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As Goes Civility/So Goes America
There is no phenomenon that so loudly shouts the demise of American Culture than our loss of Civility! And it hit a new low when the Speaker of the House expressed her disdain for the President of the United States by tearing up his State of the Union Speech . . . followed by a vulgar and vindictive response by our President. No matter what your political persuasion, this is more than politics. This is the demise of civility in America!
What are we teaching our young people when our most highly respected adults ignore civility? Why should we expect kids in the hood to respond any differently to policemen? Civility has to start at the top of a society, and it is all but non-existent in ours. Lack of civility now pervades both sides of the aisles at all levels, government, businesses, and community organizations, and yes, even churches. How far we have fallen!
Being Salt & Light
One needs to look no further than North and South Korea to see the difference Christians can make amongst people of shared heritage. South Korea is one of the most Christian, peaceful and successful countries in the world. God’s called Christians to be the salt and light of the world because both elements change their environments. The question is: Are Christians changing America’s environment (our civility) or is America’s environment changing Christians. The answer to that question explains the demise of civility in America.
Christians Are Eager Participants
Even Christians with strong convictions are exhibiting and breeding incivility into our culture while seeing themselves as defenders of faith and country. Not seeing the problem for what it is, we’ve become part of the problem. For Christians, acting out of fear is our new norm, demonizing anyone with opposing views has become our default and attacking ‘false devils’ has become as destructive as serving ‘false Gods’. This is the complete opposite of being Christ’s Ambassadors!
Made in the Image of God
We’ve forgotten that every person is created by God in His own image. Each of us is a work of art in God’s eyes and He loves us all the same. While we may not understand certain types of art, we respect them as being works of art, nonetheless. And while we don’t understand certain types of people, every one of them is God’s creation and He Loves them as much as He Loves us. How can we do less?
This is Spiritual Warfare
The Scriptures explain that unbelievers are blinded by Satan, unable to decipher between right and wrong. Unbelievers are not bad people, they’re lost people and incivility is the surest way to keep them lost. Spiritual blindness can never be overcome with the logic of man or politics, no matter how hard we try. Telling unbelievers that they’re bad will merely increase the volume of their uncivil feelings about you.
People will know that you’re God’s disciple when they see His love is flowing through you to them. And that love includes going the extra mile, turning the other cheek and forgiving 70 x 7 no matter what people are saying about you . . . as God has forgiven you. Only by the Grace of God are you not blinded to the truth of God’s holy scriptures and filled with rage. The truth of God’s holy scriptures is that we’re called to love everyone around us, including those we oppose, as much as we love ourselves – to be as concerned for their salvation as we are our own.
Jesus spent most of His time with publicans and sinners and was often most harsh with the religious zealots of His day. The purity of His Holiness and Condemnation of Sin is most clearly demonstrated through His love for every soul He ever created.
The Ultimate Unifier
The supernatural faith and wisdom of our country’s founders still bind us together with a commonality of life that supersedes politics. We are better than what we’ve become. It’s time for Christians to love America back to being ‘One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.’
Reference Quotes and Scriptures:
“Civility is not a sign of weakness.“
John F. Kennedy
“It’s possible to reach out to people and engage them by transcending political differences by expressing sincere respect for them, their hopes and their accomplishments.“
“Civility is an inborn gentleness and desire to do the opponent good.“
“Gratitude is the beginning of civility, of decency and goodness, of a recognition that we cannot afford to be arrogant.“
“Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.“
“When the forms of civility are violated, there remains little hope for a return of kindness or decency.“
“When civility is illusory, war is inevitable.“
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples.
So, in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them . . . Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:29 – 31