The Great Divide
June 1, 2018 | View PDF
With each news cycle describing incidents reflecting the increasing political and cultural divide that exists in our nation, the more the following Scripture repeats in my mind.
Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. - Matthew 12:25
The mainstream media is on a daily mission to exploit every possible area of division in an effort to ramp up envy and hostility between the races, genders, and economic groupings of America. It is so very tiresome at best, and depressing at worst. And it’s being used as a tool to discourage us all.
For quite some time, I’ve been increasingly disturbed by all the ways that we have allowed hostile division to occur in our nation, our communities, and our families, and how that divisiveness obstructs civil conversation as we seek to solve the problems that we all face. While our political process is so vitally important to the preservation of our liberty, politics divides us as we too often and unwittingly become partisan pawns of those elect to serve us. One of my biggest concerns is identity politics which encourages and even demands that one support a particular candidate based on race, gender, or ethnicity rather than character or qualifications. Social media divides as it really isn’t very social when we fall into the trap of online commenting that escalates into a brutal attacks of words not likely spoken in face-to-face conversations.
But much-needed encouragement for so many in our community was
provided last month during the annual Montgomery Prayer Breakfast and the National Day of Prayer. As I shared in my April article about the Prayer Breakfast, it’s a time in which our city and county elected leaders together with citizens from our River Region gather for corporate prayer on the National Day of Prayer.
In our times and culture in which the public acknowledgement of the Holy Trinity is increasingly under attack, I am truly thankful that our elected officials in our Capitol City are willing to take a bold stand for their Christian faith. It was a tremendous blessing to see so many diverse individuals – black and white, male and female, Republican and Democrat – unite for a prayer breakfast where the Rev. Cromwell Handy of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church remarked as he looked over the crowd gathered, “This is what heaven looks like.”
We united at noon for an intense prayer time at our Capitol as we prayed for our elected leaders regardless of political affiliation, the restoration of our families, and for our churches to rise up to spread the true Gospel, not a watered-down version that is weak in addressing our moral decay. The theme of the breakfast and the prayer at noon was “unity” and for me and others who attended, it was so beautifully manifested through the diversity of those who believe in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Neither an annual prayer breakfast nor a National Day of Prayer will ever unite us as one political party with the same ideology, or one demographic of the same race or gender. That’s not the intent nor is it the definition of the unity so desperately needed in our nation. I want to share what one of my local pastor friends, Keith Moore of iMpact Christian Church, shared as his understanding of unity:
“Unity is not being the same. No, unity means that we are diversely and drastically different, but we choose that one thing that brings centrality to our lives and it is Christ Jesus by the power of the Holy Ghost.”
“See, I’m always going to be a black man, and a white man is going to be a white man - until we get to heaven. I’m always going to be a man and you’re always going to be a woman. Being unified has nothing to do with our natural makeup, it has to do with our hearts coming together as one. So I don’t have to deny who I am to be unified, I just have to bring who I am and humbly submit it to One who is greater, not an individual but the cause of Christ and the Holy Spirit.”
I don’t know about you, but I too often forget that my enemy isn’t the flesh-and-blood opponent in politics or the culture wars in a society that has lost its moral compass. It’s a spiritual enemy whose only intent is to steal, kill, and destroy, and his tool is separation and chaos. As my friend so aptly stated, it’s why we must intentionally choose that one thing that brings unity to our lives, our families, and ultimately to our nation.