As we watched last night what seemed like the 84th debate for the Republican party this election season, I was reminded of a few things: 1) I wouldn’t want the job of president, 2) I respect all of their knowledge because just to run, you have to know a ton of info concerning a ton of stuff, and 3) the Body of Christ in America looks a lot like these candidates.
Let me explain. As these debates have continued, the dialogue has gotten increasingly nasty. I actually remembered one of the first debates when Newt Gingrich was being lured by a moderator to attack some of the candidates around him. He replied something to the effect that the issue at hand is not to attack other Republicans, his issue was to get the current Democrat president out of office. Basically, the guys and lady on the platform were not the enemy, Barack Obama was the enemy.
My, how things have changed. While the remaining contenders beat each other to shreds, their “enemy” is rallying support to face a bloodied Republican nominee in the near future. By the time this round is over, the contender will be a weary mess to face the incumbent.
And it is just like the Body of Christ in America.
Instead of rallying together to face the common enemy, we often take shots at people down the road trying to accomplish the same thing we are attempting. Churches attempt to lure support from other churches. The common approach to advertising what your church does is to say why it is better than the other ones. Instead of speaking of who we are or what we are called to, we often spend our time politicking by running down some other church’s record. The common approach to build your church up is to tear another’s down.
And instead of focusing on what we all have in common, our territorial natures in churches lose the big picture of God’s Kingdom by trying to build our own.
We have a common enemy who is clever in his schemes. And one of his best tactics is distraction. If you were a master strategist, wouldn’t you want the Body of Christ to start injuring itself? Wouldn’t it be great for the whole Body to stop focusing on the big picture and start focusing on how they are bigger and better than everyone else.
We are the Church. We are all employed with the same job. We are all family by the blood of Christ. Now, let’s start acting like it.
[P.S. – This is an illustration. It in no way means that Republicans are like the Church and Barack Obama is like the Devil. To be clear: I am unashamedly conservative in values, I do not believe that the fix for America is a politician, and I also prayed for President Obama this morning even though I differ greatly with him on points. I repeat, this is an illustration.]
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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