One wrong move, and it all falls.
The world of politics is a messy game. We understand that 9 out of 10 times when the word politics is mentioned, our go to thought is usually one of corruption. We also understand that 9 out of the 10 times, usually such labeling is not without merit. We’ve seen countless times when politicians make false claims, are often involved in scandals, and are infamous for not following through with promises. No, we have (nearly) the full right to raise an eye-brow or two when discovering someone is playing this dangerous game (admittedly, this is “generalizing” to the extreme…). Even our media, entertainment, and TV shows know this to largely be the case. In one particular show, House of Cards, this concept is milked for all it’s worth (a rather lewd show that I am not recommending, just using as an illustration). It paints a (unfortunately) fairly accurate picture of how a big time Senator got to his position; by not seeing people as people, but rather as pieces of the “deck” to be played, or discarded at will. The purpose of “people” is only to get to the next tier of success, all for the sake of complete triumph. Like I said, not pretty. But as a group of individuals wearing the name “Christian,” are we occasionally guilty of such political schemes?
The example of our position, as given by the Hebrews writer, is that we are members of a spiritual house. “…Christ was faithful as a Son over His [God’s] house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence…” (4:6). If we are members of such a house, shouldn’t we value our position, and especially each other? In my last article, we discussed the difficulty of being humble enough to hear criticism from a brother/sister, instead of lashing back. Today, hopefully we understand that while we might have certain opinions, pet-projects, or any other such position that we treasure dearly, it is never worth the price of dividing or deceptively using your brethren to push it forward. Notice these two verses that apply to us…
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel – Phil. 1:27
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! – Psalm 133:1
My question is; how does scheming, plotting, creating alliances/divisions in your flock, or any other familiar tactic, coincide with such commands from our Lord? I’m aware the picture I’m painting here is one that is easy to support (an “Amen, brother!” statement), but I also know it can come across as something distant and irrelevant to Me. But let me stress, while there comes a point we may be tasked with standing up for a good cause, or might need to convince someone of a good idea. We must likewise be extremely cautious when we approach our brother/sister with strategic eyes (e.g. What can you do for me? How can I enlist you as an alley? etc.) Let me ask you simply; is a particular agenda, activity, or opinion worth more to you than a brother or sister?
The problem we face is this; we sometimes fail to see each other as family (cliché much?). Ultimately, if we’re willing to put our relationship and love for one another over any argument or controversy, then we’ll be far more apt to sort out our differences. It is true we will never agree with everyone 100%, or maybe even 5% for that matter. But it is possible to work out, discuss, or even (*gasp*) give up ones privileged opinions for your brother/sister in arms. If we fail to see, with Christ-like eyes, a brother or sister before us, then the only other option is to view each other as just another block in the road, pawn on the board, or card in a deck. And when we cast aside our house made of family for one made of cards, don’t be surprised when one wrong move causes a devastating crash.
P.S. I’ve really been enjoying the EP record by Haux – particularly the songs Caves and Seaside…very relaxing.