Many people are posting things in favor of or in opposition to Impeachment as if impeachment is an event that can be contained in a box. They are making their arguments about the current situation – changing arguments as information comes out, adjusting reasons for this or that action, maybe even making excuses for what was said or done from different politicians and/or officials and non-governmental types.
The deeper question that no one is considering is this – at what cost? What is the price we are paying given our own rhetoric and what we accept from our government and elected officials? What changes to our system of government are we willingly imposing on future generations who will have to live with the consequences of our rhetoric and actions at this time in history?
What is the cost for Christianity when both sides claim to have God, and truth, and justice on their side? What is the cost of equating the will of elected officials with the will of God? What is the cost of hypocrisy? Are we willing to jettison Christ in order to gain some kind of short term political power? Are we willing to pay the price and argue that Jesus believed that the ends justify the means?
Christians claim that Jesus is Lord and that no one else is. Christians claim that Jesus is the only one who offers salvation – it comes from nothing else. There is a cost in making an elected official(s) and/or political parties equal to the divine will. There is a cost of equating political or national loyalty to salvation. Let us remember that the cost is symbolized in the crucifixion. I fear that if Jesus walked among us today, we would crucify him again because his politics didn’t match up with our own. We would enthusiastically shout “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
How do I know this? Because that is what we are doing to those who we label as an “other.” And they are made in God’s image and likeness no matter how much we may not like that fact. They have Christ in them by the mere fact that they are Christians. This is not an excuse to be silent in the face of injustice. This is not an excuse to avoid conflict. This is not an excuse to maintain a false peace. It is to say, that there is another way. Christ’s way.
The other evening, I facilitated a discussion on safety and the church. At one point the conversation started turning into political rhetoric with predictable partisan lines about guns. I interrupted this to bring us back and focus on faith. What happened was truly amazing. People shared what their fears were. They were vulnerable. We shared faith. We encountered Christ in our midst. We experienced transformation. This salvation didn’t come through political rhetoric. It didn’t come by putting up defenses. It didn’t come by trying to destroy an opponent. It came because Christ was the focus. We acknowledged the truth of our own weakness, the injustices and fear that exist in the world and in our own lives, and how we participate in broken systems. We didn’t avoid conflict – we faced it head on. Not to determine winners and losers, but rather, to be in community. We didn’t maintain a false peace. We faced the lack of peace that exists in the world head on. We encountered Christ and were transformed. That is what we are called to. That is what our world needs. This is a costly way to live. But it is a much better price to pay. It is worth it.