I said in another blog that one of the marks of the political season is when politicians tell the truth, or say what they really believe it is called “getting off message”. There is all of a sudden, a lot of concern about the “tone” of campaigns, and the belief that they are getting nasty.
What if actual governing gets nasty? When those in power say that folks who disagree with them cling to their religion and their guns and they are not talking about Muslim extremists, or when those who think that selling aborted baby parts is a bad idea are called the “Taliban”, is that nasty? I think it might be wise to ask about their “tone”. More important than their tone however is their character and their core beliefs.
Someone said the other day that it seems that they only group that can be impugned, lied about, joked about and treated with contempt are Christians. The reason is simple. Christians are not known for rioting and burning down neighborhoods or chaining themselves together on freeways. They may do those things but not as a group activity identified as Christian. The Christian identity movement has been illegitimated by, you guessed it, Christians. Besides all that we have had it pounded into our heads that our faith is a private thing and not to be brought into the public life of our country. Luther again –
The other virtues enjoined by Peter are easily recognized—”Compassionate, loving as
brethren, tenderhearted, and humbleminded” [Luther translates “friendly”—courteous].
These particularly teach that Christians should esteem one another. God has
subjected them all to love and has united them, with the design that they shall be
of one heart and soul, and each care for the other as for himself. Peter’s
exhortation was especially called for at that time, when Christians were terribly
persecuted. Here a pastor, there a citizen, was thrown into prison, driven from
wife, child, house and home, and finally executed. Such things happen even now, and
may become yet more frequent considering that unfortunate people are harassed by
tyrants, or led away by the Turks (Muslims), and Christians are thus dispersed in exile here
and there. Wherever by his Word and faith God has gathered a church, and that
spiritual unity, the bond of Christianity, exists in any measure, there the devil
has no peace. If he cannot effect the destruction of that church by factiousness, he
furiously persecutes it. Then it is that body, life and everything we have must be
jeopardized—put to the stake—for the sake of the Church.