From last Sunday:
As one pastor blogged this week, this is the time when we hear and see a lot of scary stuff. We see it and we hear it from people in all types of mediums and of course I am talking about the campaigns of the midterm elections. It is common for Christians to react to all this hype with pessimistic dismay, fearful panic or frustrated indifference. Truly, our nation is in a mess and it is never helpful to declare peace, when there is no peace. But God’s people are always called to respond to sin and sins’ consequences with repentance and faith. So we must begin by pointing the finger at the person we see every morning in the bathroom mirror (and I am not talking about your spouse). Yes, I think we should cast our votes this Tuesday and do so with informed minds, strong conviction, humble spirits, and thankful hearts. We surely can enter this weekend with a prayerful anticipation or hope that certain results will move more inline with biblical wisdom and common sense for the good of the nation. However, any true reformation of government will only come as a result of a biblical reformation of the people of that government which will only happen through the reformation of the church…The BODY who has been given the GOOD NEWS of the new KING of the World…the church is the preservative entity that is designed by Christ to be salt and light in a dark world.
The political and governmental mess we read about in the Star Tribune or watch on Foxnews is our mess…and not because we voted for them (which we all have to some degree). It is our mess because we as the people of God have lost our saltiness and our brightness is dimmer than my kid’s nightlight. We are guilty of worshipping the same idols as the rest of our country, we relate to our spouses and kids with similar abdication or unfaithfulness as the world does, we are reckless and lazy in our finances, we are cowards in declaring the Gospel, we grumble and complain because our blessings from God are not wrapped with glittery paper (we can’t afford a 42 in TV so we had to settle for 32 inches), we act with selfish “what’s best for me” motives, and we quickly run to government, politics or something else as our Savior or security.
So what do we do? We repent. We confess our sins to a gracious God and believe the Gospel. Jesus came to save sinners. He did not come to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. Let us begin by taking responsibility for our nations woes by confessing our own guilt as a church beginning as individuals and families. Let us confess our sin of abdication of salt and light and look to the One who gives us His Spirit and restores His people to be THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD in obedience to King Jesus. He is LORD. Let us not forget this. All authority has been given HIM and he has brought us together to disciple the nations…including our own. It begins by humble confession and repentance of our own sin…and hopeful joy in the One who declared forgiveness when rose from the dead!
Here are eight things to begin with:
1. Spiritual Adultery
Definition: The giving of one’s devotion to something or someone other than God.
2. Marital Unfaithfulness
Definition: The lack of Christ-centered fidelity to your spouse in mind, words and actions.
3. Child Sacrifice to False Gods
Definition: The surrendering up of our children to numerous dangers through a selfish abdication of our role as spiritual shepherds and disciplers.
4. Scandalous Stewardship
Definition: The irresponsible, lazy and reckless use of our talents (money, skills, time, etc) leading to a burden of indebtedness rather than fruitfulness.
5. Shameful Ingratitude
Definition: The inexcusable forgetfulness of God’s constant blessings manifested in pride or discontent rather thank thankful faith.
6. Gospel Cowardice
Definition: The lack of joy and confidence in Biblical Truth (in general) and the Gospel (in particular) leading to fearful, embarrassed and lazy closet-Christians.
7. Self-centered Individualism
Definition: The “what is best for me” first mindset with little or no concern for who it affects others that you are really connected to – family, church, community, nation.
8. Idolatrous Trust
Definition: The reliance on anything other than God to be your savior.