Wow, what week, 2020 has not let us down, never a dull moment. I’ve had many conversations, listened to lots of news reports, and when I sat down to write this week’s message all of it was on my mind. As you read, I will share three unrelated things and attempt to tie them all together to make a point.
1) My son came home Thursday, from one of his two, weekly face-to-face days at school, and said, “Mom, did you know that George Washington warned in his farewell address that political parties could cause division? He told us that over 200 years ago and look where we are now!” Of course, I went to Google to find our inaugural president’s actual words.
"However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion." Link to source
2) While driving this week, I listened to a sermon in which the preacher talked about the uprising of sin. He said, there was no reason for this election to be this close except for the fact that sin is so prevalent in the hearts and minds of Americans that we are now voting for sin. He said we are a nation on a course to hell because of our sinful hearts.
3) In Bible study, we just finished Genesis 11. It is just after the flood as Noah’s family is growing and populating the earth - well, they were told to populate the earth, but they remained together in a plain called Shinar (Babylonia). The Bible tells us they all spoke the same language, and we know, since this is several generations after the flood, that they were all related. ”Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.’” The last thing God wants from us is that we make a name for ourselves, He desires that we glorify Him, not ourselves. The desire to bring glory to ourselves is pride. Lots of scriptures tell us that pride is sin. “6The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” 8So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world.”
When I was in school, the USA was referred to as a melting pot. People of other nations desired to come to the United States to experience freedom - freedom from unfair taxes, religious persecution, and to govern themselves in a democratic way. At some point, they needed workers to support their agricultural economy, so they formed an alliance with Africa to bring slave laborers to work the fields. Time went on and the slaves were freed and more and more people came to America to experience this thing called freedom.
As I relate this to Babel, Americans were once scattered around the earth, but now they have come together to live in one of the 50 “united” states. Many of us speak English, but we are still confused because it’s not just our language that enables us to communicate. Our successful communication is dependent upon our ability to relate to one another. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences. Some Americans are descendants of wealthy families, while others have come from disadvantaged backgrounds. We each have different ideals and ways of solving problems. Some Americans prefer to live an alternative lifestyle, and believe the freedom to do so should exist in the United States. One thing our founding fathers wanted was the freedom to practice their religion. Should the freedom to practice one’s religion also free us from the need to judge another’s choice of religious practice, or lack thereof?
Could it be that we have done exactly what our founding father warned against? We have aligned ourselves with political parties and are now experiencing the division that exists due to party lines? I, for one, voted for one of the candidates on the ballot, but my beliefs do not align exactly with those of the party. In fact, my beliefs don’t align completely with either political party. I guess I would be a moderate, or an independent.
If you are a Chrisitan, someone who believes in God, that God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross to save mankind from his numerous sins from birth, and rose on the third day as proof that He defeated death, you probably agree with the preacher’s statement that the election shouldn’t have been so close, that Americans voted for sin. But which political party voted for sin? Democrats would say Republicans are bigger sinners. Republicans would say Democrats are more sinful. Where does that leave us? In conflict.
We, the people, were faced with a choice of two sinners who each made the case that they were the best man to lead us into the future. We not only had their words, but their actions, their history, and their party to take into consideration. If we are passionate about the issues we face, our vote is not the only way to go about solving the problem. If you voted Republican and you feel like more women will seek abortions with a Democrat in office - how can you help? What local organizations need your help to assist women facing this decision? How can you show women the love and provision of the Lord so that they don’t choose abortion? If you voted Democrat, you may feel like all of your problems are solved - not true. We are in a pandemic, while there may be free public education, in many communities schools are on alternative schedules, children are attending virtually, parents are trying to work and teach their kids, how can you help? What neighbor needs you to help with childcare, tutoring, carpool, etc.? We, the people, must be willing to love and support one another, and stop looking at each other as enemies. Each of us has been made in the image of God and that we must never forget.
Since we, the people, largely, speak English, it’s important that we reopen our lines of communication. For those who do not speak English, there are many different, free, technologies that can help us bridge the communication gap. We cannot continue to live in silos, only associating with those like ourselves. We are different people, from different backgrounds, with different experiences, different hopes, and different ideals, and when we talk to each other, and associate with one another with the love of the Lord, we can be united as people.