Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Friday, February 26, 2016

If my people are angry and attack each other.....

   I have seen and heard it said over and over during this election cycle: The reason Donald Trump is doing so well in the polls and has such a large following, is he has tapped into a great anger people have due to the shape our country is in. I've watched this election cycle with growing dismay as anger and rudeness wins and are cheered on by supporters of all candidates.

   Last night, I watched part of the debate; the first one I have watched. I have seen clips of the other debates, but I am not interested in who out yells the others the best, or how many arguments there are. I am voting on a candidate's record and what they stand for,  not how rude or how much of a jerk they are in a debate..... but my dad was watching it on his Kindle, so I watched over his shoulder for a while.

   I'm not one to watch boxing, wrestling, or MMA fighting. For one thing, it seems weird for guys to watch half naked men fighting and/or writing around together on a mat. (seriously!)  For another, I don't like fighting. I don't want to do it and I don't want to see it. From what I have seen and heard of these debates, they aren't much different. The people keep their clothes on and don't get physical with each other, but the rest of the elements of a fight are there: violence (verbal), screaming fans incited by the sight of blood and violence of any nature, and anger.

  A while back, I did a post on why I don't believe Christians should support for and vote for Donald Trump. As I watched him screaming over the other candidates when it wasn't even his turn to talk and watched his face grow redder and redder with rage, my stomach churned at the thought that there were people cheering him on and delighted that he was acting like a jerk and an immature spoiled brat. Then this morning, I saw that a Drudge poll had given him the debate win. I don't comment on every news story on Facebook, but I did on that one, "Really? Is this what wins today? Rudeness and acting like a jerk? (Rubio is not my first choice, but I thought he won the debate by finally giving back to Trump what he has been dishing out)

   I have been trying to back off from the political stuff. I found myself getting angry by the antics of Donald Trump supporters. Supporters of all of the politicians are being rude, obnoxious, and too radical about their candidate; but the Trump supporters seem to have cornered the market on rudeness and nastiness..... but then, they love it in their candidate; so it makes sense they'd emulate him. But they are not alone. I have seen a lot of nastiness from Rubio supporters.... I have friends posting outright lies about Cruz, and they don't care - I have seen some rudeness from Cruz supporters also. About the only ones I haven't seen rudeness from is Ben Carson's.......maybe because there aren't as many, or I just haven't seen them.

  I don't want to be sucked into this anger anymore. Yes, I am upset and concerned about what Obama has done to this country. Yes, I am disgusted  with the Republicans who stood back and let him do what he has wanted. Yes, I am upset with conservatives and Christians who are throwing their support behind a godless candidate who has spent his life supporting the politicians and issues that are the very ones we conservatives are against, and who I believe is in cahoots with Hillary to insure her the presidency. (Yes, I believe that)

  This is aimed at supporters of all candidates: what does it say about us as conservatives, and more importantly as Christians; if we are part of the anger being tapped into? What does it say about our Christianity if we cheer as any candidate yells and screams at another? What does it say about us if we foam at the mouth as our favorite candidate attacks another and "brings blood"? What does it say about us if we declare the rudest candidate  - and the one who acted most like a jerk - the winner? What does it say about we Christians if we have to get the last word in an argument about politics?

  Should any true Christian be part of the viciousness and anger that is resonating through this election cycle? Isn't there a better way? Yes, we need to defeat Hillary Clinton. Yes, we need to stop Donald Trump, and Donald Trump supporters want to stop the other candidates.... but at what cost are we willing to pay for our candidate to win? I cannot imagine God being pleased with our anger, our bickering, our cheering of ungodly rhetoric and character assassination. I can't imagine Him being pleased as we post things about candidates that are not true, being delighted that we can post something that makes a candidate look bad, not caring to take the time to find out if it is true and being angry when someone informs us that it isn't.

 And speaking of God......who do you think God views as the winner of last night's debate? Would He really pick the one who was the angriest and acted the worst as the winner? No way. He'd probably pick the one who acted the most godly and kind...... which would probably be Ben Carson. There we had a stage full of men who claim to be Christians..... granted, one of them claims he has never needed to ask God's forgiveness for anything since he has never done anything wrong - but all of them claim to be Christians.......... and they treat each other like THAT? Does that line up with what the God commands of us?

  I posted something last night in a Facebook group I am in, the theory I mentioned above.  I was wondering if I am the only person to have this theory. I got several comments agreeing, and I got some comments that disturbed me. One Hispanic man told of the nasty remarks he got for disagreeing with a certain candidate. This candidate's supporters called him an illegal,  and said he needed to go back to where he came from. Another was called a carpetbagger. And there have been more vile and vulgar things said to people who disagree with a candidate. One man told me I needed to go get my GED after I took issue with his candidate of choice. In the same thread, another called me a crazy fool.

  Is this the year that all reasonable disagreement has flown the coop? Is this the year that anger rules over reason, even among Christians? Is anger going to be the deciding vote in who wins the GOP nomination?

  I was listening to Sean Hannity on the way home for a bit, until I wearied of his defense and gushing about one certain candidate. He loved  the fighting in the debate and was raving about how great it is, how it is needed, etc...... really?? Is it necessary to have the hateful vitriol being thrown around by professing Christians?

  Barack Obama has divided this country like it hasn't been divided for years, and I don't believe it was by accident. This election is further dividing this country, led by Donald Trump; though the other candidates are not blameless.

   At the end of the day, can we honestly come before God and tell Him we reacted the way we should have about a debate, a Facebook post, something someone said in conversation related to politics? Or would we have to admit we were angry, we cheered on anger and rudeness, and that we did not react well?

  Politics is a dirty business, and I fear too many of us are getting down and rooting in the mud with the politicians. There are no perfect politicians, though some are better than others. My candidate has the best record and has stood up to the establishment more than any other, and has had the most godly actions and attitudes in this race for the most part. But even he is not perfect and has acted in ways that I don't like.

  Our country needs a change, and we need God. No politician is the answer to our moral problems and will get our country back to God, but some will help in that area more than others.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is II Chronicles 7:14:
"If my people, which are called by my name, will be angry, and yell, and cheer on rudeness and personal attacks, then I will hear from Heaven and will heal their land."

  That isn't how that verse goes. It actually goes like this:

If my own people will humbly pray and turn back to me and stop sinning, then I will answer them from heaven. I will forgive them and make their land fertile once again. (CEV)

  Can we do what that verse says while a candidate taps into anger we have? Can we do what this verse says as we cheer on anger and personal attacks from our favorite candidate? Can we do what this verse says as we attack people who dare disagree with our candidate of choice? Can we follow this verse as we post articles that are not true, but we are OK with because they make a candidate look bad?

Are we even praying? And if so, how are we praying?

  The King James version renders this verse "if my people will humble themselves...." Are we humbling ourselves, or are we proud that we bested someone or our candidate bested another candidate?

Are we turning to God, or are we turning to Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, or another?

   Are we sinning with our anger and attacks on candidates.... the Bible doesn't exempt politicians when it tells us to love everyone and do to others as we would have them do to us.

  I challenge anyone who is reading this to take this verse and pray about it. Do what the verse says. Imagine if we all humbled ourselves and prayed, put away our anger, and sought God on behalf of our country and this election. Can we do it, or are we too busy tapping into our anger and cheering on the anger of a candidate? Are we too radically following a politician to take time to find out what God's will might be for out country and for how we vote? If you felt God wanted you to vote for another candidate other than who you like, would you do it? Could  you do it? Are you even interested in God's will or opinion on who you support and vote for?

   We who serve God say we want to be like Jesus. I imagine most or all of pray to be like Jesus. But are we setting politics aside as a special area we don't have to be like Jesus? I am afraid too many of us are, and I am asking God to help me do better. I have pretty much decided on who my pick is, and will most likely post some positive things about him occasionally, but I don't want to be part of this anger, this vitriol, these vicious personal attacks on candidates and their supporters. Our country is in trouble, and we need God..... not a businessman, not a politician, not a doctor... we need God. Let us humble ourselves, call on God, as forgiveness for our anger, hateful attitudes and words,  and vitriol, and ask Him to give us the president that will be best for our country.

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