God’s Gift of Political Opponents

20w3zOn November 8th, 2016, America conducted free and fair elections in every community coast to coast. New leadership was elected, and leadership that was not desired by a majority was rejected. It smarts to be rejected, so it is easy to have an irrational reaction. For Christians, we have to realize that anger makes us vulnerable to evil that awaits us when we let our flesh think for us.

1 Peter 5:8   “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.“

A Donald Trump pinata is burned by people protesting the election of Republican Donald Trump as the president of the United States in downtown Los Angeles
A Donald Trump pinata is burned by people protesting the election of Republican Donald Trump as the president of the United States in downtown Los Angeles, California U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

If you’re not a Christian, the devil is still there… you just don’t acknowledge it. Knowing that people are in a weakened state, and have succumbed to evil should drive the Christian to love and heal the one who is suffering. After an election where opponents of religious liberty have tried and succeeded in curtailing your freedom to worship, it is particularly hard to love and heal the ones who opposed your rights. It’s good news that we don’t have to do the loving healing, but rather let Christ love and heal our enemies through us, which heals us too. The Apostle Paul quotes Proverbs 25 in describing how God uses these moments as opportunities for conviction and reflection.

 

Romans 12:20 “Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”

Just because those who oppose God and His people are needing and deserving of love does not mean that Christians are required to deny truth to them. There are healing facts that we cannot shy away from:

  • The election was free and fair. The constitutional majority of electors was chosen by the people. Just because your side loses doesn’t mean you were treated unfairly.
  • The system isn’t rigged. Often, the losing side will argue that the Electoral College isn’t fair if the popular vote doesn’t reflect the electoral winner. To be fair, either side could run up the popular scoreboard by campaigning in their favored states and communities. The Electoral College forces the candidates to campaign out into the whole country to be elected by communities of all kinds.
  • cd19a47weaacj9hProtesting is fine, as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. No one has the right to shut down traffic, set fires, trash storefronts or fight the police. Christians can arrange for legal tough love for their opponents if that opponent is acting unlawfully.
  • Most protests are not organic. Wealthy people who want to defeat the American system are paying protesters by the hour to disrupt the institutions of our civil process.

Christians have to live in this world, and if we are American citizens on American soil, we have the right to civil protections and the same rights as every other citizen. We also answer to the highest authority, and have a purpose greater than our own rights. What a great joy we can experience being used of God to love a neighbor with political differences in a way the helps them see Jesus Christ.

Thanks for reading! I look forward to your comments.

 

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