A few mornings ago, I read two dramatically different blog posts.  

One was by a woman who moved into a gang-infested neighborhood. She’s constantly asked, “Aren’t you scared?” Her answer is no, because you don’t fear people you have a relationship with. 

The other was by a pastor on what we should do about all the chaos, darkness, depravity, and increasing evil in our society. His church website indicated that “it’s not a safe world out there.” 

The first was about “we.” The second was about “us vs. them.” The tone was radically different. The first was tender. The second, fearful. The first was from within the community. The second, from the outside. The first was prayerful. The second was also prayerful. They just seem to frame their prayers differently. They name the “problems” differently, as well as the solutions.  

If I lived in a gang-infested neighborhood, I’d rather have someone praying for me by name because they knew my name, than praying against my neighborhood in the abstract. If we wage war on our society without at least trying to get to know “those people,” who are also made in God’s image, that’s evil in itself. 

Jesus didn’t march into our lives in battle gear. He became one of us.  

If I had to illustrate the factions in our society right now, I would paint a picture. It would be of two people of different ethnicities or socioeconomic levels or gender identities or whatever, having coffee together in a seedy neighborhood, while behind them, soldiers are gearing up for war behind the confines of an Ivory Tower.  
I think our factions disagree religiously and politically, but maybe the biggest difference is philosophical. Some people stretch out towards others and build bridges. Some hide and strategize from behind walls.