Gongs and Cymbals

Now that Trump has been defeated (then defeated again, and finally defeated again) and the prophesied storm didn’t come to save all patriots from the evil, child eating Democrats, we’re left to deal with the mess he made during his 4 catastrophic years.

For some people, the challenge to be faced lies in undoing his policy positions, trying to restore some modicum of dignity for America on the world stage, and scrambling to roll out a 12-month delayed response to a virus that the previous administration couldn’t really sustain any interest in.

For some, the new leadership means an opportunity to tackle environmental concerns, and revive green initiatives. For others, it means we can acknowledge the racial injustice that has plagued this country, and try to finally do something about it.

But for others, the most important problem to address? Well its the fact that, for some inexplicable reason, people don’t want to hear from white Christian conservatives any more.

For this group of people, there was little or no outrage about the attack on the capitol, a streak of unjust executions of black people, or a President so concerned with his own self-interest that he faces his second impeachment for crimes against the nation he was was supposed to lead. For this group of people, the single greatest problem that our new President needs to address is the fact that no one wants to hear from Focus on the Family any more.

This was my neighbor. I did not love him as I ought.

This man was named Jerry. He lived in one of the wealthiest cities in America. In the late 90s he was the victim of a random shooting on his way home from work. He was a blue collar machinist — one of those hard-working heroes that make up the “real America.” The doctors barely saved his life, but he was left disfigured and destitute. He lived another 20 years, on the streets, where he was well known for his positive outlook and recognizable appearance. By all accounts, he never tried to “game the system” — even though it failed him utterly and completely. He died alone, a victim of a gunshot and of a nation indifferent to its down trodden. It is a tragedy that the government programs and social safety nets couldn’t help him, but it is blasphemy that for more than 20 years, he didn’t come across a Christian — not a single a believer in Christ — who was willing to do what it took to get Jerry off the streets. He died without knowing sacrificial love. He died without knowing how much Jesus loved him.

There are two camps in Christian circles right now, those who want to move on from Trump (or who never wanted him in the spot to begin with), and those who still believe he was some kind of champion of the church and of Christian morals. I can have empathy for those in the middle, who recognized the sinfulness of Trump, but hoped God would use him for good anyway. I’ll even overlook the fact that the same people who positioned Trump in their mind as some kind of Nebuchadnezzar, are often the ones who hold that Obama was a secret Muslim, and Biden’s faithful attendance in church for his entire adult life was really a 60-year ploy to trick Christian voters.
But regardless of how they interpret the circus of the last four years, my admonition to all American Christians scrambling to defend conservativism is the same: shut. up.

Literally, the Republican party is the worst possible representative of Christ right now. American Christianity is so dirtied by its chosen political leaders, and in particular, the behavior of the last 12 months, that the absolute best thing we can do for our testimony is to voluntarily suspend our own Twitter accounts, let Parler fail, cancel Focus on the Family, exit stage left, and repent.

Jesus doesn’t need you to fight for your rights. Jesus wants you to care about your neighbor more than yourself.
Jesus doesn’t want you to take Twitter to court. Jesus wants you to feed the hungry.
Jesus doesn’t want you to lobby for less government regulation. Jesus wants you to walk the extra mile for the oppressor.
Jesus doesn’t want you to stand up against Covid-19 restrictions. Jesus wants you to bring hope to the hopeless.

You will not save the world by condemning it because it doesn’t share your beliefs. You will not win the lost by telling them how important your rights are. Stop it. Jesus promised hardship, and his Word tells you to count it pure joy — not to rise up against it.

To my Christian friends who think the time is coming for the church to stand up for what it believes: sit down!
To the Christian churches defying your government in order to keep the pews warm on Sunday: don’t just sit down, throw yourself on the ground at the mercy of a Savior who laid down His life for your arrogant pride — and for all the lost who are now angry with you, or worse: afraid of you. Christ did not call you to insurrection, He called you to sacrifice and to love.

If we get 4 years, or even 8 years, of Democrat leadership that doesn’t do a single thing in support of conservative positions, but during that time, we re-establish the Church as a place where people are loved unconditionally, and Christians as people who serve unselfishly, then maybe we will have earned back some of the moral high ground. If we can be the hands and feet of Jesus again, in a nation that is broken and hurting and trying to find a way forward, then maybe we will have earned the right to try again to speak with His voice — or our opinions.

Until, and if, we can humble ourselves enough to tangibly demonstrate love for our neighbor again, then every time a Christian opens their mouth to try to make sure their point of view is heard, the sound that we make is just a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal

One thought on “Gongs and Cymbals

  1. Well said Jon! We have the Church of God in Aylmer that continues to defy lockdown regulations and gather tightly inside with not a mask in sight. It is so selfish in my view. It boggles my mind that no one will be held accountable for what happened on January 6, and that Marjorie Taylor Greene will continue to spread her lies with no censure from her Party.

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