After watching the freak show that was the 2016 Presidential Election, I must say that I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so divisive and polarizing to such a large degree in my entire life. I couldn’t help but be amazed not only at the election results, but even more so at the aftermath. Simply watching the social media posts and news articles revealed to me quite the picture of the current state of America. The morning after the results, I saw argument after argument, accusations and blaming, quarreling and division between friends and family, boasting and mockery, bigotry and ignorance, helplessness and hopelessness. We truly are a divided nation.
In reading articles and posts on leaving the country, sweeping generalizations made on both sides, claims that suddenly things like racism, bullying, misogyny, and rape are okay, people being ashamed of their country, that half of Americans are out of their mind, inquiring what we should tell our children, destructive riots and violent protests, or that “hate won”, I can’t help but shake my head. As much as I want to say that many of these things were already problems in our society, I can’t help but wonder if this election was actually a catalyst in this chemical reaction of degeneration. Yes, the media is currently on high alert and are looking for every way possible to fan these flames. We’ve been messed up for a long time, but recent events where targeted minorities are being ridiculed and mocked, beatings, and school children chanting “build the wall” tells me that this event may very well have put us into the next gear on our trip deeper into depravity. Of course we can’t pin the blame on the President-Elect for these events, but he is definitely being championed as both the cause as well as the permission slip to exercise one’s deep-seated hatred.
First of all, let’s face it, we’re all sinners living in a sinful world. There is none righteous. No, not one (Rom. 3:9-12). We shouldn’t be surprised as we’ve been forewarned about the decline of humanity and the coming times.
28 And just as they did not see fit [a]to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, [b]haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
Romans 1: 28-32 (NASB)
2 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, [a]haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [b]godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NASB)
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.10 At that time many will [a]fall away and will [b]betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, [c]most people’s love will grow cold.
Matthew 24: 7-12 (NASB)
This “mystery of lawlessness” (2 Thess. 2:7) is certainly at work in this world. Now I don’t think we’re at the point of Genesis 6:5, but I got to say it feels like we’re definitely on that path.
The above passages point out a few key things that are occurring here. The primary is man’s (and in particular, this country’s) rejection of God, and directly related to that is man’s perversion of love. Our society has clearly lost sight of the main thing and God truly has given man over to a depraved mind and in the lusts of their hearts to impurity. The “will be” in Timothy is probably more along the lines of the “they are” in Romans in our case. If you simply read off the multitude of attributes listed above (unrighteous, wicked, haters of good, etc), I think by simply watching the news, one cannot deny that all of these labels are accurate and applicable today.
The problem is sin.
In Corinthians, Paul was addressing various issues with that particular body of believers and the many problems and divisions they had. As you read on up to 1 Corinthians 13, it reveals that the Corinthians’ greatest flaw and the root of many of their problems was their lack of love. Similarly in the passages referenced above, you’ll see that “love will grow cold”, that people are “unloving” and “lovers of self”.
In my personal social media circles, I’ve seen far too many posts boasting in the victory of President-Elect as if he was the messiah or something. I’ve see too many posts bashing and making fun of the pain and loss of the so-called “majority”. I’ve seen too many stories of racism, race-baiting, ignorance, bigotry, idiocy and hate.
How should we respond? How should Christians respond?
Here’s a few passages to consider and also a good read at DesiringGod (LINK).
Let us love one another. Just as Christ loved us, let us also show them the love of Christ. Remember who it is that Christ showed love to, we who formerly were also hateful and hated one another (Titus 3).
1 Timothy 2:1-4
Let us pray! Pray for both those who are hurting and also for our leaders. God desires all people to be saved (v.4) and what a gospel opportunity we have this very moment. Preach Christ!
Let us be subject to our governing authorities and remember that it is God who put them in place (Daniel 2:20-22) and God who is in control (Proverbs 21:1). Let us do what is good!
There are many out there who have misplaced hope, whether it be a candidate, or a political party, or their government. Let’s point them instead to real hope. True hope. Hope in Christ.
(1 Pet 1:3-5, Romans 15:13)