The Ministry of Polarization
His face was always flushed and his blood pressure was up…way up.
Sleep teased him and then slipped away out of reach as morning always came way too soon.
My friend who for many years was one of those guys who epitomized the word “genial” had become anything but that… anger and fear seethed just under the surface of his consciousness, looking for any available vent.
His addiction was killing him.
His addiction was not to a drug or the bottle…but to the media created or approved by the religious right.
The morning started with Christian talk radio, where the sins of the wicked Demoncrats from the previous day were replayed and the future of the nation was always in grave doubt.
Then a little Rush, a little Michael Savage, then home after work for Fox News programs.
Our country, our values, our families our way of life were in grave danger…every day…and it was their fault.
Depending on the day they were Democrats , liberals, terrorists, illegal immigrants or whoever else was available to rail against.
If my friend had been a liberal he could have heard the same spiels in reverse just by changing channels.
We have become a nation of polarized, angry people and it’s killing our witness and crushing our souls.
The middle ground of discussion and co-operation and righteous compromise is becoming a killing field for those unwilling to join one camp and fight under a banner.
The other side of any issue now isn’t just wrong, or has a different perspective…they’re wrong with an agenda to do harm to someone, according to how things are postured today.
It’s not just politics, it’s in the church as well.
Sect against sect, clergy vs. laity, tradition vs. tradition with invective and rage being the weapons of choice.
They are pastors, congregations, emergents, liberals, conservatives, denominations, authors, etc…
“¶ For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.”
(Galatians 5:13–15 ESV)
We are becoming cannibals for Christ…or at least cannibals.
My friend is now in blessed recovery, having turned off the radio and TV except for things that edify and inform.
I’m in recovery too…having done my own share of devouring and having experienced being devoured.
There are times when division is necessary and godly…times when strong feelings and strong language are appropriate.
Even in those cases the objective must always be repentance and reconciliation and restoration.
We must remember that we have been given the ministry of reconciliation…that we are ambassadors for Christ in every area of our lives.
We have to be change agents that reject polarization as a first option…seeking peace with each other as we plead for the world to be reconciled to Christ.
If we can’t do that in the family, we have little hope in the world.