When we identify the kingdom of God with one political party or ideology, Baalism is close at hand.
The common exhortation of “Don’t look away” reminds us that a lack of vigilance can make us oblivious to the ways in which our political environment can change us for the worse. But an ironic danger lurks beneath the surface.
The tool of a lazy mind, the product of shallow thinking and the evidence of unsettled and angry spirits, the stereotypes that are ubiquitous in the religious and political discourse of our age are also evidence of a nation misguided, the immaturity of the body politic.
The president’s racist Twitter message employing the language of lynching was a diabolical suggestion that the current impeachment inquiry is the existential, moral and legal equivalent of murder.
The deep and abiding anger that we harbor at the world as it is today will kill us in greater numbers than the actions of crooked cops, Trump-loving white nationalists or mass shooters. As elusive as it may seem, seeking the peace that surpasses all understanding must be our daily work.
If words really do “mean something,” as Robert Jeffress asserted, correctly, then the rhetoric of “civil war,” “treason” or “coup” used by president, pastor or any of us is not only divisive but dangerous.
It’s time to turn our personal kindness into political kindness, to turn love into policy, to speak truth and to be the people God calls us to be, in person and in policy.
As I see it, Franklin Graham is far from the man his father was. In conspicuous ways, he is still like the angry, impatient and entitled 11-year-old I met in the summer of 1964.
The surest way to trash the gospel is to invoke God’s holy name to propagate a partisan political agenda that has nothing to do with the spiritual wisdom of Jesus and everything to do with political privilege and power.