatable and to ignore will cost far more than a nomination or an election.
What would our homes, our country and our world look like if we who call ourselves Evangelical Christians did as commanded? ACTed JUSTLY, LOVEd MERCY, WALKed HUMBLY with our God and LOVEed ONE ANOTHER as CHRIST has LOVED US.
Lord, have mercy on us, our country and the rest of this world you Love.
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