Yes, I know full-well that when I communicate on divisive topics it stirs up various emotions and responses in people, then they make assumptions about me and feel a need to express their displeasure, most times, without understanding what I am really trying to say or without trying open a dialogue with me to seek understanding and to be understood. Others will applaud and thank me for whatever I said they happened to agree with.
All of which just proves my underlying point; the root level issue is theological and spiritual. “Our battle is not with flesh & blood, but with powers, principalities, and rulers in spiritual realms.” (Eph 6:12). We need to stop listening to those who try to divide us or create fear in us or seek to leverage our differences for their personal gain or their agenda so we can begin productive dialogues that lead to reconciliation and healing. If we resolve the root level issue, the surface level issues (systemic issues, inequality, etc) we will be much more likely to be address and resolved.
The path forward requires harmonic unity and enough maturity and love to work the problem together. Someone wanting to bang the drum of their pet agenda will never be open to listen, understand, and even repent of their own hypocrisy. Just stop. Let’s stop being too arrogant to listen and seek understanding before we seek to be understood. Let’s stop allowing unkind, divisive, or accusatory words to come from our mouths. What we say reveals our heart; “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matt 12:34).
Division, divisive rhetoric, and divisive narratives are clever tricks of the enemy mean to make wreak havoc, deepen the wounds, keep us from solving the real issues. I call it the “Divide Conquer Strategy”. I’ll explain more about that in a future article. But it works at every level of life.
We need to stop being unkind, stop personal attacks, stop allowing differences or even disagreements to make others the target of our judgement and wrath. When we allow ourselves to be unkind, to personally attack a person who we disagree with, etc, we are also allowing ourselves to unwittingly become a part of the problem. We become a feeder of the divisive culture that is tearing our nation a part.
I am going to talk about issues creating division in our nation whether it be the political climate, religious culture, community culture, or as in the current moment, racism. I have already had people thank me, and others seek to bully me into silence. Honestly, I’m not stepping up to communicate on this divisive topic for pads on the back from some people nor to create drama for other people. I am going to communicate only because I believe that is what the Holy Spirit is stirring in me. I have sat silent for too long.
I have sat by as long as I can without engaging in the dialogue in an effort to move the conversation toward a better place. I’m not going to say/write everything perfectly, but neither I am willing to continue being silent. I can’t just ignore what I see happening in our nation any longer without wondering if my silence is a form of compliance or even agreement.
We have to reject the divisive narrative so we can engage in productive conversation that leads to real reform of the real systemic and culture issues that oppress others. We have to talk about race, privilege, apathy, and complacency if we hope to build a bridge to a better future for all Americans. The equality we seek will never be attained through silence or silent bystanders. We have to get to know each other so we can talk to each other, so we understand each other if we ever want to see real progress.
So, no, I won’t say or write everything perfectly for every person. Sometimes communication is like two people standing on opposite ends on an elephant trying to describe their perspective. We have to realize there are other equally true perspectives and it is only when we put them together that we can truly understand what is in front of us.
But I will do my best to help us find a path through the chaos, to be light in the darkness, and to point all of us to the hope & peace that can only be found in Christ. I hope I can inspire you to have your own conversations with your friends and family. We each have a responsibility to stand up in the face of injustice. Wrong is wrong, even when it doesn’t happen to you or me. Someone has to stand up to defend against injustice or it will continue to go unchecked.