Over the last few years, we’ve had a tremendous emphasis in our nation on diversity. While diversity is a wonderful reality of our world that should be acknowledged and even celebrated (depending on what we mean by diversity), we would be remiss to forget that strength lies not primarily in recognizing our differences, but in being unified on basic truths. We are, after all, the United States of America holding “these truths to be self evident.” Things get a little tricky when “these truths” are nonexistent.
I remember listening to a well renowned comedian where callers would send in their questions about their love lives. He noted that the strangest calls he received were those from very wealthy middle aged men with way too much time on their hands and it reminded me of the people currently governing our nation.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned for sure over the last several years, America is anything but unified. We can’t agree on what a baby is, what a woman is, what a man is, what a parent is, what our responsibility to our neighbor is or what our government’s responsibility is to us. Our lack of likemindedness has created a breeding ground for inefficiency, chaos, and hate.
While we can never be perfectly unified, there must be some basic truths upon which we agree if we want to have a nation at all. But, why? Why do we have to be united on anything? Because without any sort of foundation, we open ourselves up to the harmful ideas of the strange middle aged man with too much time on his hands. Instead of working, he babbles. Instead of serving, he wrestles with highly intellectualized thoughts that lead him to question things like the humanity of his Trump loving neighbor and whether a 7 year old ought to be able to choose his own gender.
For a long time, it seemed conservatives and liberals could tolerate each other, but as time has progressed, “tolerate” has begun to mean something else entirely.
As conservative Christians, we are living in a country with many people running blue states who do not wish to understand, let alone “tolerate”, any of our beliefs. We are told our ideas are completely antiquated and must be totally abandoned for progress to occur, and if we refuse we are the ones somehow who are being intolerant.
In our new state, one thing I have seen as a welcomed surprise over and over again is the strength found in unity. I knew we were moving to a place inhabited by more likeminded people than the majority in California, but what I didn’t realize was how that unity would manifest itself in our new state.
Unity Instills Courage
Many of us who are married can attest to the fact that likemindedness in marriage has the power not only to avoid a whole host of problems both for the adults and children in the home, but also to instill courage and confidence in ways only a married person can understand.
In a church without likemindedness on biblical truth, there is very often deception, manipulation and even abuse. One of the reasons our family attends a “confessional” church is because by saying we are “confessional” we are referring back to the core truths of historic Christianity. The unity we have as members prevents the babbling, overly intellectualized middle aged man from getting very far with his bad ideas and fills it’s people up with courage to trust and proclaim the core tenets of Christianity.
The unity we have with our closest friends can prevent us from many a bad decision and create in us the courage needed to do the thing we knew deep down we needed to do, but just really needed to hear from a friend.
We would never want to expect the same level of unity with our government as the unity we share with a friend, or a church, or a marriage! However, having our current level of disunity with the very people paid to represent us, protect us and preserve our freedoms renders many people fearful. I will never forget my dear friend being terrified that a police officer was going to fine us for having a playdate during Covid lockdowns in California. Now, as a resident of Tennessee where people do crazy things like own guns and believe in the freedoms afforded them by the Constitution, a situation like that is laughable!
(Check out Lindsey in Idaho’s post here about the courage of the Pilgrims driven by their unity on faith, family and the government’s role: http://redstateramblings.com/lessons-from-the-lionhearted-pilgrims/)
Unity Encourages Productivity
Couples who are unified on the purpose of marriage tend to spend less time fretting over their days together and more time working hard and enjoying their marriage.
“Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil – this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.”Ecclesiastes 5:19-20
Churches who are filled with likeminded members spend more time caring for each other and the needs of their community than arguing. (Over 50% of the families at our church in California have adopted!)
Friendships amongst people who are united on the purpose of friendship enjoy each other more than people who do not agree on its value and purpose.
A country filled with people who not only cannot agree on the purpose of our country, but filled with people who actually hate our country, cannot stand. We have a belief on the left that we ought to let the government dictate all of our rights and a belief on the right that God has “created us with certain inalienable rights.” It isn’t hard to see why we can’t get much done together. The inefficiency of our leaders shouldn’t surprise us when we realize we aren’t fighting for the same things because we don’t share the same worldview.
In our new state, whenever we hear of a policy our Governor is working on that we actually agree with, my husband and I look at each other for a second wondering if it’s too good to be true. Then, we remember we are being represented by people in Tennessee who share our convictions. And our leaders here aren’t afraid to expose what they’re working on to the public because their constituents want the policies they are working hard to enact for our benefit.
More people can get behind a cause when the cause is good for people, rooted in truth and consistent with common sense ideals.
Unity Leads to Security
When a marriage is unified, people looking on have hope it will continue til “death do they part.”
When a church is unified, the members and community look on seeing her as a “buttress of truth.”
When a friendship is unified, it’s just a given it will be for life.
When a country is unified, it sends a message to the world that this country isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
When a marriage is not unified, it screams insecurity.
When a church isn’t unified, she’s in distress and she looks that way.
When a friendship isn’t unified, it isn’t enjoyable.
A country divided on very basic truths like parental rights, human rights as they relate to babies in the womb and the reality of male and female is a laughingstock to the world. We are more insecure than we have ever been.
For the Christian, we can have complete security in our God who never makes a mistake. He placed us at this unique time in history with purpose. What an exciting time to be clear on truth. What a needed time to be unified on core principles. What a privilege that we can display courage, no matter where we live, to our children watching. If God means for us to suffer, and we know as Christians, we all will at some point according to 2 Timothy 3:12: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”, our God will still be faithful and truth will still be true.
Perhaps you’re not in a position to move to a state where you feel truly represented by the leaders paid to serve you. Don’t lose heart. The unity you share with your spouse, your church, and your friends is beautiful and the courage, productivity and security it brings shines the very brightest in the midst of intense disunity.
May you be unified with your people on the things that matter. May the world watching gain courage through your example… And may our country repent and reunify.