The Good Thing About Divisive Politics

Divisiveness is Bad Right?

All we hear about is the danger of divisiveness. The Catholic Church looks at the spread of Protestantism as heartbreaking, thinking that unity is the highest Christian priority. In politics, protestors hit the streets, screaming that unity around what they believe is essential. However, the problem in this country is not that there are divisive politics but that we want unity around what we value.

Why did the Catholic Church want Martin Luther dead? Why were heretics burned at the stake for disagreeing with Church policy? Why do we have college students that run through the streets, vandalizing homes, and hurting people with whom they disagree? It is not because two parties disagree but because one party desires a unity around a belief, to the extent that they are willing to eliminate the opposition, leaving only the unified.

Divisiveness is Necessary

When we look at the idea of unity this way, it appears undesirable. Maybe divisiveness is actually optimal for society. At one level, I do desire for people to see the world the way I do. I want the market to thrive, I want babies to be protected from abortionists, and I desire that Christian values take center stage in the political discourse. All of these elements must be fought for, protected, and are conceptualized through moral priority. However, given that this desire for conformity often leads to violence and destruction, maybe I have been misguided. Maybe my real desire should be for divisiveness on these critical issues.

The reality that we live in is ingrained with social laws. Greed, pride, and arrogance are all inevitable characteristics that come with being human (1 John 1:8). With the consideration of sin’s impact on the world, I have to only assume that sinful ambition is a default setting and that moral pursuits will always run contrast to that ambition (1 John 2:15-17). If I am aligned with Christ and sin still exists, it seems like my desire should be for divisiveness. I should want there to be conflict because it is in the contrast between what is of God and what is of the world that God makes known his goodness. If my desire is conformity, I will be left wanting, and I will live a life trying to force or trick people into believing what I believe. If my desire is divisiveness, then I can rejoice in seeing God show Himself through His Church, not having to worry about making the gospel less offensive.

Believing in Jesus Means Turning from the World

God allows horrific evils to take place every second of every day; I believe that this contrast is critical (Rom 9), and thus I am going to embrace divisiveness. I’m not going to compromise my belief systems. I’m not going to try and tailor the gospel to the world. My goal is not to make the name of Jesus more appealing to you, but rather, I will make Jesus the center of my existence and trust that He knows what he is doing.