your periodic friendly reminder of a very inconvenient truth

This is a word for myself as well as for my fellow Christians. I’ve said things like this before, but I can’t remind myself too often.

Do people twist the truth or simply lie about us? Are we treated with subtle and not-so-subtle bigotry? Are we mocked and belittled? Might we, soon enough, be facing actual persecution? If so, then we have our instructions:

We are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.

If people take our coats we should give them our cloaks as well.

We should never return evil for evil, but should strive to live at peace with everyone.

We should treat our fellow Christians, even when they’re liberals, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Conservative Christians who seek to follow these commandments must be out there — they must — but I’ve struggled to find them online. Instead, I keep coming across people who loudly proclaim their orthodoxy, and give much sage advice to their fellow conservatives, and yet somehow never manage to land on these themes which, in my Bible at least, are pretty prominent. These pundits are fighters; they point fiercely at their enemies and denounce them; they cry that they are being treated unfairly; they mock and belittle those on the other side of the political isle; but if they ever ask God’s blessing upon those enemies and persecutors, or seek to make peace with their liberal sisters and brothers, it doesn’t seem to happen where I can see it.

George Macdonald said something in one of his “unspoken sermons” that I think of often. It pierces my soul, in a way that I try (not always successfully) to think of as a gift, and so I’d like to offer it also to my fellow Christians. Here it is:

Instead of asking yourself whether you believe or not, ask yourself whether you have this day done one thing because He said, Do it, or once abstained because He said, Do not do it. It is simply absurd to say you believe, or even want to believe, in Him, if you do not do anything He tells you.