Summary: The world is reacting with anger, fear, or pride over the elections. That is not surprising. What is surprising is that the civil war has entered some churches. This is a topical message on how to deal with it.
The civil war is brewing. Did you see the young lady on the news? She was one of those marching in protest to the election results. And a reporter caught up to her to ask some questions. What she said was downright scary. She said that what we need is a revolution in order to see change. She said that change sometimes takes blood. Then she added, "Make no mistake there will be blood on the ground!”
Those are scary words in a Republic that is teetering on the edge of violence. And it seems that a civil war is primed to erupt at any time. Honestly, I'm not surprised by the world's response of anger, or fear, or even arrogant pride. It was clear that this would be the result from the election cycle.
What does surprise me is that this potential civil war has even reached inside the church. I have heard Christians say “If you voted for Candidate A, you can defriend me on Facebook." I have personally experienced nasty comments about my political views and my motivations for voting for who I did from other Christians. I have even heard a few stories of Christians in this very community who have known each other for years who have stopped speaking to one another because they voted for one candidate or the other. And I stand before this church today and say "It should not be so."
Today's message is a prophet's message. It's a call to repentance for the American church and our church. And If you or I are participating in a church civil war over politics, we need to KNOCK IT OFF.
There may be a civil war brewing out there, but A civil war over political candidates inside the church is a loss for God’s Kingdom and a win for darkness. And if you or I are involved in it, we need to stop.
It's not just a suggestion. It's a Biblical mandate. We have Biblical reasons not to split and fight and tear each other apart over politics.
Let me give you three reasons as the church to stop fighting over politics.
In our world, we are bombarded with constant news about fighting and violence and war and hatred. It’s impossible to keep up with who is bombing who. And the last thing the world needs or wants is to join another entity that has those qualities on full display. Jesus himself spoke to this.
In John 13, Jesus is speaking to his disciples. The words he shares are just hours before He knows he is going to be arrested, tried, and nailed to a cross. He knows his disciples are going to be under stress from the outside and within. He also realizes that in the temporary now, it is going to feel like the powers of the world had won. So he says to them.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Not should, not might attempt, Jesus said MUST – it’s an imperative, a command, a new law from Jesus – you MUST love one another. And the he gives the reason why.
IN this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Reason One: The world will know we are his disciples by the quality of our love for one another.
Now we need to see that there are two sides to Jesus' statement. Jesus makes it clear that our love becomes a witness to the world around us. Our love becomes a light in a world of darkness. If we love one another, the world will see a people with diverse opinions, and diverse colors, and diverse skill sets, and they will say “How is it that these people don’t just get along, but they actually LOVE one another.” It becomes light. It becomes our strongest tool for sharing the gospel because that’s not what the world news looks like!
But the flipside of the coin is this. If we don’t love each other we are living in disobedience to the commands of Jesus Christ.
To put it bluntly, we are sinning. Our love for one another displays our discipleship. And God’s kingdom won’t advance if we are tearing each other apart!
Reason Two: Tearing Christian relationships apart over who won and lost political races is a pretty good indicator that our trust is in the wrong place –
Our world is doing it because they believe that politics equals power. If their candidate is not in office, they feel a loss of power. And it scares them or it makes them angry. Those whose candidate is IN power often do so from the perspective of arrogance. That's the world's model. As Christians, THAT is NOT our model. Look at Romans 13:1