That which brings us together

“I can’t bring myself to think that Trump will be in charge. In the simplest terms, what brings us together is good, and what separates us is bad.” Brad Pitt on the prospects of a Donald Trump Presidency

Believe it or not, this is not a post on who you should vote for this year come November. I read this quote and thought to myself that Mr. Pitt can't literally mean this. As someone who is a Christ-follower, I cannot endorse this definition of "good" and I think that, if he gave this a little more thought, he would not continue to offer this either.

Now there is a lot about Christ that is unifying (reconciling) and the heart of the Gospel is the unity that we have re-found through Christ with God himself. This unity was lost in the Garden way back in Genesis 3 so much so that I was, at one time, an enemy of God. Christ brought me near to God through the work he finished on the cross and in his resurrection from the dead. He died for my sins so that I would not have to die for my own sins and face eternal separation from God in Hell. In that sense unity is more than good. It is very good.

But in another sense, Christ himself said that he came to bring division and in that very same chapter in Genesis I see that this unity with God would be brought about through conflict. Conflict divides and, in this case, the serpent (Satan and his offspring) would be in conflict with the eventual offspring of Eve (Christ and his offspring). This conflict persists to this day so much so that a deep down, unifying friendship with Satan is considered to be something that will separate me from God in this life and in the next.

So in some sense I want separation, and in another I want unity. This is where Mr. Pitt's definition of that which is "good" breaks down. It breaks down hard because he could seek to be unified with those that, he has determined, are seeking to split the country. If he allied himself with Mr. Trump he would find plenty of unity within that sphere, but he would, as he sees it, be part and parcel with those who seek to divide. On the other hand, in seeking separation from that movement he thinks that this will lead to unity in the country as a whole. He would rather be divided from Mr. Trump's followers much like I, as a Christ-follower, would seek separation from Satan.

So, I guess, all of this to say that a definition of "good" would, more properly, be that which is grounded in the character and nature of God himself. If God says that separation from this thing or that is a good then that division is good and I need to pursue it. On the flip side, God also says that unifying myself with certain things is good so I need to run after that as well. All of this springs from who he is and what he is like. 

Thanks be to God that Christ came to show us the Father. And he did that so remarkably.


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