We were warned. I feel like it was over and over again. Pastor after pastor told us that if politics becomes an idol in our heart that those who don’t agree with us will slowly become the enemy. We were told that when we put our hopes and trust in the one who sits in the Oval Office and into avoiding persecution and holding on to religious freedom then when people speak out with opposing views from us we will despise them and treat them like an enemy.
And yet despite the warning, many of us in the church have raised the idol. Many in the church have worshipped at the feet of this idol and are simply overjoyed that this idol seems to have produced results. And the mocking has begun. My Facebook is filled with comments about snowflakes, hypocrites and lefties who supposedly are so evil and so despicable that they need to be ridiculed for their tears. The problem is that these snowflakes we’re mocking are my mission field. I talk to so many of them on a weekly basis. Despite Scripture’s warnings about letting no unwholesome words out of our mouths, and only using words that are able to build others up (Eph. 4:29), we think that because some wanted to push abortion and gay marriage that we’re allowed to speak of them any way we choose.
Far too many people have lost their eternal perspective. Although being thankful for religious freedom and lower taxes is not wrong, when we mock those in opposition we show that we have exchanged treasure in heaven for some chump change on earth. (Matt. 6:19)
There are many hurting unbelievers. Whether it’s warranted or not. Millions are heartbroken over the election results. They have put their hope in Hillary Clinton, and here they are with their hopes shattered. Many are scared because of the color of their skin. I get that so many of them are being lied to by the media, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are actually hurting. I also don’t deny that many millennials are gullible, hate God, His word and are driven by a desire to do away with God. But the answer for the Christian isn’t to put our hope in a republican White House while mocking them. It must be in bringing them the hope we have in our eternal state. We have a great opportunity to bring the Gospel to people who seemed to have everything going their way only weeks ago but now are depressed, violent and even suicidal. It is time to act like ambassadors and to plead with them to repent and follow Christ (2 Cor 5:20). They will not change their mind by being mocked. The only way they will be changed is if God in His incredible mercy grants them repentance leading to the truth (2 Timothy 2:25) and shows them that presidents and governments can’t bring true happiness. Only Jesus can. And the beauty of it is that God did that with you and if he hadn’t you might be rioting in the street or who knows what.
At the same time there are many Christians hurting as well. Some of us may think that they are wrong, others may think there’s a lot of truth behind their concerns. And the answer to them isn’t telling them to grow up and shut up. They are not unruly. They don’t need to be admonished. Most of them are fainthearted and need to be encouraged (1 Thes. 5:14). We must prove to them that we want them to be a part of our churches and that they matter more than our tax exempt status and definitely more than our bank accounts. Reach out to them, they may look a little different than you or may speak with an accent. Make an effort to greet them at church, have conversations with them, have them over for dinner.
Ultimately I get an incredible sense that we feel like that the average republican is better off than the average democrat. But an important truth that could be escaping us right now is that a republican who doesn’t know Jesus will spend eternity suffering in hell as much as a democrat who doesn’t know him. Just because the average Republican didn’t protest Obama the way the average Democrat has protested Trump does not mean that their hearts are any less wicked. The idol of politics may cause us to identify as a Republican rather than as a citizen of Heaven. Every non-Christian is the mission field, but when politics becomes an idol suddenly those who disagree with us become the enemy and those who agree with us, despite the fact that they might be just as lost as the others, don’t get evangelized as well.
I pray that Trump has a wonderful presidency. I pray he gets saved and starts pleasing Christ with his life. I’m thankful that we have a Vice President that loves telling people about Christ, and who seems like he’ll be making a lot of important decisions. It’s ok to be thankful for those things. What’s not okay is that our mission field becomes our enemy. And if that has happened over the last few months, I pray that we repent and start treating them as Paul would, like people who will spend eternity in heaven or hell.
Jordan is the pastoral associate of evangelism at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA. He has a wife named Jenny and 4 children, Davide, Matteo, Nico and Gabriella.