The recent events of comedian and actress Rosanne Barr’s racially charged tweet and the vile comment by Samantha Bee regarding the President’s daughter Ivanka Trump has stirred the hornet’s nest in America as to what is deemed shameful, hurtful, sinful, or even evil. Some are voicing that one is racist, so that is the thing that is more wrong than the other. Others are saying that speaking ill of the daughter of the President in such a debased way is the greater evil, especially coming from another woman.
Both of these issues in one way or another is connected to the tensions and hang ups of many across the nation who have yet to deal with the reality that for better or worse, we have the president we have and God’s permitted it to be so. To go a step further, many in America’s church still debate whether we’re called to pray for a president we may not like or agree with or find agreeable.
As Christians, this line of thinking is the deception of a double standard. The notion that the Church has the option to choose when we will obey scriptures pertaining to praying for leaders or when not is not something that can be found as optional when reading the Bible.
While the world may live with the luxury of living by a double standard of moral relativism (the idea that morality is subjective and relative to an individual), the church does not have that luxury. We as Christ’s body live by a Kingdom culture and Biblical authority that guides us in the path of righteousness.
The deception of a double standard presents the church as being just as hypocritical as the Pharisee and Sadducee of Jesus’ day, and confirms that the world is right to think that about us. The deception of a double standard also reveals just how effective Satan’s lies have been in causing us to deny mercy in exchange for judgment.
Just as Christ did not position himself in early ministry as judge of the world, the Church should not position herself in that way either. If Jesus loved people, showed mercy, grace, and compassion, then this too should be the call of the Church today. We are called to love, not just our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters in the faith; we too are called to love our neighbors and our enemies (see John 15:12, Mark 12:30-31, and Matt. 5:43-48).
The path to victory over deception for the Church is to love indiscriminately and unconditionally. The aim of the Church is not in judging or condemning the world but living a standard of love before them that bears the image of Christ in us. John 13:35 makes a point of the fact that the world will know that we are his [Christ’s] disciples by our ability to display love according to a godly superior standard.
Let not the Church be deceived by living in the throes of a double standard. Instead, let us bear the image of the standard bearer who loved perfectly. Let us pray upon every occasion and for all people. Let us also not get caught up in needless debates. May we also not hold the world to a standard that can only be held in the baptism and power of the Holy Spirit but pray that they see our love and be drawn to Christ by that love.