The teachings of Christ are as applicable and as workable as ever. They call for sacrifice: sacrificing our own hatred, our own anger, our own bitterness, our own wish for repay evil with evil.
Love your enemies. That includes the most strident, abusive, and abrasive anti-everything-we-care-about hate-monger that exists. He or she is still in the image of God, and we still hope for redemption.
Pray for those who persecute you. So we all have "the enemy" on our personal prayer lists, right? And in the prayers of the church? Not snarky sinful prayers, but real ones that lay our bitterness and grievances at Christ's feet and pray for reconciliation. We need to pray for healing in our land.
Bless those who curse you, return good for evil. There are a good few public figures cursing Christians these days, and plenty of ones who do the same in private lives. We need a good few public Christians returning good for evil, and plenty of ones who do the same in private lives.
Even in political situation, in the midst of a culture war, we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Back to the charts. On the left side below are common injustices that everyone knows their own side has suffered in the culture war. On the right, some ideas on how to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, how to bless those who curse us and return good for evil.
|Common injustice in the culture war||As we would have them do to us|
|Finding the most insane, extreme, or dangerous person on the other side and pretending that is the general case with people on the other side; refusing to notice the sane and reasonable voices among the opposition.||Finding the most sane and reasonable person on the other side and considering them carefully.|
|Insisting that mistakes were not only deliberate, but also done out of stupidity or malice.||Realizing that mistakes are part of human nature, and showing mercy instead of vindictiveness in finding and correcting them.|
|Refusing to imagine that the people on the other side are capable of human decency, or could act from intelligence and kindness.||Assuming that the people on the other side or capable of human decency and are acting from intelligence and kindness.|
|Giving a biased, inaccurate representation of facts, leaving out whatever does not suit our own side.||Being conscientiously truthful; refusing to distort facts; refusing to skip items that do not suit our point but instead giving them fair consideration.|
|Overlooking every decent thing done by the enemy, and every decent point made.||Acknowledging when the other side has a point -- not in an exaggerated way, but just avoiding the petty and ungenerous spirit that can result in our behaving unfairly and failing to notice decency in the other side.|
|Using ridicule and mockery, trying to belittle and dehumanize the opposition.||Using gentleness and respect, thereby humanizing both us and them.|
|Making no effort to accurately understand the points raised by the other side.||Making every effort to accurately understand the points raised by the other side.|
|Not restraining the more hostile or hateful folks on their own side.||Restraining the hostile or hateful folks within our own camp.|
|Interpreting everything in the unkindest way possible, not even troubling to ask why.||Reconsidering whether we truly understand; being willing to ask why and listen to the answer.|
|Being willing to stoop to viciousness.||Being completely unwilling to stoop to viciousness; treating even those who mistreat us with gentleness and respect, not because they deserve it, but because of the image of God in them, because we hope for their redemption.|
|Misrepresenting the other side's point and motives. Making no effort to give a just and honest representation of the other side||Accurately representing the other side's point and motives. Making every effort to give a just and honest representation of the other side.|