I’ve always been reluctant to blog about politics. Because politics can be so divisive. We’re all entitled to our own political perspectives and opinions, and I’d never want to force anyone – or even be seen to be trying to force anyone – to agree with me. Nor do I want to create an “us v them” mentality. That’s just unhealthy and deconstructive.
We’re all in this together. Whatever our beliefs.
I have no interest in being divisive. I’m for reconciliation, community, inclusivity – with those I agree, and disagree with.
Today there’s something I felt, to be true to who I am, I simply had to share. So if you disagree with this post, I’ve got no problem with that. We’re still friends.
All of which brings me to the topic at hand.
Donald Trump, prospective Republican candidate for President. And why I believe that – despite his politics of fear, exclusion and, frankly, hate – that as Christians, we should be willing to eat dinner with him.
Trump said recently that he’d ban all muslims from the US. Basically, he wants to ban all those he disagrees with, or he’s afraid of, or he deems a threat, out of his home country.
In response to Trump’s suggestion, over 100,000 UK citizens, including many of my closest friends, signed a petition to keep Donald Trump out of the UK. As a sign of solidarity with refugees, and to take a stand against Trump.
And let’s be clear – taking a stand against Trump is absolutely the right thing to do. His policy is immoral, unethical, prejudice and lacking any sense of compassion or understanding.
But is the best way to take a stand against someone we disagree with, who wants to ban those he disagrees with, to ban them from our country?
Something there doesn’t make sense to me.
All that does is validate the idea that banning people you disagree with is OK.
We are saying the loving, gracious, inclusive, gesture is to ban the person we disagree with. Just as Trump thinks the loving, good thing to do to protect his country is to ban a group he disagrees with.
It’s totally flawed logic. But it points at a deeper, more disturbing truth.
The Challenge Of Loving Your Enemy
I know from personal experience, that it’s easy to think that because you’re more liberal or progressive, because you support minority groups, because you’re “inclusive”, that you’re in the right. And that this gives you the right to exclude, break away from or ignore those groups or individuals you dislike or disagree with.
But for me, that’s not the way of Jesus at all.
The way of Jesus is to be truly inclusive. To love your enemy. The people it’s most difficult to love. The people you can’t stand.To welcome them at your table. To wash their feet.
This is turning the other cheek. It’s taking someone’s aggression, and attempt to divide, and completely disarming it.
Imagine if all the people who despise Donald Trump and his policies actually washed his feet. Served him food. Loved him.
Imagine if a refugee or Muslim came to him, gave him food and asked him to have dinner with them.
When Jesus says to love our enemy, He is calling us to love those we despise. To love the people who make us feel the most uncomfortable. (you can tweet that)
I believe if Jesus lived today, He would go to prison and visit, talk to, the people who get no visitors. The people who commit the most unspeakable crimes. The people who no one wants to talk to.
I believe Jesus would go and spend time with refugees and Muslims. He’d provide them with food. He’d hang out with them, welcome them, love them.
And the next day, he’d go and have dinner with Donald Trump. He’d love him, serve him, and talk to him.
Jesus welcomes the refugees, the Muslims, and He welcomes the oppressor. He may well challenge the oppressor, and convict them of what they’ve done. But He would love them.
The challenge, for me, and likely for all of us, to love those we deem most unloveable. The people who make us most uncomfortable. The people who make us angry.
We don’t need to like them. Or be their friend. But we are called to love them.
This is challenge I find uncomfortable. But the truth is, when it comes to Jesus, there is no refugee or politician, no Democrat or Republican, no gay, straight or transgender, no black or white, no rich or poor, no male or female, no progressive or traditionalist, not even Muslim or Christian.
We’re all one.
The boundaries and ways of identifying ourselves, the labels we use – they are irrelivant when it comes to the love of God.
Loving Donald Trump, or child abusers, or murderers, isn’t exactly my preference. But Jesus’ challenge to me, to all of us, is to love them – or any anyone we despise.
Because He does.
And because love wins.
Question For Reflection:
What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree or disagree with me & why?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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(Picture Sources: slate.com / mnu.eu)
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