1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 – And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
There are many groups of people out there that would like to see Christianity disappear. Countless numbers of people, societies, groups, and organizations are hell-bent on the diminunization and extinction of the people who label themselves as Christ-followers.
A recent CNN story ran about the Christians in Iraq and a Catholic priest said that if something is not done soon, then it could very well “close the book on Christianity in Iraq and the Middle East.”
I know people in many different countries who have been persecuted, some killed, for their faith in the Risen Savior.
Closer to home, there is an ever-growing contingent that lessens the voice that Christians have while increasing the voice that other religious groups get. I think of the school district that my kids go to and a simple thing such as naming holidays. The schools have said that we will get a winter and spring break each year, but we are not permitted to call it by the Christian name. Yet we are given holidays that celebrate Muslim and Kwanza holidays as well.
Psalm 33:12 – Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
There are groups in our government that are striving to remove Christian symbolism and speech (check out what Houston did in censoring pastors in the pulpit!) and yet increase other religious symbolism and speech.
Many people are saying goodbye to Christianity because our government is making it increasingly difficult to be a Christian. And I am not talking a lukewarm Christian. I am talking about someone who is truly in love with the Lord of Lords!
Those of you who know me know that I am NOT a person who gets involved in politics. Here is a very widely known secret, I don’t even vote in elections. Tried it once, the guy turned into one of the biggest liars in all of the political office. Some people will tell me that not voting is wasting a vote. I disagree. Not voting IS voting. It is saying that I cannot tolerate evil, whether it is on the right or the left. I don’t lean left or right, I stand on solid rock!
I do not get involved in politics for the simple reason that, religion has been made a scapegoat in too many political battles. The left has their agenda and it is different from the right. But both use the same Bible verses to make their point clear. Unfortunately, the people quoting those Scriptures, do not know anything about Bible study and are taking ALL of the Bible out of context.
I want to go a little deeper here. Give you some of the reasons that I choose to stay out of political battles.
First, politicians, at least in this age, are very self-centered. They want THEIR agendas followed, usually not the agenda of their constituency. But Jesus was all about being meek. The Christian faith is a faith of free will, not forced agenda. One of the few times we see Jesus get riled up is not at the government, but at those who were supposed to be His people when they turned His house into a place to make money rather than worship God. Now, there is a difference in letting your faith guide your political choices and letting politics enforce religion. For example, I hate Obamacare. Not because I am a Christian and Obama has repeatedly done things to marginalize Christians in America, but because it is one of THE WORST pieces of legislation out there. Before it came out I read all 11,588,500 words of the Obamacare legislation because I wanted to know how it was going to affect me, a small business owner. there was nothing religious about it. It was purely in self-interest that I read it, and, consequently, hated it.
Deuteronomy 15:7-11 – “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’
Next, there is NOTHING in the Bible that advocates going to war (outside of holy war, but those have SPECIFIC rules and guidelines, such as being called by God directly), favoring the rich over the poor, cutting funding to “the least of these,” letting people go hungry in our own nation and around the world when we have MORE THAN ENOUGH to feed the WHOLE world, limit the rights of a certain group of people, devalue education, and turn away those who have no place safe to go.
Let’s look at immigration for a moment. Abraham and Sarah were told by God to pick up what they had and start walking. Moses, Miriam, and Aaron led a nation out of Egypt and ultimately into a new land, Even Jesus spent part of His childhood as a foreigner in a foreign land. The book of Exodus says that we know what it feels like to be foreigners in a foreign land.
IT IS NOT BIBLICAL TO TURN PEOPLE AWAY!
Can we stop thinking about our own selves for a minute? Face it, when it comes right down to it, we mask our own selfishness in the Bible, the Torah, the Qu’ran or any other supposed holy book out there. Why don’t we want immigrants in this land? Because they might be terrorists and kill us all. Or they might use up all our money. Take all our jobs. Whatever. But if you are scared about that, do NOT try to make it into a religious argument.
Or look at the gun debate.
Personal note, I HATE GUNS!
Get rid of them.
Beat them into plowshares.
I think guns have their place. A shooting range. In Call of Duty: Black Ops. Watching Expendables 3. But not in real life or on the street.
But Fred, what about hunting? Great, learn to use a bow. Or, better yet, create preserves that allow hunting and all the guns must stay within the confines of the preserve. You want to go hunt? Go to the preserve and hunt all you want and then return the gun to the owner of the preserve.
Titus 3:9 – But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.
But we seem to make it a religious argument when we say that Christians support gun legislation.
But regardless of your political views, gun debates should never be brought into a church, whether pro or con.
So what happens when we try to politicize Christianity? It gets watered down. It get s lost. And people say goodbye Christianity.
And how should we handle those who are murdering our brethren in other countries? Pray for the families of those who are killed. Pray for the displaced that they will escape their Egypt and find the Promised Land. And pray for the killers. That they will realize that the saving grace of the God of those they killed is more than enough to cover their sins of killing innocent people.
It is time to say hello to Christianity. But as a community of believers UNITED under a single purpose, to love the hell out of people with a God that is much bigger than any political viewpoint.
Acts 5:29 – But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.