Where do we go from here?

by lora on November 7, 2008

“Where do we go from here?” is a question I’m hearing a lot.  One of my own children even asked if we should move to another country now that Obama has been elected.  The answer to that is no, though honestly, I don’t like the prospects of the next four years a great deal.  I couldn’t think of a single country that wasn’t more liberal or that didn’t have bigger problems with Christianity where we could live. I spoke to the girls about several realities of the world that we live in, and the main reality that we spoke about is where we get our security.  My security doesn’t come from a government or a political figure; my security is in Christ, and Christ alone. My Christian brothers and sisters around the globe experience things that are  much harder than I am experiencing, or probably ever will. In China, you can be imprisoned from meeting in a non-government-sanctioned church. In Ethiopia, you can be killed for being a Christian, as you can in the Sudan.  In the Middle East, you can be jailed for proselytizing.  If you look at the big picture, and at what is really important, things ain’t so bad.

This election has also brought about much discussion on the future of conservative politics in America. The pundits are saying, and I believe accurately, that a true hardline conservative cannot be elected to national office, and that the Republican party will have to become more centerist if they want to have people in power.  I agree with this statement on a pragmatic level.  I don’t agree with compromising your beliefs as an individual, but I also recognize that we have turned a corner politically.  Many who were able to vote in this election for the first time have a much different worldview than I did at their age.  I remember when Roe v. Wade was enacted, even though I was only 9. I remember women’s lib coming into play and seeing women on the news having big bonfires burning their bras in rebellion. These were big issues at the time, but they were also new and controversial. Much discussion was had on what was right and what was wrong.  The generation of my children hasn’t had the experience of hearing these debates as I did.  When I speak of this generation, I am speaking of those in the mainstream, who went to public schools and were not raised in conservative Christian homes. For clarification purposes, when I say Christian home, I do not mean a social Christian, but a theologically sound Christian.  This generation has been taught abortion is an effective and socially acceptable means of birth control, a homosexual lifestyle is equal to that of a heterosexual one, and you must be a right wing nutjob to believe in a Creator of the universe.  Through the outcome of the election this week, we are seeing the outpouring of the values that our schools have taught for the last generation.

As Christians, where do we go from here? I believe that the proof is in the pudding as far as social Christianity goes. Those like the Moral Majority and Dobson have been telling us for years that the way to bring about change is through the political process.  I do not believe that to be the case, as we have seen through this election.

17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”  20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.   1 Cor 1:17-21

What Christians have been trying to do for years is convince those who are of this world that Godly things are right.  We have tried through political speeches, protests, and many other worldly means.  We are using the methods of the world, and not the methods that we as Christians are to employ.  We have been doing exactly what it says in verse 17 not to do.  We have been trying to persuade with the wisdom of our words, which has made the cross of no use to most.  They look at pro-life conservatives as some radical fringe. Just recently I was reading an article in which it was stated that the Southern Poverty Law Centers considers a group to be a cult if they oppose homosexuality, Catholicism, and the government. According to this definition, most Christians are part of a cult.  I truly believe that with the passage of time, Christianity will be openly named as a dangerous cult, and will be watched closely.

Verse 18 tells us that the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.  In other words, we can’t use the cross to try to convince someone who isn’t a believer. For my whole adult life, I have been told that this is the way we should approach political issues in America, but at this juncture, I can’t disagree with this “method” more. Many Christians believe if we just get the right person in high office, everything will change. It won’t. We live in a fallen world, and that is just a fact.  What I’m trying to convey is more about the method that we employ to bring about change, rather than the actual laws we are trying to change. If we changed all of the laws and forced people to live moral lives and did not save their souls, what eternal benefit would that be to them?  Scripture doesn’t tell us living moral lives will bring people to the foot of the cross.  The preaching of the gospel and the moving of the Holy Spirit is what causes a person to fall on his face in repentance.  As a Christian, what should be our prime concern?

What could be done for the Kingdom if every Christian who went out campaigning for a candidate spent an equal amount of time campaigning for Christ? God gave us the responsibility to evangelize when it was written, “preach the gospel unto every creature”.  I don’t remember a verse that talks about campaigning for a candidate. We can pass every law on the books, but God doesn’t judge a nation or a person by what laws they live under, He judges them by their hearts.  He is also not going to be giving out brownie points for our political campaigning. I have a feeling He will be asking us what we have done for His namesake, and not that of Ron Paul or any other candidate. I’m not saying that campaigning for someone is a sin, but I have seen many, many Christians who will give up their weeknights and weekends to serve on a campaign, knocking on the doors of strangers to ask them to vote for a certain candidate, but when asked to evangelize, they don’t have the time, or don’t like to talk to strangers, or are afraid of rejection.

If we want to see our nation change, standing on a street corner with a political banner isn’t the way to do it.  Here is the method that the Lord has given us on how to change our land:

 If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  2 Chron. 7:14

If those of us who are Christians truly want to see change in our nation, and our world, what we need to do is simple.  We need to humble ourselves to our Lord and Savior; pray not for revival (that implies they were alive in Christ to begin with), but pray for repentance and salvation for those in our nation and our world.  We need to show a Christlike love for those that we encounter.   When Jesus met the rich young ruler, who refused to give up his worldly treasures and follow Christ, Scripture says that Christ loved him.  This same Greek word is also translated “to have compassion.”  So often during all of this political rigmarole I saw Christians turning on one another, questioning the beliefs of others because of a choice of a political candidate.  There was not one candidate who had God’s seal on his forehead. They were all sinners and all had faults, and the words and actions I saw flying were in no way Christlike. Where is our compassion for our brothers and sisters? Where is our compassion for those who are lost and don’t understand the eternal judgment they are facing?

I believe it is imperative for our pastors and teachers to counter what is being taught in schools and promoted by the government, such as abortion, gay marriage etc. We need to talk about the truth of God’s word in a no-nonsense fashion. We also need to be sharing the gospel with those who are lost, on a one to one basis. If you want to convince someone that abortion is wrong from a Biblical standpoint, you first have to share the gospel with them. They can’t understand your frame of reference if they don’t know the author of your faith.

My hope and prayer is that we, as Christians, will become bold in our faith, and remember that our Savior is Christ and Christ alone, not some political candidate.

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