Sin Has No Political Preference
Yesterday, America witnessed a heartbreaking and frustrating display of distrust in a political system. As a mob stormed the United States Capitol building, the rest of the nation watched in shock at the sheer chaos that ensued.
What were the motivations behind such a stunt? What were the reasonings? Why was the presence of law enforcement seemingly limited? These questions fall among deaf ears if we do not first grasp the root of the issue: a sinful, depraved human nature.
The Apostle Paul says in his letter to the church in Rome, “None is righteous. No, not one” (Romans 3:10 ESV). This lack of righteousness among humanity is on display day after day. Not one day passes without sin taking its toll on the world as we know it. When it comes to the political spectrum, sin has no preference. There is no party under which sin resides. Sin affects each and every person, regardless of his or her motivations and beliefs.
The storming of the US Capitol, a display of vandalism and rioting, cannot be tolerated and should be openly condemned. Such an act of injustice has no place in our society, much less in Evangelicalism.
Putting Our Faith in the Wrong Place
Why this distinction? The reason is because the mob was led by supporters of the President of the United States, Donald Trump—a man who too many Evangelicals have become apologists for, rather than focusing on defending the Word of God above all else. Leaving aside the policies of the president, the reasons held by those who voted for him, the words he has spoken in the past, the progress he has made, or any other factors, the church must be the first to speak out and condemn such actions. We are called to be salt and light, regardless of who is in the White House. Unfortunately, many have placed their faith in the one who sits in the Oval Office instead of the one who sits on the glorious throne of Heaven. When this happens, our vision becomes shifted and we often lose sight of our first love, Christ.
As a result, what happened in Washington D.C. is a direct contrast to what Jesus himself said: “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9). Rioting and violence is never the answer; it never has been and it never will. Is this to say that supporting a particular political party is wrong? Not at all; however, when our trust becomes placed in a person or a party, we have lost sight of the one who deserves our full faith. Our identity should be found in Christ, not “red” or “blue.”
A Double Standard?
Were all of those who took part in the act avid supporters of the president? Who can say? Were they, or at least the majority, conservatives from a political and moral standpoint? No one knows. What is clear is this: regardless of the worldview held by the rioters, their actions have no place in a civil society. One may be quick to point out a double standard in the “Black Lives Matter” riots which occurred in 2020, sparked by the killing of George Floyd. Those generally on the opposite side of the political spectrum from those who were rioting were quick to call out the wrongfulness of rioting and looting amid such circumstances. However, was this not the same extreme action that took place in Washington yesterday afternoon? Granted, we cannot and should not lump together an entire political party, worldview, or worse, ethnicity, based on the actions of the few. This would be like judging an entire philosophy based on its abusers.
However, what else is clear is the one thing they, as well as we, all have in common: sin. Sin is the commonality between both instances of rioting and violence. Peaceful protesting is a right; rioting and violence is a crime. Sin is the ultimate rebellion against a perfect God; a crime the late R. C. Sproul once defined as “cosmic treason.” All of us have sinned, and have fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23), and are therefore unworthy to be in the presence of the one who created us. God created us to worship and obey Him; we chose to go our own way, and it resulted in a terrible sickness that plagues us and hardens our hearts toward the one who loves us and wants a relationship with us.
What, then, is the answer to the madness?
The Gospel Is Still the Answer
The answer is a man named Jesus of Nazareth, who was fully man but fully God; God’s only begotten son, who lived a perfect, sinless life in our place because we could not. He chose to be the perfect sacrifice that would satisfy the wrath of God that we deserve, so that by trusting in Him and turning from our sinful lives, we do not have to live eternally separated from God, but can share in his presence for ever and ever. That is the beauty of grace; that is the beauty of forgiveness.
From a corporate perspective, the answer is for the Church to take a stand for the truth, continue to proclaim the gospel unashamedly, and pray for revival among the nation of America. The answer is for the Church to continue to be the voice of reason among a world of brokenness, rebellion, and unrest. The answer is for us to be the peacemakers, as Jesus taught. Truth transcends political preference and ethnicity. The ultimate truth can be found in the absolute claims of the Word of God. Though sin will prevail until the day Christ returns, the church must endure until the end. Calling out injustice, fighting against it, and speaking the truth in love.