Many of us are not only veterans but Christians as well. It was disheartening to hear that YouTube.com banned a veteran group from advertising their organization because they used the word “Christian” in the advertisement. You can click here to read more about The Mighty Oaks Foundation issue.
On another subject, many of my veteran friends struggle with how to approach those who do not support President Trump. There are two basic approaches. The “scorched earth” technique and the “questioning” technique. Talking to people about Christ is similar to talking to people about politics. There is the “Turn or burn” approach and the “merciful” approach. Each of us has our own way. Consider this passage.
Jude 1:22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
If we are to win the middle we ought to be cautious when engaging those who hate Trump in the same way we engage those who hate Christ. While there is no comparison to any man and Christ, I am referring to the approach.
When I became a Christian I was 29. I disliked those who were in my face about Christianity. (Funny side note. I became one of those in your face Christians for a while myself. Then I calmed down and began to reason with people in a more gentle way.) As I reflected on the journey God took me along to faith, I realized I was won over by Christians who lived the faith. This is a slow way but it is often the most effective method.
Each of us has a preferred method of dealing with liberals. Circumstances ought to be considered on a case by case basis. For example, when President Trump talks to the masses he is a straight forward in your face person. If you listen to those who he called names during the Primary that later worked for him they tell a different story. It is said that President Trump, in person, is a good listener and considerate man. You would never guess that from some of his Tweets and very public comments. I believe those who are close to him are telling the truth.
Recently HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who is black, publicly said President Trump is not a racist. Carson added that he would never work for a racist. However, those who do not know the President personally call him a racist. Who will you believe? I’m not saying his Tweet was not offensive to some or even downright wrong because 3 out of the 4 were born in America. What I am saying is those who know him did not see anything racial in his rant against the squad. It is a matter of love for America versus a dislike or hatred for our institutions.
President Trump is like a military leader who is on a mission, there is little time to explain things to your troops. He just wants things fixed and fixed now. There is no time for politics nor concerns over race in his mind. That is a waste of time. You either love or hate your country. You either want to fix things or you don’t. You are either with me or against me. Let me remind us of a quote from Jesus.
Matthew 12:30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
When things are calm and we have time we can afford to be more merciful. Then and only then do we have the latitude to explain our positions. Sadly, this is rarely the case when you are President of the United States. That is why it is left to us to be the merciful ones who take the time to explain things.
There were times I had to be direct with people to get the mission accomplished. There were times when I could reason with people to explain why things had to be done a certain way and to listen to input. If you were in the military for any length of time you probably saw it both ways at various times. There is a time to be as shrewd as a snake and other times to be as gentle as a dove.
If you are the in your face type I encourage you to try to be a bit more merciful when you can be. There is a time for both methods but mercy is usually preferable. Many young people suffer from a lack of education and experience on the issues of liberalism versus conservativism. Those who are older and still set in liberal ways should be approached with questions versus statements. There is a reason they are the way they are. If we do not understand what brought them to this point in their lives how will we win them over? Some we can never win over. Again, it is similar to winning people over to Christ.
We are on a mission. That mission is to Keep America Great and Keep the Faith!