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For those of us in the United States, this political season has been an unusual one. While every election cycle brings excitement, emotion, and a good dose of ridiculous behavior, this one stands out as a potentially dangerous one. The danger I refer to does not lie in any of the political candidates or the Parties they represent. The threat I see lies squarely in the minds and hearts of those who would allow political differences to divide us from others who share in the same faith.
I have witnessed some (thankfully not all) Christian proponents of every political candidate this season purposely and decisively reject those who differed with them, even claiming that those who did not agree with them could not possibly be real believers. Sadly, some have shown more devotion to their favorite politician than they’ve ever shown to Jesus Christ Himself.
While division in the body of Christ is never a good thing, sometimes it is necessary. We are warned over and over again in the New Testament about those who would bring in false teaching, in particular about the Person of Christ, and that those who did so should be rejected by the Church.
Yet the major emphasis for the Church is not division, but unity. Those of us from every conceivable background find that in Christ we have something in common. No matter what Country you come from, or what language you speak, or what color your skin happens to be, we rejoice in the fact that through our shared faith in Jesus Christ we have been adopted into His family and have been transformed into children of God.
Through our faith commitment we are invited into the very throne room of God Almighty. The fellowship that we share is derived from the relationship that we have with the Christ and is communally experienced by all who have that same relationship. To cheapen that relationship with God and with each other by dividing over political candidates borders on blasphemy.
What we allow to divide us reveals who and what we have our faith in. While we all have our favorite candidates, and many of us cannot understand why our fellow believers do not choose the same person that we do, that is not a biblical reason for division.
No matter which man or woman you believe would be best to lead our Country, remember that person is a fallible human being who did not die for you, cannot save you, and in the end, will disappoint us all to varying degrees. While there is nothing wrong with cheering on and campaigning for your favorite candidate, let’s remember that in the end what is most important is the common cause we share in the Kingdom of God and the unity we experience as people of the Cross and fellow participants in the Resurrection.