The election of 2016 for President is winding down, but the ugly rhetoric is increasing. As I view Twitter, Facebook, and various blogs, I am deeply grieved by what I see. It doesn't matter which candidate or political party you are supporting, social media is replete with attacks, half-truths and out-right lies. What grieves me is that followers of Jesus are as guilty as blatant unbelievers in posting such trash.
In my observation, it seems that the underlying philosophy is, "The end justifies the means." My childhood pastor often repeated, "It is NEVER right to do wrong in order to have a chance to do right." Yet, that is exactly what is happening, especially on social media. It seems it doesn't matter if the damaging headline is misleading or even true. The goal is to defeat "the enemy"--and anything goes in accomplishing it. Articles are posted from unchecked (and often scurrilous) sources, just because it supports my position. Photos that are clearly photo-shopped (and therefore, a lie) are propagated--again just to defeat "the other side". Documentaries are praised, but never checked for the veracity of their claims, as long as they agree with me. It seems it doesn't matter--use any means to succeed for your position.
There are real issues involved in this campaign. There are also very serious character issues to consider with both candidates. It is right to have a position or to take a stand. But, without a commitment to TRUTH, none of this really matters in the melee of campaign fervor. The damage done to our country in how we approached this campaign will leave deep, putrid sores.
I fear we've played into the hands of the Enemy as the people who call themselves Christians (or Evangelicals) have engaged in God-less, ugly practices. . . often even worse that those who do not have a relationship with Christ.
I am grieved by what I've witnessed. I believe our God is grieved also. He is Truth--and never resorts to lies or half-truths (which are the same as lies) to speak His message or work His plan. God is also full of grace and mercy. He repeatedly commands us to "love our enemies" and "pray for our enemies". He never condones creating unfounded fear or using shoddy practices. He calls us to love, to be kind, to show respect (even when we disagree) and to "go high when others go low". He tells us to "consider others above ourselves". He calls us to serve, not to attack each other.
Again, this is not a campaign speech for any candidate. It is a call for fellow believers to engage in the political process with the same attitude as Jesus--in truth, beauty and goodness.
How will recover from this election trauma and the grief that it has caused?