As we were studying and discussing Jesus’ demand to love our enemies I ran into a problem. I could not find any enemies. I considered it out of the question that there were enemies out there who were enemies because I hated them, so I tried to think if there were some who hated me. And I could not find any. I am not aware of any people that hate me and that consider themselves my “enemies.” There may be some (?), I just don’t know who they are.
This morning, however, I read a short note on Hillary Clinton and the issue of faith in the Democratic camp (see here). It pointed me to an editorial in Christianity Today titled ” “Hating Hillary: Getting to the bottom of a cultural trend that has seeped into the church.” You can find the editorial here.
In the editorial the writer calls Christians to Love Hillary. Yes – you may disagree with her political views, you may find her “slick” just like her husband Bill, but HATE is not and should not be our attitude toward her.
The editor comments:
“When a candidate’s ideology is mistaken for his or her personhood, it masks a crucial truth: that each person, no matter their political views, bears God’s image and matters deeply to him. While pundits see candidates as punching bags, evangelicals are supposed to see candidates as, well, people. As we ponder how candidates are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” we may haltingly come to realize that the most bold and courageous thing we each could do this election season, no matter who we vote for, is this: Love Hillary.”
The truth is that I never liked Hillary Clinton and I do not think that I will ever vote for her. She does not seem genuine to me, and that is a great stumbling block (after all – Jesus reserved his harshest words not to “great sinner,” but to hypochrites).
However, this editorial made me re-think my attitude toward Clinton and other public figures. I may not have enemies out there because I am hated (though I may get some after writing this article -? :)), but what if I have enemies out there because I hate them.
No – I do NOT hate Hillary Clinton. But can I love Hillary? Should I love Hillary?
It looks to me that I should. She is probably a Christian (at least she confesses to be), thus she is definitely not in the “enemies” category. She would be what the Bible classifies as “brother/sister/neighbor.” And Jesus is categoric on this issue:
Perhaps I should work on loving my neighbors first, and then move on to loving my enemies.
How would loving Hillary “as myself” manifest in real life? I have to ponder on this, but I suspect that it would start with telling her the truth in love. If you confess that you are a Christian, make it a “total life” type of Christian – let Christianity permeate your whole life. For Christianity is about social action and about helping the poor (among many others), but it is also about honesty, humility, and sacrifice.
And let’s not forget – it is also about telling the truth in love. Because YES, killing a life in the womb is a sin, and so is homosexuality. Standing for these issues too will not make Hillary more popular. But if she addresses the issues with humility and compassion – it will demonstrate to the world that she is a Christian. Not just a political Christian – but a total Christian, one that lives up to his/her name.
Hillary – I love you!!! Will you tell me your name?
P.S. Even though Obama is more “likeable” and hopefully more honest, many of these comments apply to him too!