WORDS FROM W.W. October 12, 2016
With four weeks until the election it seems that more stuff is being thrown back and forth than a high school cafeteria food fight. Social media, such as I’m using, spreads the drama quickly. Every day we are bombarded by new revelations about the past. Accusations meant to discredit and humiliate are the norm. How candidates deal with health care, foreign policy, education, and all the other issues has been pushed back to the end of the program guide. I have a hard time remembering where each candidate stands on such issues in the midst of email scandals and locker room comments.
There are Trump supporters, Clinton supporters, Johnson supporters, Stein supporters, a growing number of people who keep hoping that a knight in shining armor will ride on to the scene in the nick of time, and still others who are praying that Jesus returns before November 8!
This may be an election where there are more people a little embarrassed about who they finally choose to vote for than those who proudly proclaim who it is they support.
What I’ve also noticed is the danger of freely thinking. In the past few days my college alma mater, a small Christian college in Elgin, Illinois called Judson University, has had people throwing Facebook comments back and forth about the fact that Dr, Ben Carson is scheduled to speak on campus in the spring. Some of the words written had the commentator reaching down into the gutter and getting a handful of that really disgusting and foul-smelling mud and flinging it towards the school’s administration. How could an educational institution allow someone to come and speak who has been supportive of Donald Trump?
I remember a number of years ago when colleges fought the fights of being places of free thinking. There is great danger that the winds have changed directions in regards to that. It seems our culture is enamored with hearing what we agree with more than different ideas, and throwing sharp verbal jabs at those who hold other viewpoints.
The election is just the latest of these contentious battlefields. I wish I could say that the followers of Jesus have been different, but alas…
Christians are often the worst! Many of us have mastered “sanctimonious spiritual language” to belittle those who we disagree with. “How can you call yourself a Christian and…” It used to be that you finished the phrase with things like “…drink a Budweiser?” or “…wear a skirt that short?” Then things changed a little bit and we ended the sentence with issues or life situations like “…say that abortion is okay?” or “say that divorce people can get remarried?”
In recent years it has changed again. Now the accusing question gets completed with words like “…say that you are voting for ______?” or “be willing to even listen to what he/she is saying?”
In a time when the church could be a safe place to express different opinions it has taken on the appearance of political preferences. There’s more free thinking happening at Starbucks than the coffee fellowship time in most churches.
What would Jesus do? I’m not sure, but many of us are hoping that he will come back and tell us real, real, real soon!