People are hurting. People are angry. And truth be told, fear is the likely emotion consuming many right now– fear of losing position and power, fear of retaliation, fear of exploitation. Some fears are appropriate and some fears misplaced, but all fears can become something dangerous if left alone. Christians, now is the time to quench this spirit of fear and to bring comfort and peace into the midst of this politically hostile mess created by those lacking restraint and discernment. I think we have a tremendous opportunity to redeem this time by forging unity in the fire that has been stoked by the Kavanaugh confirmation, and even more, I think there is a chance for the Gospel to be heard.
It is often difficult to find common ground with opponents. Some issues are polarizing with little common interest. This is not true of the Kavanaugh case. Let me explain. On one side of the fight is a group that is passionately proclaiming that victims of sexual abuse should feel free and safe to come forward and report that they have been attacked. Now, who in their right mind could disagree with this? Is there really anyone in this country that thinks we should create an oppressive society that blames victims and generally distrusts them? Of course not, except for villains and tyrants and middle school bullies. We agree.
Similarly, on the other side of the fight there is a group passionately proclaiming that we should not allow anyone’s life to be ruined or suffer severe penalty because of an accusation that cannot be verified. Does anyone disagree with this? Is there really anyone in this country that thinks we should create a whimsical court of public opinion where we feel obligated to choose sides based on who we think is more believable? Surely not, except for villains and tyrants and middle school cool kids. Again, we agree.
I think this is amazing. In one of the most heated political battles among many recent heated political battles, there is opportunity for unity. Let’s redeem this pain. Let us join together and fight to ensure that we have a world of justice and equity where victims are safe to name their attacker and citizens are protected from false accusations. Are we too stupid of a people to figure this out? Or are we too selfish to pursue what is commonly good instead of using every public event to advance our personal agenda?
Christians, let’s be the peacekeepers here. This is an occasion to put on display the teachings of Jesus and the fruit of His Spirit. Love your political opponent by being self-controlled, patient, gentle, and kind as you listen to another’s point of view. Being heard is a joyful experience that results in peace. Give this gift to others and build bridges instead of lighting them on fire. Take a deep breath, control your emotions, and forge unity with those that are on the other side. Imagine the gift of hope we can give this world right now if we are able to do this. Think of the public good God will have accomplished through us, and think of the gospel implications.
Let us live in such a way that we earn the right to be heard. When we have a well-earned platform, make much of Jesus. Stop griping and complaining that the world is going to Hell. Instead, take advantage of every opportunity to make sure that it doesn’t. I think this is our time to let the light of Christ shine through our patience, discernment, and gentleness. May this be so in all of us.
Michael C. Sherrard is a pastor, a writer, and a speaker. Booking info and such can be found at michaelcsherrard.com.