As I look at the world today, it is blatantly obvious the world is filled with anger, hatred, and hostility. As I look at America today, I see the same thing.
In my 60 years on this earth, I cannot remember a time when our country was so antagonistic and malicious. Sure, there were protests about the Vietnam war, and partisan politics, (but partisan politics have always been a part of the political landscape of this country). But never have I seen such anger, hatred, and disrespect demonstrated by the words and actions of the people and politicians of this great nation. This anger and hatred comes from both liberals and conservatives, and regretfully, from Christians as well.
In the last couple of years I have seen many Christians who were once devoted in their service of the King and His Kingdom, become caught up in the hostilities of partisan politics and have, in essence, set aside Christian ethics and the code of conduct they were called to. Even Christian ministers have been caught up in the Facebook frenzy of political memes that belittle, debase, and denigrate liberals for their political positions. I have heard that some ministers have gone so far as to imply violence against non-Christian religions that oppose Christianity and persecute Christians.
My response to such acrimony is irrelevant unless it is based on the Word of God... and I think God has something to say about this. It is not so much the words and actions of non-Christian people that I want to address, (they will most always act with anger, racism, fear, and hatred because they do not adhere to the teachings of Scripture): but it is the words and actions of Christians I want to address. We are called to a higher plain of behavior.
When Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem, the Bible says,
"He steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem." Luke 9:51
We are told that a city in Samaria did not receive Jesus because of His intent to continue to Jerusalem. This angered James and John and in true form these "Sons of Thunder" asked Jesus for permission to call down fire from heaven and consume the people of that city. Jesus immediately responded with a rebuke for His hot-headed and misguided disciples:
But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." Luke 9:55-56
Christians who engage in belligerent and rancorous rhetoric via social media, conversation, email, texting, or any other form of communication, have forgotten "what manner of spirit" they are of.
The Sermon on the Mount is a sermon about Kingdom conduct. That whole sermon defines clearly and concisely HOW citizens of His Kingdom are to act and the blessings and curses that accompany those actions or the lack thereof. Citizens of Christ's Kingdom are to be identified by a certain traits and conduct. They are to be meek, merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers. The citizens of HIS Kingdom are to let their light shine before men, not disparage and demean men who do not adhere to their political positions.
Contrary to our natural response to retaliate against our enemies, Jesus commands an opposite response. A response the world is incapable of demonstrating:
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Matthew 5:43-44
As Christians and citizens of His Kingdom, we cannot allow the world around us, (no matter how much our old nature may prod and provoke us), to pull us down to its level. We are to live above this world... we are called to a higher state of citizenry in a Kingdom that is superior to all the kingdoms of this world.
The King we serve is far above the kings of this earth and HE calls us to remember "what manner of spirit" we are of.
LOVE YOUR ENEMIES!
DO GOOD TO THEM THAT HATE YOU!
PRAY FOR THEM THAT PERSECUTE YOU!
"That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:45