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We Have Met The Enemy, And It Is Us
Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:59 AM

We Have Met The Enemy, And It Is Us

Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:59 AM
Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:59 AM

The greatest problem in America is Americans. We are at war with one another. From Washington, DC to sea to shining sea.

The greatest problem with Christians are not sinners (we all are), liberals or progressives or racists or Antifa - it's fellow Christians.

Many of us have forgotten what Jesus taught us through scripture that the greatest commandments are simply to love God and one another.

Not be "in love" with one another, but making the conscious decision to care for and about the well-being of others as much as we love and care about our own - without qualifiers.

But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And He said to Him, 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets. - Matthew 22:34-40

In today's America, for a growing number of Christians, whether we love a person or not is predicated on their politics.

I had coffee one morning with a woman, wearing a cross around her neck who in one breath professed Christianity and in the next said she finally had to divorce her husband. Why? Because she no longer could stand his politics.

I have known of a number of reasons for ending a marriage, but admittedly was not prepared for that one. Adultery, sure. Refusing to work, sure. Abuse, you bet. But because they had grown apart politically?

She is Republican. Her now ex-husband is a Democrat.

My husband and I have been on opposite ends of the political spectrum since he discovered I was a Ronald Reagan Republican and he, a Jimmy Carter Democrat. We married over 30 years ago with these realities and together raised a beautiful, intelligent daughter who is balanced in her approach to politics. 

It would never occur to me to divorce him because of our political differences. And for Republicans who believe Democrats can't possibly be Christians - it was that Democrat who modeled the love of Christ and led me to Him. I thank God every day for him. 

Division among Christians is deep, wide and growing exponentially.

Race used to be it, now it's politics and sadly, still race. 

America has been divided racially since Columbus set foot on what would be American soil. It wasn't long before indigenous people were separated and ostracized by the newcomers because of the color of their skin and custom of their ways. The white man and the red man. The civilized versus the "savages."

Though the "savages" weren't "savages" until they were savaged and were merely fighting to keep and protect what was rightfully theirs. I digress.

But for the record, reservations for the native American and plantations for the slave were satanic. And what we're seeing across the American political landscape today is no less satanic, just in a different form. And I just lost some of you right there. Truth has a way of doing that.

But for those mature enough to keep reading, back to my point. The greatest sin of far too many American Christians today, from the pulpit to the pews and from city streets to country roads, is that many have partnered with Satan by re-defining themselves by his standard of measurement and not by God's.

Viewing others not by God's standards but by worldly political views.

If we wake up to anything, we should wake up as Christians to the hard cold truth that by God's standard of measurement, many of us are not measuring up.

We can cheer and jeer as loudly as we want. Pack out stadiums for candidates of choice, cheering them on, but if another brother or sister were standing beside us who loved Jesus too, were saved and on their way to heaven too, many of us would condemn them to hell if they were a "liberal" and we a  "conservative;" or, if they were a "conservative"and we a "liberal."

May I tell you a secret? Satan doesn't care about any of that. As far as Christians go, Satan doesn't care about our politics, our skin color or if we want to make America great again, turn it red, blue, inside out or upside down.

He is interested in turning us against the God we proclaim and the way he is doing it, 21st century-style, is to get us to turn on one another. He has a means for every era but the goal is the same. What? To make Jesus out of a liar. And we help him every time we choose hate over love because of someone's politics.

Jesus told us we have one enemy, one. He called Satan the Adversary because his ways and very essence are adversarial to God's truth, God's way and he is a forever enemy of every Christ follower regardless if we call ourselves a Democrat or a Republican.

May I tell you a secret? Satan doesn't care about any of that. As far as Christians go, Satan doesn't care about our politics, our skin color or if we want to make America great again, turn it red, blue, inside out or upside down.

When he looks at us, he looks at us all the same - as lambs. And when we forsake Jesus as our Shepherd, by with blind loyalty following after our political leaders instead of our Lord and Savior, we become lambs without a shepherd and the Adversary, like a lion, swoops in, divides and devours us. Just as Jesus said he would.

He devours our witness by taking control of our tongue and mind so that what rolls off our lips when we speak and our fingertips when we post to social media, don't reflect what we claim is in our heart - laying bear our hypocrisy. And turning people off and away instead of drawing them to God.

People can't see our heart, but they hear and read our words. And our actions will always betray our affirmations. When we choose our politics over our Christianity we lose all effectiveness for the Kingdom. That's the Adversary's goal and the sad part is, we have become so blind that Satan continues to steal us blind. We have eyes but can't see.

We're losing people. Christianity is not winning the hearts of the lost nor of our young people as it once did. Recent Pew surveys tell us this.

Non-Christians can't tell the difference between the good guys and bad guys because we have taken on the ways and words of the bad guys.

Political victories are temporary but eternity is eternal.

What does it profit us to gain what in the next election could so easily be lost, at the expense of our witness but for which someone's soul could be eternally lost?

Just know that if you name the name of Jesus Christ and claim to love God whom you haven't seen, yet dislike people who you see every day because their politics or race or culture differs from yours, you are like Eve and have been duped by the Adversary.

And by God's standard, that in no way is "winning."

Dorothy Burton is an author, conference and keynote speaker for various organizations and governments across the country. She is the author of the new book, Why We Fall: The Power of Self-Awareness.

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