The events happening in Washington DC are disturbing for all democracies. And particularly disturbing for world wide Christians. For quite a few years now, the media have focussed on a narrative that there is only one Christian view and to be a Christian means certain political allegiances. No matter that Christianity has also contained as a leaders, peoplelike Desmond Tutu in South Africa, Rowan Williams in the UK and one might add Pope Francis, all of whom share different and differing approaches. With the media promoting one flavour of Christianity over any other there are consequences for those of us who take a different view. If I was an American pastor, I wouldn’t want to be portrayed as someone who supported a President that called for violence, or who praised the rich and powerful over all others, or who was content to destroy parts of his own country as a cost to those who for generations have valued that land. But with the weight of the media and social media against me, I might be afraid to stand up and be different.
So, where are the media voices portraying Christianity as a voice for the poor over the rich and powerful, a voice for peace over violence as at the heart of our faith or a Christianity that values all people and creation itself? For those of us who see our faith in these terms it is an uncomfortable reality to live in a world that trashes so many of our values and ideals. And so we fight on; helping and encouraging each other to be seen as champions of a fair deal for children, for families; who welcome those who are different and seeing God’s love in their eyes; and believe putting others first over our own needs is a Christian value.
It seems true that over the centuries the church has not been great at living the Gospel – and we can all point to things the church has supported and encouraged and done that do not speak of God’s love, but, today, let those of us who picture a world very different from what it is, stand up, be vocal, and fight for God’s vision with every ounce of courage.