Over the years I’ve become more and more aware of a divide that exist between us. During my first year of college the sides really started to become clear. With two groups so entrenched against each other the sheer harshness became increasingly obvious. In my eyes the battle lines were being drawn (or at least redrawn with permanent marker). Republicans were the champions of the Christian faith and liberals were my enemy, or so I thought. It was us versus them. I was caught up in a story with good guys and bad guys. And in case you didn’t know the bad guys were trying to destroy morality, family, and everything else good.
I don’t know when or how but at some point I questioned the intensity of my political allegiance and the veracity of my religious ideology. It finally hit me. The people I so vehemently disagreed with probably weren’t trying to end the world like a James Bond villain. I started to give people the benefit of the doubt. Maybe socialistic tendencies were actually birthed from a genuine desire to help people. Maybe anti-gun agendas were contrived toward a real goal of peace rather than a purposeful move to leave ourselves open to a secret authoritarian takeover.
Sure, there are evil people out there that specifically strive to dissolve the moral fabric of society, to call sin goodness, and righteousness bigotry. But there are also people out there that do not know the saving grace and goodness of Jesus Christ. They are not my mortal enemies, for I was among them, I was one of them. In fairness were we all born calling evil good and good evil. We were all born loving darkness, and we were all born enemies of God.
There is a real enemy; one who comes to steal, kill and destroy (spoiler alert: its Satan). But your gay neighbor isn’t him, and neither is your co-worker who has a PETA membership. The liberal news anchor may be an enemy of God (a person yet to be reconciled until the Lord) but he isn’t your enemy. And that liberal newscaster isn’t more an enemy of God than the unrepentant conservative man who sits in church service every Sunday. The truck driving, American flag waving, gun-toting veteran may be just as, if not more lost than the man who supports euthanasia and thinks that the government needs to increase in size.
It’s easy to forget that the leftist camp is made up of individuals. Yes, some argue for free college, and some think that binary sex doesn’t exist but they are people, image bearers in fact. Those image bearers are more than leftist people mocked in memes (don’t get me wrong, I love a good meme). I don’t agree with many leftist ideologies or beliefs but don’t mistake a camp, a system of beliefs or political stances for a person who needs grace, love and truth. Perhaps that’s worth remembering next time you’re discussing politics with your family at Christmas or reading tweets from celebrities.
Note: For the purpose of this post, assume the individuals who “lean left” to be self-proclaimed non-Christians, because I have no desire to mince political views with salvific implications or vice-versa. What I’m not saying: All left leaning people are unbelievers, and all right leaning people are Christians.