Who are we, primarily? What is our primary identity? The climate growing over the last decade that culminated in an attack on the United States Capitol while a joint session of Congress was in session shows me that we are in the midst of a crisis of identity. We have allowed ourselves to be identified primarily in factions. We have allowed ourselves to be sorted into Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives, patriots or traitors. These are all absolute and idolatrous labels placed on us by those that at times seem to have only their own interests at heart. If we truly say we are Christians, then our primary identity should not be any of our applied labels, but that of Christ. Our actions should be judged, not by faithfulness to any human being or human institution, but by faithfulness to the ideals of Jesus Christ – “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.” We cannot love neighbor if we demonize him/her. We cannot truly love God if we succumb to hate in our hearts. Those who claim to be Christian and spout vile hate need to reevaluate who they think and say they are. Hate is not truth.
It is up to us how we live. We can choose to follow the downward, destructive spiral of hate and division, or we can choose to follow the Christian ideals of hope, love, and salvation. We choose to follow or not. That choice has been ours since the first humans in the Garden. Those that wish to control us and grasp power know this and use it against us.
I encourage you to be the follower of Christ I believe you can be. Share love and and care for each other. Bring out the best in each other. Words truly do have power. Let the world know that we are God’s people by what we say and do. Be part of the solution that God already has given us instead of continuing the problem.
Yours in Christ,