Dear American Evangelical,
It seems we have given up. A quick perusal of social media makes this point painstakingly obvious to some, but perhaps you are still not convinced. For a minute, just consider what giving up might look like to others.
We have given up our missional calling for political pursuits.
We have given up being pro-neighbor to be pro-life.
We have given up the calling of the church for the calling of the state.
We have given up Christian first for Republican first.
We have given up the simplicity of the gospel for the complexity of dos and do nots.
We have given up kindness for rightness.
We have given up coffee with a friend for Facebook status updates.
We have given up true community for churches that meet our current wants.
We have given up intimacy with our Savior for intimacy with our screens.
We have given up God bless those who persecute you for God bless America.
We have given up Jesus for a president.
We have given up our humanity for political laws.
We have given up the beauty of following an unsafe Savior for the promise of safe borders.
We have given up the kingdom of God for the kingdom of the world.
You see dear friends, it seems we have given up. When the world desperately needs Jesus followers, we have become something else. When those around us desperately need love, community, and safe places, we have become outspoken political billboards. Perhaps this is harsh. And maybe it is. Some of you have not given up. And I am here to cheer you on. Keep going. Keep working in the trenches and on the edges and in the places no one sees. But for much of the “church” it’s time to give up.
Give up being right for being kind and listening.
Give up the Facebook status for a conversation over coffee.
Give up the harsh words for love.
Give up the sword for the cross.
Give up comfort for the Comforter.
Give up safety for the One who promised to never leave us.
It’s time for the church to pursue the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of this world. It’s time for us to take up our crosses and follow a Savior who modeled a life of sacrifice, risk, and love. A Savior who died for others instead of bringing political revolution. A Savior who came in on a donkey. Who gave seats at the table to the outcast, the woman, the less than, the uneducated, the poor, and who chose an unwed teenager to be the mother of the greatest gift to humanity. You see, dear friend, if you want to change our land, it starts not in the White House, but in the lowly manger.