When I woke up this morning to the news of who had won the Presidency, I had an amazing sense of peace. I’m not necessarily an Obama supporter, but I am definitely not an Obama hater. He is a human being with strengths and weaknesses just like me. More importantly, he is a child for whom God cares so deeply.
So I had this idea this morning. It’s a stolen idea, really. I read it in a book by Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz. One of the most powerful stories in this book for me was when a group of Christ-followers in a predominantly atheist college set up a reverse confession booth during a big party weekend/festival at the school. They built this make-shift confession booth and freely invited anyone who would listen in.
Inside the booth, they did not ask the students to confess their sins, but they (the Christ-followers) confessed their sins to the students. They apologized for such things as the Crusades, where Christians massacred those who refused to follow. They explored history and apologized for all of the ways Christians have gotten it wrong.
That’s what I’d like to accomplish here for a minute. With this election in mind, in particular, I apologize for the way Christians have created an “us versus them” mentality.
I apologize for the President-bashing that has occurred–for emails sent with accusations, attacking Obama’s character, his family, etc.
I apologize for the race-filled comments on social media that remind me of a time in which I wasn’t even born–times that I only read about in history books. We still have a long way to go in the way of race reconciliation. Perhaps, we just need to understand each other’s humanity. We are ALL people that God loves. We have no right not to love. Yes, I realize there have been racial comments on various sides of the fight, but it’s no excuse for Christians to succumb to pressure and add fuel to the fire.
Lastly, I apologize for the open and apparent lack of grace and love that Christians have given to the world. Whether in the form of gay-bashing, candidate-bashing, all-other-kinds-of-lifestyle-bashing, we have missed the mark, and I’m so sorry. We are called to love God and to love you, and we have failed on both accounts. The Bible says that you will know us by our love. No wonder you don’t see Jesus through us.
So I’m resolving with this presidential term to spend more time in prayer for President Obama and our truly split country. God is sovereign, and there’s no reason to fear. But we do have reason to pray…always…regardless of who would have won the election.
I do hope that in the coming years, we as Christ-followers begin to step it up in the way we show love. I also encourage you, if you’ve felt attacked by Christians to take a minute and look at the things we’ve done right too.
One example that comes to mind is the response by Christian religious groups to Hurricane Sandy. In a really amazing way, faith-based religious groups like the NY Dream Center, Hillsong NYC, and Charity Water came together to provide needs to displaced, thirsty, starving people in the city. They went door to door knocking, wanting to give help away.
This is just one example of Christians coming to aid those in need. Unfortunately, the media is not so good about promoting those things, and that’s ok. It doesn’t deter us from doing what is right. Even if we are continually hated, we will strive to do what is right. Maybe one will see and find Christ.
To all of my fellow Christ-followers: Just remember that the world is looking at you. They so desperately want to see Jesus, and when they don’t, they respond in a way that we all should expect. Be love. Be grace. Be life to your neighbors. Speak of His mercy often. Love until it hurts. Revival will be sure to follow.
A true revival in this country will not come without authentic care and love for others. Let’s get on it!