Well, here we are only one day post-election day. The world did not end, and since it didn’t, we as Christians have a lot of cleaning up to do in regards to how we treated both our fellow believers and those who don’t claim to be Christian throughout the course of this election cycle. We have deep, open wounds that now must be tended to.
In a recent article I wrote for Religion News Service, I explained it this way: “The last few elections have pointed to increasing division, and this one has shown us at our worst. We talk past each other and don’t listen.” Today, I posted six thoughts for us to consider post-election.
I am also thankful to have Barry H. Corey join us to share his thoughts on how we move forward. Barry is the eighth President of Biola University, in La Mirada, CA. He is the author of the recently released Love Kindness: Discover the Power of a Forgotten Christian Virtue (Tyndale, 2016).
Where do we go from here?
It is November 9, and after an exhaustingly long, divisive election that has at times felt apocalyptic, America now has a new President-elect, Donald Trump. But while there has been resolution to the long-contested question of who will occupy the White House come February, the problems that gave rise to (and were exacerbated by) this horrific election will not be gone from America.
We are a nation divided. And the wedges were driven deeper by the vitriol of this campaign. We state our intractable views on everything from race to religion to class to sexuality to culture to Colin Kaepernick. Facebook used to be a place where friends shared updates and photos. Now, it’s a forum for overheated ranting among strangers.
Sadly, Christian communities have been complicit in this culture of divisiveness. Whether the topic is Trump, transgenderism or refugees, on any given day the Christian Twitterverse is barely distinguishable from any other angry subculture.
American Christians, like all Americans, are being conditioned by the rhetoric of division. It’s the air we breathe on 24-hour cable news, on social media and in the click-bait articles that favor unnuanced and polarizing headlines. How can a 20-minute Sunday sermon on charity and forbearance compete with 20 hours a week of cable news fear mongering and its polarizing spin? It’s clear that many of our hearts have been formed more by the liturgies of radio talk show hosts than the lessons of Jesus.
For Christians in America, this election should be a wake-up call that we may be losing our salt-and-light calling to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Many of us are instead demonizing our enemies and picketing those who persecute us. Venturing into the way of reaching across the aisle will be hard. It’s countercultural. It’s risky. It’s sometimes unwelcome and awkward. It’s admitting our own messiness and imperfections.