A recent encounter with two friends caused me to realize that I needed to approach political conversations in a whole different way. With our country divided the way it is, simple dialogues about how government should be run are now a thing of the past. Everyone has their guard up; everybody believes they’re right; all think the other side is wrong. Before the discussion with my friends even got past introductory comments, one person had her arms crossed, the other bolted for the door. I knew right then and there my days as a “Political Pastor” had come to an end.
“I write on the cusp of a momentous event—the most crucial midterm election of my lifetime,” wrote Janie B. Cheney in an article for WORLD Magazine. “It replaces the previous most-crucial midterm of my lifetime, which occurred in 2014. Farther back in memory is the third most-crucial midterm of 2010. But no sooner will Nov. 6 come and go than the general election of 2020 will loom like a tidal wave of crucial importance. Every two years the stakes crawl higher, with more lives and futures at risk. Everything we hold dear is on the line, threatened with extinction if the other side wins. Or maybe not.”
Cheney continues, “It’s happened before, but always with some well-defined danger in view: ‘secession in the 1860s, labor wars in the 1870s, socialism in the 1890s, the Cold War in the 1960s and ’70s. The current ‘crisis’ is not so well defined, and certainly not as cogently argued. After every ugly incident, furious fingers point at both sides: They started it. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind. Call down hell, and there’s hell to pay. This, pundits warn us solemnly, is a crisis of ‘civility.’”
With that in mind, I have come up with some directives that come from the Bible so that we can get back to the business of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF CIVILITY FOR A POLITICALLY-CHARGED AGE Continue Reading