A Letter from Bishop Benfield

american_flag_black_and_whiteWe Are to Plant Christian Guideposts

 

Given the election results that came in through the night, it is now apparent that the United States is traveling on a highway that is yet to be mapped. For many of us, the old, familiar guideposts of the Christian ethical life, including peace, patience, kindness, generosity, and self-control, do not seem to be essential markers by which many of this nation’s voters make decisions when electing leaders. It will take some time to discover if one of the markers which Jesus set before us—how we treat the least of those among us—will be a priority or an afterthought.

What the church is called to do in any political setting—first century Palestine or twenty-first century America—is to proclaim the good news. We do it best by example. No matter what decisions are made by presidents and congresses and courts, we welcome the stranger, we heal the sick, and we give dignity to the downtrodden. We hold up these people for all to see as the body of Christ. And when that work is not sufficient to make the kingdom clearly visible, we evangelize with words as we speak the Christian truth to people in power. In so doing, we plant our own guideposts in this unmapped future in order to make the journey easier for others.

Being a Christian in a rough-and-tumble world is never easy. It takes patience and kindness and generosity and self-control. But it is holy work. And it leads to peace in our own hearts as we begin to see the power that unconditional love will have eventually to turn this world—and its values—upside down.

Larry Benfield

Larry R. Benfield

 

 

Image source: http://www.americanlinkage.com/images/American_Flag_Black_and_White.gif

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2 comments

    • Kathryn Reees on November 9, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Your words were such a comfort; that there are people are out there that uphold these values. Today I was disturbed to find this Facebook post related to Trump’s election: “We’ll be ok. We have no alternative, do we?” This was easy for an upper middle class white male to say since he falls squarely in the middle of the demographic Trump appealed to, but what about Latinos, immigrants of color, women, and the most vulnerable of our nation–the elderly, persons with handicaps, and children. Unlike upper middle class white males, many of these people have serious concerns about their futures under Trump. And, let’s not forget that Trump has been subpoenaed and will appear in a trial to be held next month where he’s accused of raping a 13-year-old. He still has had a long-standing friendship with a dangerous sex offender, and has sexually harassed numerous women (by his own admission). As one who has been sexually harassed, I found his election unnerving to say the least. To know there has been no turpitude under the sun in which our president-elect hasn’t wallowed makes me very anxious about the future. As Hilliary Clinton just said in her concession speech this morning, we all need to come together, but be vigilant in supporting and upholding our constitutional rights guaranteed to all and not just the elite and wealthy. We need not have the fatalistic attitude that we have no other choice than to go along with or to embrace the Trump presidential agenda.

  1. I thought I had read somewhere that the rape case was dropped…

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