Right now many of you are under intense pressure to signal for “a side”. Ephesians 6:12 “we battle not against flesh and blood” tells us that there are sides, but the enemy doesn’t have skin on them. So if you see someone with skin, they are not your enemy. They may consider YOU their enemy, but you don’t have to be theirs.
If you are a Christian, your master gave you a rule. “Love your neighbor, up to and including your enemy, rival or adversary.” Your job is to figure out how to do that.
If you do that well I can promise you
1. Some people will imagine that you have taken a side and it is opposite of theirs.
2. Other people, who know you better, who watch you up close, will be confused because sometimes you sound like you’re on one side, and sometimes you sound like you’re on the other.
3. You’ll get lots of things wrong along the way.
It’s vital to remember that Jesus Christ, the Son of God came to this world in the midst of a bloody, violent culture war that makes these present riots look calm. There were lots of factions: “Get the Romans Out” factions that were religious-hermit-preppers (Essenes), Zealots (al queda, antifa, assassins), Pharisees (symbolic warfare, freedom fries, eat or don’t eat at Chic-fil-a, Watch Disney/Boycott Disney…Make Israel Great Again…) and there were “The Roman Way is the right side of history” factions or at least “if you can’t beat them, join them.”
Jesus both fascinated and offended both sides of that culture war to the degree that even if they couldn’t agree with one another they wanted Jesus dead. Sworn enemies far greater than Republicans and Democrats collaborated to have Jesus crucified. That is the one historical fact about Jesus that nearly everyone agrees upon, whether or not they believe his miracles, his status as “son of God”, his resurrection or anything about his life. On the cross he prayed that God forgive his mockers and executioners because “they don’t know what they do”.
Right now Christians need to be Christians. They might line up on different sides of the political debates. Most likely all are right about some things and wrong about others. But they need to be Christians and remember 1. our enemies do not have flesh and blood and 2. love your neighbor all the way up to and including your enemy, adversary or rival.