Sunday, November 16, 2008

Guest Blogger - Pops Is Ticked

As promised a couple of weeks ago, Pops unplugged.

Every 4 years I get ticked, or as my pastor would say Politicked! What ticks me off is the attitudes and the statements of so many of my Republican Christian friends. Note the order of my adjectives…Republican comes before Christian and thus it modifies the adjective that comes after it. And THAT is the problem!

Too many Christians are filtering their beliefs through their political grid. It should be exactly the opposite. Our politics – indeed every aspect of our entire life - should be filtered through the grid of scripture.

Every 4 years Christians spew venom about the candidates they oppose. Tell me how does that line up with Ephesians 4:29? Check it out (emphasis added):

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”

Every 4 years I see tremendous energy and passion spent in criticizing the candidates they oppose. I always hope to see just half that much energy and passion spent living out the Gospel, obeying the call to spread the gospel as we are going (Read again the Great Commission as a call to all believers. Matthew 28:19-20) or using their spiritual gifts serving one another in the church as we are all called to do.

Jesus said that “They will know you by your love.” Wow. I wonder what those outside the church know us by?

In his excellent book, The Jesus I Never Knew, Philip Yancey makes this observation:

“Jesus did not say, ‘All men will know you are my disciples … if you just pass laws, suppress immorality, and restore decency to family and government’, but rather, ‘if you love one another.’

The issues that confront Christians in secular society must be faced and addressed and legislated, and a democracy gives Christians every right to express themselves. But we dare not invest so much in the kingdom of this world that we neglect our main task of introducing people to a different kind of kingdom, one based solely on God’s grace and forgiveness… If a century from now all that historians can say about evangelicals of the 1990s (and 2000s) is that they stood for family values, then we will have failed the mission Jesus gave us to accomplish: to communicate God’s reconciling love to sinners. (emphasis added)”

I am not worried about what historians will say, what will the Lord say when we stand before Him?

Every 4 years I wonder what difference we could make if we would truly follow Jesus and do as He did when he encountered people whose value systems and lifestyles he did not approve of. Look again at John 4. He treated the woman at the well with dignity and respect…and introduced her to the Living Water that changed her from the inside out.

Every 4 years I wonder what would happen if we, the Church, would reclaim the territory that we abandoned and begin to take care of the poor, the widowed, and the orphans rather than abdicating that responsibility to the government.

If we are really concerned about the moral decay of our society, we should spend our energy sharing with others the only source of authentic and lasting life change: Jesus Christ. When we come to Him, He begins a transformation process that moves from the inside out. And I am confident of this very thing: He who begins this good work will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6).

Every 4 years I am reminded of the practical atheism in our lives (mine included). We claim to know the Lord, yet we live, talk, and make decisions as if we didn’t. We proclaim the sovereignty of God, yet complain when election outcomes don’t align with our wishes.

Rather than wringing our hands about the outcome of the election, I think its time to get to work on the task we are called to do. Rather than spending our energy on temporal issues, let’s focus on the eternal impact we can have by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. He came to reconcile sinners to God…and He has given us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).

Let’s get on with it!

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Janelle said...

Well said Pops!!

I am proud to be your FAVORITE daughter! :)

At least your favorite baby!!

Kay said...

Very true. The very same ppl that sent me emails bashing 'the other guy' are strangely silent now that the election is done and over with. It makes me very sad.

gigi said...

Pops is on a roll. I can picture you now, "Can I get an Amen?" Yes, you can ... Amen, Pops! Well said!

Is this an exclusive or can we look forward to more guest blogs??

Janelle and Ella said...

Very well written! Couldn't agree more.

Gigi2 said...

Thank you Pops! Well said, and such a good reminder of our commitment to our Lord and Saviour.

jaghrn said...

Amen!!! Tim Lambert senior counsel and CEO for the TX Homeschool Coalition said something very similar. Intelligent Christian men with great minds think alike! Great thoughts JLee...nice typing Laura ;) I will be an avid reader of your blog JLee! so get busy...I can't wait for more! ~ Jodi