By Jonathan David Faulkner
When I went to bed at around 10:00 last night I honestly Hilary Clinton would be our next president. I was not a Clinton Supporter, nor was I a Trump supporter, but I hoped that it would not come to this; I long wished that we could avoid having them both run, but that was not the case. So I hoped for better options and voted for someone I thought was a better choice for America than the two put forward by the two major parties. As I Christian, I just could not consciously vote for either of them and have peace about it.
I have watched as our country has become more and more divided. I have watched as hate and fear have become the norm. I have seen friends, out of fear, block and unfollow and intimidate and mistreat. I have seen misogyny justified and racism legitimized through a presidential candidate, now president-elect. I watched his apposition create further divides by insulting and then demonizing those who support her apposition. I have seen fear and hate and anger in quantities I hoped I would never see in my life. I have seen Vitriol and I have watched fear take hold of the very soul of man. It is okay to be angry, what we do with that anger will define us.
So how does the Church respond now? What do we do now that we are a divided people living in a divided nation? It seems to me that we should do three things: 1. Pray 2. Begin the work of Healing the divide 3. Work to Benefit the Nation God has planted us.
First I want to add a brief note on what we should not do. Let us not participate in trash talk on either side. Let us not further the divide between the two sides. Let us not do any more harm than has already been done. Let us not complain or be hateful. Let us not turn our backs on the hurting and afraid. Let us not, not be the Church.
Let me expand on those things that we can do:
Brothers and Sisters, regardless of what we may think of Donald Trump, whether you voted for him or not, we must pray for him. That is, pray for him, not against him and pray that he would truly respond to the Gospel and find true and genuine repentance. This has been true in every presidency, but it is especially true now as Trump’s presidency very well could shake the foundations of our society. That means, more than ever, we need to be in prayer for the office of the president. It also means that now more than ever, we need to pray for unity amongst the congregations of the Saints. To lay down the divides of Denominational differences and in our denominations come together as the Church to pray for one another and to encourage one another in the come challenges that are sure to face the Church.
We need to pray for unity and for peace among all parties. Through prayer we have a ministry of peace that comes directly from God the father. We can be, because of the Power of the Spirit indwelling within us, be peacemakers in this new presidential series. So let us pray for our president and for his advisors, but also for unity within the Church in this time and for grace and peace to spread like a wildfire where once hate and fear, were burning. (See Jesus prayer in John 17).
- WORK TOWARDS HEALING:
Brothers and Sisters we have now seen how much and how deep the hurt runs here in America. Throughout this entire election we have seen how those are powerful driving factors in our political system. Now, we as the Church must begin working to heal those divides. We must work to reach both across the aisle and out to our own family members who we argued against and work to reconcile those relationships. Again, to step even across denominational and political lines, in the spirit of the Ecumenicist and unite in mourning so that healing can begin. We must set aside any distrust of other races or other ideologies. Denying our tribes and right to an opinion for the sake of our fellow man who is hurt, afraid and disenfranchised.
We must be the Church, we must follow what St. James says is true and pure religion: “To look after widows and orphans.” Not stopping there but caring for the widow, the orphan, the refugee, the LGBTQ, the Disabled, the Marginalized, the Disenfranchised, the Immigrant, Communities in Pain like the African American Community and other minority groups. We must speak peace and live out the Gospel of truth, being a light to the nations and truly letting them know that we are Christ’s by the love that we show for all people. Especially those whom we disagree with in lifestyle or ideology, we must be the Church and not just that, be the Gospel. Through that love we know from God we can be a voice of peace and healing and love in a nation that now so desperately needs it.
- WORK FOR THE BENEFIT OF YOU COMMUNITY:
Dear friends, just like God spoke through Jeremiah the Prophet 2500 years ago, we must now work for the betterment of our communities and nation. Whether that be through the work of Social Righteousness and Justice or through literally: “Planting gardens and building houses.” That is, through working to better our communities we bless our nation and show care for those who would normally not receive it. We must throw off stereotypes and fear of another and work together to accomplish this goal. It is time for the church to truly be a blessing, not through political power-mongering, but through the action of caring for those we are called to care for and loving all whom are put before us to love. We must work for the benefit of those places where we live regardless of who that requires us to serve. As my Fiance so boldly said this morning: “I was a teacher yesterday with people in front of me to love and today I still am.”
CLOSING: THE CALL
Christians, with this I call you to prayer, I call you to peace, I call you to love and I call you to live out the Gospel in its truest firm. I charge you to be men and women of true and genuine faith in Christ. To seek His face and to receive from Him the healing and peace that you need so that you can go and be that healing voice. Do the work of a minister of grace and maker of disicples of Christ. As Paul tells Timothy; “For you were not given a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love.” So go Church and live in that Spirit from this day forth and forevermore.
Jonathan David Faulkner is a student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a Pastor, Musician and Writer. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Education & Administration with a concentration in Urban Ministry