True Vision Christian Community is an apolitical church. We do not endorse any candidate or issue at the federal, local, or state level. We do not endorse a specific political party nor affiliate with one. We do not nor will we use our platform to give time for any politician during our worship encounters for political purposes, but we are willing to present a town hall meeting outside of Sunday worship with all candidates present to give people equal opportunity to hear all sides. It is our obligation as a church to speak on issues of the day from a biblical and Christ-centered perspective and speak truth to power regardless of who is or is not in authority. Politics are very divisive as shown through the rampant division in our country today, and we strive to be a place of unity, healing, and restoration.
I have a friend in Australia, and he and I were chatting one day as we typically do. In the middle of our conversation, we switched to faith. He is of Palestinian descent and Muslim, which I was fully aware of when we first started talking, and he asked me about living in the United States. I started talking about my life and then he asked me “What’s wrong with your country?”
As I sit and type this response, I ask myself that same question. What is wrong with our country? What has happened to us? Many people pose a lot of biased reasons why we are in our current situation. I preached a message in January for Lancaster’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration entitled “Follow the Compass,” and I want to pose the same statement I used to establish that message to frame this post: if the moral compass is broken, everyone is lost.
The Christian church has always been seen as the moral compass of the country. It has been an unspoken requirement that our president be a person of faith— and it better be Christian. Remember, the late President John F. Kennedy’s election in 1960 was controversial because of his Catholic faith. However, people failed to realize and still ignore today that the Protestantism that we enjoy is rooted in Catholic tradition.
Because of Christianity’s place as the moral compass, we create strong connections between the church and the political realm. We must understand that the separation of church and state and, thus, the freedom of religion that we all have as Americans allows for people to worship how they choose without governmental interference. What has happened in the last forty years is that the Christian church, particularly predominately-white evangelical churches, have created a theocratic mythos of America, which has birthed hubris— overbearing pride that causes harm to others— and a sense of entitlement that ignores the weightier issues that Jesus taught on.
Jesus was not a politician. He did not come to be a Pharisee or Sadducee, which were the politicians of his day. He came to bring hope, life, redemption, and salvation to all people. His teachings challenge us to take care of the sick, the poor, the widows, and the orphans; to love our neighbor as ourselves; to stand against injustice; to love the foreigner; to not judge unrighteously; to not be focused on greed or personal gain; and to be witnesses of his unfailing love. Hubris does not allow for such things to take place. Rather, a hubristic attitude only focuses on the building of self by any means necessary regardless of who is hurt or destroyed in the process.
I have been hurt by this hubris many times over recent years. As an African-American man, I have sat in services and listened to conversations in churches where I had close relationship with the pastors and congregations and seen it firsthand. I have heard preachers talk about people who look like me or have a similar background as I do and depict them as villains or as inhuman. This hubris has created an idolatry of the god of politics which has created a deep divide within the church. I preached a message entitled “Destroy the Idols” focusing on the section of the Gideon story where God directed Gideon to destroy the Asherath pole and create an altar of sacrifice with it. In that message, I highlighted how the Asherath pole would be paired with the Ark of the Covenant and people would worship both and compared it to today’s condition. I was called a false prophet and vilified by people who I thought were close to me all because their pride was challenged by the word of God.
The Bible says in Proverbs 16:18 (CSB) states “Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.” I watch the news, engage in social media, and live my life in a constant state of prayer because I see the slide happening. We are teetering to the point of collapse as a country and it is the obligation of the Christian church to come off of our throne of hubris and kneel in humility. We invoke 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 as a call to prayer but ignore the following verses. In paraphrase, the verses state that if God’s people repent there will be blessing; however, if they do not, God will use them as an example of the consequences of not following God.