We carry each other’s burdens now so we can cry out with one voice for eternity.
In 2010, visual artist Gene Schmidt embarked on a journey using Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, as his canvas. Schmidt used panels of scrap wood to recreate 1 Corinthians 13 and laid it out against buildings and along sidewalks throughout the city. His work of art is now displayed throughout Wheaton College’s campus. Every day, as I walk into the Billy Graham Center, I see a section of these scrap pieces.
Here is the portion I see: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”
Without love we have nothing as the Body of Christ.
The past 48 hours I’ve done interviews with reporters asking, “Where do we go from here? Where does the Church go from here?” I’ve gotten tweets and emails and seen endless posts that have one common thread, which I believe is critical for us if we are truly to walk together as one in the coming days. This thread is the need for authentic repentance and reconciliation.
A Deep Divide
What was once perhaps in the background has emerged to the surface: a deep divide between White, Black, Latino, and Christians of varying backgrounds. With estimates that 4 out of 5 White Evangelicals voted for Trump, many non-White Evangelicals feel betrayed.
Many are asking, How can White Evangelicals shut their eyes to the reality of a man (Trump) who seemingly allows and even perpetuates painful and ongoing wounds that many of our brothers and sisters deal with each day—prejudice, harassment, marginalization, violence, and rejection? How can White Evangelicals check that ‘yes’ box to a man (Trump) who, by his very life, seems to demonstrate a lack of the very love and unity we are called towards as followers of Christ?
These are fair and real questions.
Black, Latino, and other people of color are hurting right now, and I, as a white Evangelical, should acknowledge and respond to this. And if you are a white Evangelical, you also have a responsibility to do the same.
The Message of Trump
Regardless of if we voted for Trump, his win sends a sweeping message across our land about the desire for change. But we must be honest—that change doesn’t exactly embrace those who are ‘unlike’ what we may perceive as the norm. And you are not paying attention if you don’t think that his election has emboldened some of the worst parts of our society.
We cannot deny the pain that has come from this election season.
Our biblical mandate is to care for the marginalized, to walk alongside those who have been victims of prejudice and abuse, to embrace those who are different than us in background and belief.
The way of Jesus compels us.
People sometimes talk about sitting in the proverbial sack cloth and ashes, and the prophets of old actually did it. We see tears of lament and pain over the collective sin of a nation, a group of people. White Evangelicals must stand with our brothers and sisters who feel betrayed after this election, no matter which way we voted.
I’m not saying that every White Evangelical, or even most of them, voted for Trump because of the troubling things he said. For many, it was in spite of what he said. Trump voters are complex, and I’m not putting them all in the same boat. And, yes, many voted against Clinton rather than for Trump, because they cared about the unborn, religious liberty, and more.
But that does not mean that we don’t have a responsibility. We do. Because we are followers of Jesus.
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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Ed Stetzer and Laurie Nichols