In September 1787, Elizabeth Willing Powel approached Benjamin Franklin after the signing of the Constitution and asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” Franklin famously answered, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Franklin’s assessment of the future hinged on IF and currently, the future doesn’t appear promising.
Looking around, it doesn’t take a graduate degree to realize the flaws in our society. Since the founding, the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the subsequent Constitution of the United States of America in 1787, there have been points where divisions threatened to defeat the Great Experiment as our first President George Washington called it.
Today, those divisions pull at the seams of what has united us for more than two centuries with a tenacity of unparalleled portion. Political polarization, racial and economic disparities, religious and cultural conflicts, and ideological divergence have enhanced the “us and them” mentality, propagating a mindset that “you/they” are an enemy. Anger has amplified our differences, causing many to see neighbors as targets of hate and rejection.
Some might perceive the downward spiral unstoppable, but a hope for the future has grown, springing from a vision of a unified United States of America through a grassroots effort of prayer and forgiveness. Taken from 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land,” We Are Not Enemies (WANE) was born.
Starting on Nov. 26, 2023, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, continuing to Nov. 26, 2024, a clarion call is being executed to all Christ-followers – His people – to join a year of prayer and forgiveness – not for ourselves but for our enemies.
What does this look like? Luke 23:34 gives us a prime example.
“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment and cast lots” (KJV).
Jesus prayed for those crucifying Him, asking His Father to forgive them because they were clueless of their actions. Today, there those who are effectively crucifying Christ afresh (Hebrews 6:6) but WANE is focused on the truth that we, as Christ-followers, are positioned to pray for their forgiveness. Scripture teaches freely we have received, freely we give (Matthew 10:8). As we have received forgiveness, we give forgiveness, not only in what we see as traditional forgiveness – simply forgiving the one who wronged you – but also praying for them to find the forgiveness that Jesus died to give them.
Will you join the WANE movement? Go to www.wearenotenemies.com to sign up.
Robyn Spradlin is a freelance journalist working as a contributor for Christian News Journal covering news and politics on the national and state levels. She has worked as a copywriter for Victory News on the Victory Channel since 2022. Robyn has an BA in Communication Studies and MA in Journalism from Regent University and is a member of the Evangelical Press Association. She is an author, evangelistic minister and a musician.