Christians Dissing God…
July 4th weekend is great! We celebrate our United States and have some time to play. Pretty cool. I hope you have a great weekend. I know many of you are hiding out or traveling this weekend–we will be a small, but happy crowd at Edinbrook this Sunday.
The 4th has made me think about the Christ-follower’s role and relationship to our nation. Of course we are suppose to be salt and light. We are to influence those around us with the Christ in us. But what else? How should a Christian live in a post-Christian culture?
Should we hang on to times past when America was better than it is today? This often manifests itself with an edge of anger at what’s happening today, a sense of panic about where we’re going, and compelling responsibility to change the course of our nation. Not that all of this is bad, but we sometimes use the demoralization of America as an excuse to act very unChristian at times.
- We easily criticize anyone who is not of our political stripe.
- We quickly point out the spiritual and political shortcomings of those we feel a frustration about.
- We look for opportunities to declare our views at the expense of some else’s dignity.
- We dishonor those in leadership under the guise of passionate spirituality.
Listen to what 1 Peter 2:13-14 commands us to do:
For the Lord’s sake, respect all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
Be sure to notice that it begins with, “For the Lord’s sake…” Your respect for those in authority has nothing to do with your views or ideals. Respecting ALL those in leadership is for the Lord’s benefit. It is what He expects of you. This was written, by the way, when mad-man Nero was running the Roman empire!
Why is this the case? Because God’s vote is the only vote that really counts. In any given election, even though we may think we are the ones that put someone in power, the bottom line truth is that God has done His will. He places all of those in their positions (much to our dismay at times) to accomplish exactly what He wants to achieve His great purposes. This means that if you diss and moan and complain and rail and criticize and disrespect those in governmental leadership over us, you are doing that to God. God put them there to either succeed or fail or be mediocre according to our assessments. But for God’s plan (because He is really Big), they are achieving exactly what they are supposed to accomplish.
We cannot understand how that’s possible. But…
- Maybe our nation is to become bankrupt so Christians will start trusting in God rather than money.
- Maybe our nation is to become spiritually destitute so that Christians can no-longer be lukewarm.
- Maybe our nation is to become militarily depleted so that another nation takes over our land.
- Maybe our state shuts down so that we stop trusting in our government more than God.
Get the picture? God is in charge. He’s working His plan. And when we complain about those God has placed in leadership roles, we’re complaining about God’s leadership.
It doesn’t mean we should be mute, but we MUST be respectful. It doesn’t mean we must be naive, but means we MUST be dignified. It doesn’t mean we we shouldn’t care what happens in our world, but we MUST be about a greater kingdom than the one down here.
This is all about trust.
This is all about honor.
This is all about living for a much greater cause than an earthly government.
This is all about God.