(NOQReport) – The storming of our Capitol on January 6 is a reminder that good and evil, as Solzhenitsyn taught us, does not run between political parties but right through every human heart. There is no doubt that we all, no matter our political affiliation, need to repent of our own sins and the sins of our nation. Moving beyond the political wrangling we have seen in recent days is going to be difficult, but it must be done.
Weeks ago we already knew that this political season has divided families and churches. It is difficult to have a rational political conversation with people on the opposite side of the aisle. Any such discussions soon lead to accusations and heightened rhetoric; it changes no minds, but only deepens the divide between the two political parties. Churchill is quoted as saying, “The desire to believe something is much more persuasive than rational argument.”
How should we respond?
First, we have to recognize that, as Christians, we should not allow politics to tear apart what Jesus died to bring together, namely, that diverse people would be united in Christ.
We must remember that in America, people have the right to hold different views than we do! More importantly, we can and must worship Jesus together with those who differ with us, giving Him praise and thanks for His redemption. Jesus is Lord; our favorite politician is not.
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That being said, we cannot simply stand idly by, retreating into silence because we don’t want to become “political.” The fact is, there is no place for us to hide; that which is political is often moral and central to our well-being.
As we know, elections have consequences, not just for the future of our country but also for us as a church. We have to ask ourselves, “How do we move forward?”
Will we submit to gender-neutral language? Will we abide by legislation that will force Christian colleges to lose their accreditation if they don’t alter their stance on the sinfulness of same-sex relationships? Will we send our children to public schools where they will be introduced to destructive theories about transgenderism and aberrant forms of sexuality? Will we tolerate speech codes on college campuses that forbid a conservative point of view? Will we stand by quietly when our Judeo-Christian history is vilified in order to “rebuild” America on a secular foundation? Will we be drawn into social justice teaching that is intended to keep the nation divided, constantly fomenting racial conflict? And what about the legalization of partial-birth abortion?
It is urgent that we as Christians engage the culture, balancing truth and love. We cannot say, as some do, that we should only preach love, and not warn people that, although they are free to choose their own lifestyle, they are not free to determine the consequences. Yes, we have to be known for what we are for, but we also have to be known for what we are against.
Let us stand up and speak-we do not shout, we do not speak judgmentally, as if we ourselves are free from the evil within us all. But we do speak. And we listen to those who disagree with us, but respectfully we affirm with Luther, “Here we stand; we cannot do otherwise. God help us!”
Resistance? Yes, we expect it. We are not required to win, but we are required to remain faithful. This is the moment to which we have been called. In the end, we bow humbly to acknowledge that our true King is neither a Republican or a Democrat.
“And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).
Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer is Pastor Emeritus of The Moody Church where he served as the Senior Pastor for 36 years. He earned a B.Th. from Winnipeg Bible College, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a M.A. in Philosophy from Loyola University, and an honorary LL.D. from the Simon Greenleaf School of Law. He and his wife, Rebecca, have three grown children and eight grandchildren and live in the Chicago area.