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5 Fallacies Dividing America in 2024

5 Fallacies Dividing America in 2024

Americans on both sides of the political aisle have adopted dangerously divisive ways of viewing the 2024 Presidential election.  We’ve launched Drop The Stone because most Christians believe one or more of the following five fallacies…

1. “My candidate is God’s choice”…

We shouldn’t presume to speak for the Lord or assume that any candidate or elected official does either.  Jesus resisted calls for kingship and responded spiritually to earthly authorities.  God doesn’t think or operate like mankind does, so our conceptions of His preferences and priorities could be off base.

One candidate may better promote, yet not represent, Christians values.  One may more staunchly defend the rights of believers, but not necessarily those of others.  One may be more church-friendly, but wind up doing more harm than good for the Christian community.  Guilt by association with a President or candidate has been devastating for the perception of Christians in America.  It’s the most common accusation and excuse we hear today from those who resent and resist Christianity.

So often we put our faith in Christian leaders, only to watch them fail and fall.  When their flaws become apparent to the world, our misplaced faith in pastors and politicians makes the world question whether our trust in the Lord is misguided as well.  We don’t fully understand their motives and morals but God does, so our vote should be for Jesus and our prayers for His will.

2. “This is a battle between good and evil”…

Who is good?  Not me, not you.  Assigning binary labels divides categorically, with no opportunity for redemption without absolute conformance to our definition of “good”.  Jesus’ view on this topic is evident in the story that inspired Drop The Stone, the woman caught in adultery and brought before Jesus by the Pharisees.  He turned the tables on those who drew a stark contrast between “good” and “evil”.

Humbly confessing our shortcomings would distinguish Christians from America’s presidential candidates, who’ve rarely been heard admitting a fault.  We must realize and reassure that God can use evil for good, even if the election doesn’t turn out as hoped.  While we do have responsibilities to speak up for the voiceless and act on behalf of the hopeless, we ultimately must accept that God is in control of all outcomes.

If we Drop The Stone by performing acts of kindness for those with whom we disagree, we break down walls and bridge divides.  As servants, we convey to a world that views Christians as dogmatic, arrogant, and judgmental that we’re not superior and they’re not “evil” (at least not by comparison to ourselves).

3. “You’re either liberal or conservative”…

The culture war is not between liberal policies or conservative philosophies.  It’s not about the party or politician on the left or the right.  Seeing the conflict in that light misses the larger picture and breeds division.  Our disagreements and dissensions are entirely about Jesus.  All policies and principles championed by those opposed to Jesus are intended to draw society away from Him.  The progress desired by Progressives is divestiture of outdated Christian mores that have impeded our nation’s advancement.

Still, both sides of the political debate in American like to claim Jesus is on their side.  Social conservatives point to biblical morality.  Liberals respond that “hatred” toward the “immoral” doesn’t reflect Jesus’ love for the “sinners” religious leaders condemned.  Liberals also cite Jesus’ compassion for the poor.  Conservatives counter they’re personally more generous, not leaving responsibility to the government for welfare.  Lines we attempt to draw are blurry and (divine) teammates we try to recruit won’t play for one side.

No, Jesus is not partisan.  He was more about the heart than rules.  The rise of the “Nones” (no religion) and “Dones” (with church) largely comes from an assumption that conservative Christians belong to a party that cares more about rules than heart.  Churches that don’t follow Jesus’ example of preceding preaching (words) with serving (action) the least and lost contribute to that reputation and association.

4. “The future of our nation hangs in the balance”…

This hyperbole is intended to incite emotion and activism.  It exaggerates the capacity of a single human being or presidential administration to do good or harm.  Jesus is our Savior and Satan is our enemy.  No matter which President occupies the Oval Office, Jesus remains Lord of all.  He will determine America’s future, not an election or politician.

It is true there are ongoing attempts to reposition government as “savior”, attempting to unravel our nation’s Christian heritage.  That transition from Jesus to government is not a straight line – first, worship must be redirected from God to Self, and then after bedlam inevitably ensues, government will swoop in to save the day.

Only the Lord knows when and how that will eventually occur.  Seeking to control the 7 Mountains and yell louder at (and about) our culture, only accelerates that process.  Jesus calls us instead to Drop The Stone, disciple, evangelize, and perform acts of kindness for those we’re tempted to vilify.  In other words, we should focus more on who winds up in God’s house than the White House.

5. “I’m taking a stand for what’s right”…

Countless faithful, God-fearing churchgoers feel fully justified in throwing stones.  They see their anger as righteous, defending Jesus and His Kingdom against attackers.  Filled with conviction and love for fellow Christians, they struggle to love their “enemies” and pray for those who persecute them.  Discipleship deficiencies at the churches they dutifully attend and serve deemphasize those difficult and disruptive verses.

Rather than criticizing contemporary church growth models, which discourage teaching harder truths to “insiders”, churchgoers direct their ire at “outsiders”.  Eager to voice opinions “in Jesus’ name”, Christians lash out unconstructively on social media behind the safety of stained-glass computer screens.  Consequently, those intended to be a church’s target “customer” are ridiculed and never darken its doors.

If our motives were genuine concern for their eternal fate, our tone would be different.  We must examine our own hearts to ensure our words aren’t rooted in a need to be right or self-righteousness.  Do we need to Drop The Stone we’re carrying or do we love those who hate us?

…The Other Candidate in 2024

Our choice in 2024 is not between two Presidential candidates.  Christians are not Republicans or Democrats.  We’re Christ-followers, first and foremost.  When we Drop The Stone (of accusatory self-righteousness), we cast an eternal vote for Jesus.  Our acts of prayer, care, and share extend Kingdom invitations to friends, coworkers, neighbors, or total strangers who desperately need to know Him.  We can only cast one vote for President, but we can cast countless eternal votes.  Our vote for President lasts only four years, but eternal votes have no expiration date.  America’s division over parties, politicians, and policies are all about Jesus, so we should vote in our democracy as citizens of His Kingdom.

Churches seeking a more socially conservative America must return to being more economically liberal.  Few doubted churches cared when they were the food bank and homeless shelter for 150+ years.  However, pulling away from compassion while upping the ante on moral legalism virtually ensured adoption of social liberalism.  Churches foster division and enable stone throwing through inordinate attention paid to attraction and retention of “insiders” rather than equipping and deploying of disciples to reach “outsiders”.  As churches abdicated (to government) our frontline role of caring for the materially poor and hopeless, America shifted its trust (and “votes”) from Jesus to politicians.

It’s Your Turn…

Do you or anyone else you know subscribe to one (or more) of those five fallacies?  How could encouraging others to Drop The Stone bridge the mounting division we’re already witnessing in this election year?

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