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Let’s Rise to Love Those Left in Fear

Let’s Rise to Love Those Left in Fear

These days have become an important litmus test for white evangelicals in America. How worldly are we? How desensitized have we become, not only to sexual immorality, but to ethnocentrism, partiality and pride? Has the love of Christ shaped our souls deeply enough that we “look not only to [our] own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4)? Do we have the mind of Christ to truly care for and extend love to those who are different from us?

We have neighbors and coworkers—even friends and family—who are not just disappointed or sorrowful over the presidential-election results, but also genuinely afraid. I don’t mean just the abstract, unrealistic fear of the candidate on the other side of the spectrum from you. No, this is anxiety born directly from specific comments that singled out race or gender. It is personal.

Personally Vulnerable

Muslims remember the President-elect’s declaration a year ago that they should be made to carry identification cards. They remember when his campaign said they should be given a religious test to enter the United States. They remember sitting with a growing sense of isolation and rejection as he and his campaign pressed repeatedly on the threat they pose to America.

Women who have been sexually harassed, assaulted or abused see a man who has joked about these things now elevated higher in power despite it all. Women who have struggled all their lives for respect in their professions and communities have seen large segments of the nation embrace, applaud and elect a man who treats women as mere objects and mistresses.

Disabled, sick and suffering people who have found themselves depending on the Affordable Care Act to avoid losing health coverage know that one of the new President’s first acts will be to repeal that coverage. Many have found the new system to be a financial strain or a headache, but many Americans have also found it provided vital health care they weren’t able to obtain before (or prevented them from losing their coverage). The idea of stripping healthcare away wholesale (whether that’s realistic or not) is terrifying to someone who is seriously ill or handicapped.

Jews and African Americans have felt subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle finger-pointing from the President-elect and his campaign. They have seen hate groups opposed to their very existence come out of the woodwork and latch onto his campaign—mostly without any public discouragement or rebuke from him. They have seen him and his campaign repeat in tweets and ads echoes and hints of conspiracy theories long used to blame them for the ills of our society, theories that have fueled violent racism and abuse toward them in the past.

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anthonybraswell@churchleaders.com'
Anthony Braswell is the lead pastor of Northpark Church, a church plant in Raleigh, NC. He has a passion for communicating to people with creativity and relevance while empowering others to be more effective in the area that God has called them.