After the 2016 election, I mentioned to an old friend that I had voted for Trump.  That friend began ranting that I was a Nazi and a white supremacist (among other things).  Reasoning got me nowhere.  After several days of unsuccessfully attempting to smooth hostilities, I blocked that friend.

I had another friend, this one a conservative, who attended the January 6th rally.  While I was watching coverage of it on the news and he was in Washington, we got texting.  I was relaying what I was hearing on the news and was asking his perspective on it.  To my surprise, he suddenly said I was clueless and that it was better that we never speak again – and he blocked me.  I still don’t know why.

I have observed similar hostilities arising between Christians – people becoming suspicious of one another, friendships cracking and breaking – over the wearing of masks, over COVID vaccines, over gun control, and even over how favorable one is toward Donald Trump.
We face an incredibly shrewd enemy whose subtle lies are often little more than one malicious insinuation couched neatly within twenty-five truths – and that one little insinuation can ruin hearts and relationships in ways unimaginable.  If the enemy can divide us, his work is done.  He can start the fight, walk away, and let us devour one another.  Or at least make us suspicious and distrustful enough of one another that we can’t work together as the body of Christ.

On many of these issues the opposing poles are irreconcilable.  If you’re at the opposite pole from the one where I am leading our church to stand, you’re not going to be comfortable with us.

Most of the disagreements among us aren’t as opposed to each other as we think.  The overheated political atmosphere has made people too easily suspicious of one another.  Some have their political stances honed so narrowly and finely that they question the faith of those not quite as finely honed.

That kind of thing gives the enemy a foothold – and we dare not let him do so.
I’ve been asked why I’m writing about navigating political division (instead of spiritual things), and that’s why.  I believe having a perspective on navigating such divisions is a spiritual thing, worthy of a pastor’s attention.