Sunday, September 23, 2012

For the Sake of Civility, Fear God and Not Professional Fear Mongers! (Titus 3:1-2)

Sometimes I wonder what first century believers, under the persecution of Jews and Romans, would think of current American Christianity. As dependent as it is upon external forces and circumstances, and as much weight as we give things like politics and the economy in determining the state of the church, one would have to guess that we would be like the shallow soil of Jesus' "Parable of the Sower." History has shown us again and again that the body of Christ is at its strongest when under persecution. Yet we seem to think that we are strongest when the world is in agreement with us. (Something that, if we thought about it more, should scare us to death.)

Believers in America have become so used to democracy that I believe they forget who is really in control. Far more often than not God allows governments to come into power who are not on His side. It is part of the whole “antichrist spirit” in the world—where the “world” indicates human culture under sin. We need to be more prepared to face the truth that we may not get the government we have been told that we need as Christians. In fact, solely from a faith perspective, how could you vote for either side of the current American political spectrum? If you are going to participate in the secular process of government you had better have solid secular reasons for casting your vote.

In the meantime, consider what Scripture has to say about our behavior in the public square:

“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” (Titus 3:1-2 ESV)

Independent of what you think the Christian level of participation in the political arena should be you have to admit the American Church has failed miserably on the civility front. It is embarrassing the way we talk about people on both sides of politics these days, and the way we have allowed ourselves to become victims of fear mongering. We are God’s people, after all. He has told us we will face far worse things than what we have ever seen in America thus far, and that He would see us through them. Who are we to be played so easily by political operatives?

This is not a call for believers to completely disconnect from the political process. However, do stop presenting yourself before a system of professionals trained to manipulate you! If you have to vote, stick to the facts and ignore the political soothsayers telling you the future of the world depends on your vote.

Trust God with the future of your country.

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