In Shaine Claiborne’s Jesus for President he says, “Jesus is forming a new kind of people, a different kind of party, whose peculiar politics are embodied in who we are. The church is people called out of the world to embody a social alternative that the world cannot know on its own terms.”
I really wish I believed in this hopeful statement. I wish I had confidence in church people to offer a good alternative. But as I stood in the voting line for this momentous election yesterday, my Christian “friends” were who I most worried about.
Presidents will come and go, some with a more tragic wake than others, but I have been most disappointed in the last four years over the words and actions of my fellow Christians, not some distant politician. The hateful speech, ignorant privilege, and apathy for entire people groups has been heartbreaking.
Is this how the church has always been? Since becoming mainstream in the 4th century, the church has done some atrocious things but as I read about them in history books, I always thought of those people as the minority. Lately, it feels like abominable Christians are the norm. The average church seems to be exclusive and manipulative. My hope in Christians has dwindled persistently over the past four years.
And then I read about Jesus.
I read about how Jesus welcomed the children, cared for refugees, sat with outcasts, and loved people deeply. I meditate on Jesus’ words not to worry, to love my neighbor, to humble myself, to rejoice and be glad.
For a brief moment, I feel calm.
The next few days will fill me with anxiety and fear. As much as I wish it were different, Christians are not the solution and the church is not the answer. But for brief moments, Jesus gives me peace and I cling to it.