Just about a month ago The Christian View aired an episode that had my mind reeling. I hope you’re watching because the show’s hosts prove time and time again to be full of depth, truth, and thought-provoking questions.
In case you’re curious, here’s a link to the episode that got me thinking about whether our country is divided, whether religion is dividing the country, and whether division is a good thing or a bad thing.
I’ll be the first to admit I hate tension which is ironic since I spent much of my life in a constant state of relational tension.
Between growing up without knowing my real father to today, learning to live without a relationship with my mother, I’m always in a state of emotional tension.
For me, tension is feeling stuck, and icky. Tension produces unanswerable questions and circular thoughts like, “I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do” and “I hope I don’t regret this choice when I’m older”.
To give up on my relationship with my mom feels bad. But having a relationship with my mom that’s unhealthy feels worse.
It’s the tension between these opposite paths that keeps me empathic to others, and reliant on God.
If you’re like me then you’d rather live a life without anxiety and worry and of course, tension. But sadly that’s just not the case.
The Divided States of America
Some people are saying that the United States is nearing another civil war.
Others claim that we are more divided than ever before in our country’s history.
If you’re paying attention to cable news channels, you’d think that our very humanity was at a crossroads. A crossroads that if the wrong path is chosen, life as we know it would cease to exist.
It’s all a bit overwhelming, isn’t it?
I think it’s safe to say there’s tension in our country.
But is the dooms-day talk bad?
Are the protests just large-scale outward demonstrations of our emotional tension?
Maybe the division we feel in this country is more about the tension we feel from being divided from God rather than the division among us.
Maybe the tension isn’t a result of civil unrest but of spiritual unrest.
Maybe we should focus on understanding our Creator than our candidates.
Christianity Is Making Enemies
I’m always surprised when someone slams my beliefs.
I’m always heartbroken when Christians are being portrayed as unloving and unaccepting of those who are different.
I’m always outraged when my faith isn’t respected but someone’s feelings become superior in the eyes of the law.
From where I sit, what’s good is bad and what’s bad is good.
Maybe enemies exist so that we know what we are fighting against.
Maybe being identified and even persecuted for faith is just providence.
Good Tension, Bad Tension
Can tension be both bad and good?
I think it can.
But rather than focus on the icky kind of tension, I want us to focus on how the same tension can be flipped onto it’s side and prove the hope of Christ is alive and well.
3 Reasons Tension Is Good For Your Soul
I proposed an alternative reason for our country’s perceived division; spiritual unrest.
With spiritual unrest, we can focus more on finishing our individual and collective Christian mission rather than fighting government, laws, or worldly inequalities.
This kind of tension reminds us all to pick a side; a Savior or Satan.
When Christians are being persecuted for their beliefs I say “Halleluja”. Yes, it’s tension and yes it’s icky but look at what 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved
it is the power of God.”
And finally, when Christianity makes enemies, Christians know exactly where to stand. Check out Ephesians 6:12 that says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”