I’m feeling both sad and concerned at the growing animosity between American liberals and conservatives. As the budget debate intensifies both camps are busy slinging slurs and pointing fingers in a growing chorus of anger. It hit me especially hard this morning reading Facebook comments that were stoking hatred like a blacksmith bellows.
Lies kill, and there’s probably no more deadly lie than the notion that the trouble with the world is people. It’s a subtle worldview that insinuates that “if we could only eliminate those ‘damned’ Atheists, Tea-Partiers, Christians, Muslims, Liberals, or Gays, then all would be right with the world.” This same thinking permeates the doctrines of Nazis, Islamists, (those Muslims who take up the ideology of bombing infidels), and Marxists who sort through enemies like socks. It’s OK to hate their ideology, but never the people.
Followers of Jesus must stand in the solid truth that people are not the enemy! Sin is the enemy! Pride is the enemy, judgment, arrogance, and lies are the enemy! These are the things that divide communities and choke the life out of our souls. And these very attitudes reside in the fallen flesh of each of us. Will you purpose together with me to lay down the accusing finger and attack the problem not in the face of a friend, but at the level of truth and deception? God’s word tells us “The thief comes to steal, to kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) The great enemy of God and of the human race carries out his work through lies and accusation. Let’s purpose in our hearts to live in the opposite spirit of blessing and affirming others while standing firmly on the truth that sets people free.