As we engage in political discourse in this election year, we Christians would do well in remembering that our divisions may serve to help no one, but they can easily hurt us all.

A bit of history to illustrate this point: Some three and one half centuries ago in what is now the United Kingdom, Evangelical Christians were quite literally slaughtering one another in a series of wars over what were largely political questions.

On September 3rd, 1650 at the battle of Dunbar, Oliver Cromwell destroyed the Covenanter army, effectively putting an end to Scottish resistance to the English Commonwealth. At the conclusion of the battle, with some 3000 Scots dead, Cromwell’s Roundhead army sang Psalm 117. To those who loved singing the Psalms, as did the Covenanters, this must have been the most horrific irony imaginable.

Like today, only more so, there were indeed issues of great import that were worth fighting for. But also like today, there were good Christians that differed in their opinions upon these issues. For our part, wherever and whenever we can, we need to be unified for the furtherance of the cause of Christ. When we can’t, we still need to be loving, kind, and respectful to our brethren, remembering the tragic history Christians have had on occasion where politics are concerned.

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