“People Love an ‘Us Versus Them'”

The other day as I was driving into town, I saw this bumper sticker on the car in front of me:

To Hell With Our Enemies,
GOD BLESS AMERICA

I was completely boggled. What kind of Christian would manufacture that sticker, let alone buy it? I expressed my bafflement to Steve who said simply, “So much of human history can be explained by the fact that people love an ‘us versus them.'”

And isn’t that the truth? Look at what’s going on in Syria right now. Think of World War II or the Crusades. For that matter, look at our political system! It can’t even be just Democrats vs. Republicans—now it’s Santorum supporters versus Romney supporters, etc. If you have any opinion on anything, no matter how trivial, there’s someone out there to blast you for it. Star Trek fans versus Star Wars fans, anyone?

Don’t get me wrong—conflict can be done well. True argument in the Platonic sense is a wonderful thing. Personal and intellectual growth can be stimulated by our differences. But let’s be honest—that’s not how most people talk about their differences most of the time.

I’m certainly guilty of using differences as an excuse to feel superior or to judge.

But that’s not my place, is it? Nor yours, nor any person’s, but God’s. And in the end, maybe that’s what drawing close to God is all about: gaining His heart and not seeing Protestant vs. Catholic, Christian vs. Muslim, gay vs. straight. It’s about seeing people. God’s people. His children. And loving them just the same.

And that’s why it’s so hard to follow Him.

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