ANYONE FOLLOWING POLITICS this year is upset—with the exception of those folks on medication or in love.
Personally, I’d like very much to shake some sense into selected friends and relatives of mine.
It would be great if that technique would work because it would double-dip me in joy.
- They would get some common sense.
- I’d get to shake out the frustration they caused me by being so ignorant, stubborn, and wrong.
Of course, shaking isn’t good for much of anything but milkshakes and the hoochie coochie.
At the very least, I’d love to hook them up with legit news sources like the Associated Press, Reuters, and BBC News, three of my favorite phone apps. I also find the English version of Al Jazeera insightful. And no, I’m not Muslim.
I wish I could convince my family and friends to stop listening to what the Bible would call “false teachers like vicious wolves” (Acts 20:29).
I’m talking about TV and radio sources that serve up an hourly diet of misinformation, fear-stoking, and outright lies—all for entertainment value, higher ratings, and to stroke the political preference of the fat cat who owns the station.
And they have the gall to do it while portraying themselves as objective news sources.
They are not objective.
And it’s not news.
You can’t get away with calling it objective news when it’s opinionated rumors and boldfaced lies spewing out from a line of talking heads.
Shame on Fox News. Shame on similar hate-stoking radio talk shows. Shame on political ads by just about anyone (I have managed to avoid seeing all of them so far this year; God bless the mute button).
I could get worked up about this stuff.
I could get as worked up as the Apostle Paul did when the high priest Ananias ordered him slapped in the face for speaking without permission.
Paul blurted, “Hey, God’s going to slap you in the face you purple-robed sack of sewage” (Acts 23:3, Casual English Bible, the Book of Acts will be released in September).
Yeah, I could get that worked up. In fact, sometimes I do.
I’m a citizen of America, and I certainly want to live in a peace-loving country where all souls matter. So it’s good to speak out when we realize that a sociopathic, xenophobic, narcissist is running for political office.
But I’m also the citizen of a kingdom that’s not of this world. So I have to realize that some fellow Christians aren’t as alert as others. They might see a knitted wrap, designer flask of Chanel No. 5, when I can see right off that it’s a skunk.
In this election cycle, perhaps more than in any other during my lifetime, I’m beginning to think that the most important word for Christians who disagree with each other is “tolerance.”
Listen, I know that the family and friends I’m thinking about are wrong-headed. But I can’t fix their head.
- I could shake them.
- I could hairy eye them.
- I could give them a swift kick in the getalong.
God knows I want to do all of that to them.
But the guy who called the high priest a “purple-robed sack of sewage” apparently mellowed in his golden years. In one of the last surviving letters he wrote, he gave this advice to Christians who don’t agree with each other.
“Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently” (Romans 14:1-2).
Blog subscribers who win books this week
- Mat Gallaugher
- Nettie Womack
I give away free books every week to randomly selected subscribers to my free blog or my quarterly newsletter.
Note to the two winners: send me an email and I’ll give you the full list of books from which you can choose.
The deal’s good for a month, or for as long as I have giveaway books available.