One of my favorite music artists is Sting. His music was on a constant loop during my college years. There was just something about his lyrics and the beautiful instrumental music in his songs. One of my favorite songs is If I Ever Lose My Faith in You.
As I was listening to this song on the radio the other day, I laughed out loud at these lyrics:
Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world
You could say I lost my faith in the people on TV
You could say I’d lost my belief in politicians
They all seem like game show hosts to me
Presidential elections come around every four years and it seems like our society goes in to a tail spin. This current election seems like a bad reality television show. You can’t escape the mayhem. Tensions run high and now with social media, you want to hide from your friends’ political posts. (I am sure a few already hid me from their news feed.)
But what always saddens me is that sometimes in the Christian community we seem to completely forget about the importance of our Christian witness in an election year. I am so guilty of this one.
In the past, I have put my ideals in front of my faith. I have walked that self-righteous line and somehow thought that I could win people to my political opinion by showing them who leaned more on “God’s side.”
As if God had a political side?
I often highlighted all the negatives in the country and tended to speak out in fear about this country’s future. I thought that if I took people down a dark hole and showed them all the evil that exists in this country, somehow they would see the political light. In the book If You Can Keep It by Eric Metaxas, he writes, “But if our focus is on what is ugly and evil and dark, we will strangely strengthen the ugly and evil and dark.”
By dwelling on the negative, both spiritually and politically, I was not honoring God. I was giving in to the spirit of fear and not walking out in the scripture in 2 Timothy 1:7: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind.
Now don’t misunderstand me. I still feel that as followers of Christ in this free country, we have an obligation to stand up for what we believe in. We should inform others about negative events that effect our right to assemble together freely. We have to hold our elected leaders accountable to the First Amendment in order to protect our religious beliefs. If there is any side to take, grab hold of the religious freedom side. It has the utmost importance in our future to live out our convictions.
But as followers of Christ, we also have an obligation to love our neighbors and love our country especially during an election year. The ideological divide between the two party system and even within the same parties should not keep us from showing the love of Christ. In fact, it should encourage us to celebrate the gift of this great nation. We are still one of the most compassionate countries who have reflected the Christian spirit and the ideal that freedom is universal. But we cannot reflect that if we are in a continual ideological fight.
Metaxas writes, “This perpetual ideological battle has become a dangerous thing for America and for the world both. To truly love America, one must see both sides simultaneously.”
As a Christian, I should be celebrating what unites us as Americans and highlighting the stories of why we are still a great nation under God. I should be teaching my children the importance of liberty rather than promoting a political position in a contentious election year. “Unless we celebrate our common ideals and stories-and our common story- and unless we are unified in celebrating those things, we can never appreciate who we are and what we have,” Metaxas writes.
I do not want to be that Christian who perpetuates the ideological divide.
If I ever lose my faith in you
There’d be nothing left for me to do.
I don’t know the story behind Sting’s lyrics and I certainly don’t want to analyze the meaning behind his words. But for the sake of this blog post, “faith in you” would have to mean faith in this country. You might find it humorous or even ironic that I chose a British singer to highlight the greatness of America. But something needs to remind us that we are better than the ideological battle that surrounds Presidential candidates. We are more united than the fear and division our media plays into. Divisiveness is for media ratings and viral Twitter posts. Don’t go down that dark hole.
I want to teach my children to love this country and to put value on the freedoms given to them by God. Let’s share our history- the good and the bad-, our accomplishments, and start to celebrate what makes us united not divided. Call me an idealist but I have an opportunity not only as an American but as a Christian to show faith in this great country; no matter what the political outcome come November.