Let me first say that what I’m about to share has been laid upon my heart. Things are not laid upon our hearts so that we can tell others what they are doing wrong. No, God lays things on our hearts for which we must confess and repent. That said, if you think I am pointing a finger at you and your actions, I’m not (although God may be). I am admitting, confessing and repenting of breaking The Two Greatest Commandments.
I am bothered, really bothered by what I continue to see and hear – casual conversations, Facebook postings, emails, news, videos – you name it! There’s so much in this political primary cycle that is bothersome, but I will attempt to stay on point. What bothers me most is the pull for the evangelical vote, and those who espouse that they are the evangelical vote. First, let’s give the definition of “evangelical” from Webster’s Dictionary:
All of the gospel lays on the following verses, known as the greatest commandments. “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
If we are to “love the Lord our God with all of our heart, with all of our soul, and with all of our mind”, we cannot place ANYTHING before Him. Idolatry is the most serious and contaminating sin there is. And the reason is because it strikes directly at the character of God; idolatry slanders God’s character. And once you have adulterated the character of God, you have lost the guidelines for any other moral judgment. And so Pandora’s box is open and everything is going to be chaos unless there is the right perspective of God. That’s why out of the Ten Commandments the first three of them (Exodus 20:3-7) are directly related to idolatry. Because that’s the beginning of everything. If you don’t have the true perspective on God, then everything is lost.
I continue to read that Candidate X is the only one who can save America (I’ve seen it written about several candidates – I’m not picking on anyone in particular here). And then I read another post asking folks to pray for Candidate X. Believing a mere man (or woman) can save a country is idolizing that person — it is graduating that mortal to a god status. The ONLY savior we can rely on is the Lord Jesus Christ. I confess that I have said that the candidate I support for the presidential primary is the only saving grace for America as we know it. My stating and believing that was idolatry and I have asked the Lord’s forgiveness.
Let’s face a fact: the American people are angry. Our government has grown itself by leaps and bounds, seeking to erode our God-given freedoms. “They” believe they know what’s best for us (or for themselves) and pass bill after bill (or executive action after executive action that mostly goes unchecked by our elected representatives) in an effort to redefine our country. A great deal of freedom has been traded for stuff and “safety”, and those on the receiving end believe it is their right to receive “stuff”, without ever thinking of who pays for it – or even caring.
These same “receivers” are angry they aren’t getting more stuff, and believe because they live in America (citizens or not), they are entitled. Those paying for the “stuff”, but not receiving it are angry they are paying for someone else’s stuff. Chaos is rifling through our nation – riots, hate speech, vitriol being spewed by others denouncing the riots and hate speech. Fingers are being pointed everywhere with ensuing hostility, including at friends who dare to support another mere mortal running for a political office. Those who claim to be fighting for freedom act as if others shouldn’t be afforded the same freedom to have a differing opinion.
In the Twitter tirades and Facebook arguments, people are definitely NOT showing love for their neighbors as themselves. And what is most reprehensible about the behavior I’ve witnessed (and have unfortunately participated in), is that on someone’s own page you will see one post to “Share if you love Jesus” and another post venomously attacking someone else. And guess what is happening? Satan is winning the day. He already knows he has lost the battle, but he still wins some skirmishes when Christians seem just like everyone else in the world.
As Christians, we are called to be different. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) What we are witnessing is not good, acceptable and certainly not perfect. We are called to be salt and light to the world and to spread the gospel to others. We are called to be an example of Christ. You and I may be the only example of Jesus Christ someone else sees. Are we showing a true example of Christ?
“For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:21-24) If, like me, you have conformed to the world during this primary season (or any other season for that matter), consider repenting and turning to our Lord God for our true saving grace.
If we want a better world composed of better countries, inhabited by better states, made up of better counties, composed of better cities, inhabited by better neighborhoods, illuminated by better churches, made up of better families, we need to become better people. It all starts with personal responsibility—living all of life under God. “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.”