Please, can we not stop the hate?!?
I am so weary of our presidential campaigning and the attitude of so many of those who call themselves "Christians," Where in scripture are we suppose to hate our enemies? Where does Jesus say, "It's okay to throw mud and to slander one another in the name of democracy?"
I am not writing today to espouse one candidate over the other; that is not my place as each of us have convictions that we must hear and adhere to as we prepare to elect the leader of the United States of America. I am writing to share with you that we , as disciples of Jesus Christ, as pastors in The United Methodist Church, have a place and a responsibility to help our flock to see that this is not how believers act one to another. Nor is this the way we act to those who differ in their beliefs from us.
Hate has no place in the Church of Jesus Christ! Character assassination has no place in the family of God. Jesus tells us to love our neighbors and, yes, even our enemies. Paul reminds us that we are to build up the Body of Christ as we are members one of another. Mr. Wesley calls us to move to perfection, not to embrace our imperfections and let them run wild.
Please affirm to your congregations that whom we support in this election year is up to us personally, and, as citizens of the United States, we should have an opinion and express it in the voting booth in November. We are encouraged to have conversations that are open and honest, speaking the truth in love, not our own understanding of love, but in the understanding of Jesus Christ. We must never let our political convictions divide the Church of Jesus Christ, because Jesus is not about political power but rather about revolutionary kingdom-building. Please affirm to your people this is not how we act, doling out hate and mud to get our way or our point. Please ask your people to pray for each candidate and for them to be overcome by the Holy Spirit to stop the hate and to bring forth the positive of what God is doing in this world and in this country.
I know, I am a dreamer. I don't get it, all this political scheming and posturing. I believe in the best of each woman, man, and child. I wear rose-colored glasses. So maybe I'm not being a realist. But, I'm your Superintendent, and I am compelled to ask you to please stop the hate and mud-slinging in our churches and to preach Jesus Christ, crucified, risen and coming again because God loves the creation and has made a way home for all people. Let Easter be our day all the way through this election and beyond.
Praying for love to overcome the world, not with a Coke, but with the people called United Methodist.