The idea for this service came a few months ago when our staff came across one of the most heartbreaking statistics we’d ever seen. So about 40 years ago, a poll found that only about 10% of Democrats said they hated Republicans, and only about 10% of Republicans said they hated Democrats. In other words, while Democrats and Republicans disagreed with each other, they didn’t hate each other. But now, 40 years later, polling has found that 50% of Democrats say they hate Republicans, and 50% of Republicans say they hate Democrats. In other words, instead of just disagreeing with each other, we now hate each other.
This is a very important moment in the history of our country, but not because we need some political party to ride in and rescue our country. No, this is a very important moment in the history of country because political hatred is threatening to tear our country apart. And this cannot go on, it cannot continue.
And I, for one, am not disappointed in the world for falling under the spell of hateful, extremist, political partisanship, because the world doesn’t know any better. But we should know better—the church should know better. We should know that we can’t pledge our allegiance to a donkey or an elephant because we’ve already pledged our complete and total allegiance to the Lamb. We don’t have any more allegiance to give.
So church, I must ask you—do you believe that Jesus is Lord? Well, if so, then we need to act like it, because Jesus is not content to just be “Lord of our hearts”—no, Jesus is Lord over every square inch of creation, Lord of every nation, Lord of our politics.
Now that doesn’t mean that we’ll all vote the same way—we most certainly won’t. We didn’t all vote the same way today, and we will not in the future, and I am glad to be at a church where we don’t all vote the same. But it does mean that our values should be the same: we stand up for life, and we stand up for mercy, and we stand up for freedom, and we stand up for the poor, and we stand up for the family, and we stand up for the oppressed. And we might disagree over which economic, judicial, and social policies will most embody these values, but these are our values—they’re the values Jesus taught us.
And most importantly, we dare not let our political differences pull us apart when Jesus died to bring us together. And so that’s what tonight is ultimately about—we’ve gathered to remind ourselves that Jesus is Lord, that he demands our complete and undivided allegiance, and that we’ve been gifted a unity in Christ that transcends all our differences.