Tuesday, October 18, 2016

We're the Problem

This coming election is a mess. That's no secret. I've yet to find anyone who is strongly for Trump or Clinton who isn't delusional. I mean, we're talking about the presidency of the U.S.A., a position which used to be reserved for the most qualified, most able candidate. Here in 2016, we have two candidates who are neither qualified or able, who have committed deeds and made statements that past generations wouldn't have allowed of town mayors, let alone the president of the United States. The only chance we have of having a decent president may be if a write-in or third party candidate gets elected, and even then it's probably a long-shot.

It doesn't end there. Just looking at the direction this country has been heading is kind of scary. We started out as a country where most of the founding fathers at least acknowledged God's existence and power. How did we end up as one where for a Christian to express his or her beliefs is now labeled "intolerant" or some type of phobia?

But the U.S.A.'s problem isn't so much keeping one of these candidates out of the White House. After all, if God could harden Pharaoh's heart, I'm pretty sure He can deal with whichever of these "wonderful" choices get in there. And though as we head nearer to the Tribulation we're going to see greater and greater evil, God's power hasn't slacked where He can't shield His own and bring the lost to Himself.

If we're honest, most of the problem with this country is us.

We who claim Christ's Name, but resemble the devil more than Jesus.
We who claim to be servants of God, but follow very few of His commands.

Here's what I mean:

1. We treat marriage as worthless.

I've seen conflicting results as to what percentage of Christian couples end up divorced. Some reports say the percentage is high, others not so high.

But our view of marriage is reflected in our view of sex and its proper place in a relationship. If we're willing to "go all the way" before the vows are exchanged, we really have a poor view of marriage and its sacredness. Living and sleeping together before marriage, common even among those claiming to be Christians, takes that precious gift and throws it in the manure pile.

2. We don't seek His Face.

Supposedly, 72% of pastors don't crack open the Word unless they're preparing to preach from it. Of course, technically you could say that all Bible reading is lesson planning, but this implies that only about a quarter of pastors actually have daily devotions. This is pastors we're talking about, men who are supposed to shepherd God's people. How many Christians are actually opening their Bibles?

We complain about how messed up the U.S. is, but what about how messed up we are, that we aren't seeking out a better relationship with the One Who gives us life?

3. We disregard our leaders.

When Paul wrote to Timothy, he urges prayer for our leaders. How many of us are praying for Obama, Biden, and our governors? How many of us pray for Hillary and Donald?

We fail to pray that God would work in their hearts so they would do good and not evil in this nation. We who have God dwelling in us know how hard it is to do the right thing. How much harder for those who don't have Jesus? We have the Source of Wisdom indwelling us, and yet we fail to pray that God would give our leaders wisdom, leaving them wide open for Satan.

Instead, too many of us are claiming the name of Christ while blatantly breaking as many laws as we can (which laws, FYI, we are commanded by God to obey unless they go against His commands). Stealing, pillaging, tax evasion, destroying/defacing public or private property: you name it, someone who claims Christ is doing it. I did a quick search, and found a graffiti artist who claims to be a Christian, whose art is found in "various restaurant bathrooms (LOL)" (artistsforchrist.net). Of course, he could be getting permission, but I don't think God approves of vandalizing no matter what you spray paint on there.

4. We don't give a fruitcake about the poor and lost.

Regardless of whether you believe in a solid 10% tithe or just free giving out of what God has given you, we'll failing at both. We're arguably one if not the richest nation in the world, and yet we're giving less than 5%? That's shameful. What on earth are we doing with all of God's money?

Sadly, I'd hazard to guess that most of it we're spending on ourselves. We've been caught up in the craze for the latest and greatest, seeking out material goods at a rate our unsaved neighbors would be proud of.

Things aren't bad. But we're starting to shove God out with them. And it has to stop.

5. We don't speak the truth.

We as a people have become cowards for Christ. Instead of speaking out against what the Bible teaches as sin (such as homosexuality, adultery, women pastors, welfare abusers*, covetousness, etc.), we are too busy swilling out a watered-down version of something that might've been the Gospel at one time.

Truth is, the truth isn't popular. The truth won't get us many friends. But denying the truth is a sure way to help people down the road to Hell.

6. We don't speak it in love.

On the flip side, some of us are very good at speaking the truth, but terrible at speaking it in love. Jesus didn't call us to bomb Planned Parenthood clinics, or to bully gay kids. The only people we ever read about Jesus even using a harsh word against were the religious leaders, who claimed to know God while they denied Him in their actions and attitudes. Only once that I could find does the Bible make mention of Jesus using violence. So why are we taking that 1% and utilizing it 99% of the time?

People who are living in sin are hurting, broken people desperately in need of the forgiveness and love of our just and merciful God. We need to speak the truth, but we also need to pray for their eyes to be opened, that Satan wouldn't be able to deceive them anymore, that God would work in their hearts to draw them to Him. We need to call sin what it is, and we need to show the love of God. Why, when Jesus regularly ate with sinners, are we disparaging them? Especially when it's only by the grace of God that we're any different?

7. We trample on Jesus' sacrifice.

We do lip service to Jesus' death on the cross. But we spit at it heedlessly.

Could someone look at the way we live and honestly believe there's something different about us? That the merciful God and Lord of all saved us from our sins, and is making us new? If not, we need to pray for God to fix our lives.

Jesus died to set us free from our sins, but all too often we don't want to be free from them, we just want to be free from the consequences of them. We say a quick sorry but go right back to rolling in the muck Jesus has cleansed us from.

The U.S. is a mess, and it will continue to grow worse and worse until Jesus returns. But we shouldn't be growing worse with it. We should be going in the opposite direction, getting better and better through the renewing of God's Spirit in us. So what's happening? What on earth are we doing?

This country is only going to see Christ through us. What are we showing them? Are we showing them a righteous and loving God, just and merciful, Who hates sin but loves the sinner in spite of their actions? Or are we showing that God really doesn't give a circus peanut about anybody, that He's no better than those Roman myths of lecherous gods, that He commands one thing while doing the opposite?

*Not those who are unable to work or can't find a job, but those who refuse to work even though they are perfectly able to and jobs are spewing into their paths.

1 comment:

  1. A wake up call so desperately needed by us all!


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