Dear American Church,
I have lived in seven different countries. Some are wealthy, some are 3rd world. Some are secular, Catholic, Buddhists, Christian, socialist (by loose definition), free-market, oppressive regimes, democracy, Constitutional monarchy, etc…
I traveled to Muslim nations. Communist nations. Hindu nations. Nations where witch craft and animism are regularly practiced.
I have seen the aftermath of genocide, massive natural disasters, and extreme poverty.
I held the hands of former sex-slaves. I have laughed with transgender sex workers. I chatted with witch doctors. I played hide-and-seek with refugees. I spent time with former Prime Ministers and Parliament speakers. And, I drank tea in the homes of some of the most materialistically destitute.
I met people who preached in underground churches in nations where they could be killed for their faith. I held babies dying of preventable disease.
Every place I have been, I have seen corruption. Yet, every place I treaded I saw hope and joy.
No matter what soil I stood on. No matter what the language, religion, or current government climate, I can say one thing for sure, “God was there.”
If the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church, then why do you think one presidential election will destroy it? Why do you think laws or freedom of religion has any effect on who God is or what He can do in this world?
If you believe for one second that the Death and Resurrection of Jesus is not great enough to transform anyone (and I even mean ISIS) or any circumstance, then I hate to say it but you and I do NOT serve the same God.
Dear American Church, You cannot legislate the Power of a living God. You cannot contain Him. And, He certainly cannot be driven out. “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein…” Ps. 24:1
I say this, even to myself, maybe if we spent more time praying and battling the powers of darkness and less time fighting for our “rights” or criticizing people who don’t think and act like us, this world would look a little different.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” John 15:18-20
I issue you this challenge, as I take it on myself. When you feel like criticizing Hillary, Trump, Sanders – or really anyone – stop and pray for them instead. Speak life-giving words over them. Bless them, do not curse.
When you want to draw a line in the sand for your safety and build a wall to keep out Mexicans or Muslims or transgender people – or really anyone – remember whose image they were made in. Bless them, do not curse.
You’re only safety and security rests in the shadow of the wings of the Almighty God.
The day you accepted Christ as your Savior, you died. You laid down your rights. So, stop fighting to take them back.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
Do you believe that? Are you free already? Then, stop getting upset when someone tries to take your “rights.” You already laid them down. No one, absolutely no one, has the authority to steal your freedom, your joy, or your hope.
When they spit on you, mock you, and hate you, remember what Jesus endured for us.
I was recently reading 2 Chronicles about King Jehoshaphat. He followed after God. He kept God’s statutes. He did not worship other idols. Yet, in the end, rather than trust in God to protect his nation from their enemies, he made an alliance with a wicked king. God destroyed Jehoshaphat’s works and the kingdom he built up because he chose to trust in the alliances of other kingdoms above the power of God.
Is this really what the American Church wants? The end of us will be destruction because even though we followed God, we did not believe He was great enough to sustain us, so we trusted in the power of our leaders and our governments.
Capitalism and democracy are not God. America is not God. Your guns are not your safety. They will not protect you or sustain you. They will not provide for you. They are flawed systems built up by man. And, yet you set them before you as your shrine. You placed your hope in them.
Do you not believe the same power that conquered the grave lives in you?
In the end, as I watch it all fall apart, I pump my fist in the air with a triumphant cry!
Yes, the Church is being sifted! Yes, some will fall away, but how incredibly awesome it will be when the True Church emerges: bloodied, battered, and bruised but faithful. So incredibly faithful with all of her hope and trusted placed where it needs to be. At the foot of the Cross.
That’s why I am not going to worry about this election… or the next one. My hope, identity, safety, and rights don’t rest on the shoulders of a government or in the soil I was born on. They rest on an Eternal Kingdom that cannot and will not be destroyed. They rest in the hands of the Creator of the Universe.
With all the love in my heart, I pray you believe this, American Church.