And the sun still rises in the east

Yesterday was something else. I woke up with a worse headache than I had gone to bed with, finally conceding that since no over the counter meds and no amount of hot showers were touching the pain significantly, the headache was a migraine. So I called in sick and took prescription pain meds which successfully took care of the pain while making me all loopy and ADHD. That’s why I didn’t write anything yesterday.

Tuesday night the hubby asked me, “So who do you think is going to win?” First I rolled my eyes because I knew he was just poking at me because I was so fed up with the politickin’, but then I grinned and I just said, “God.” Now I was pretty certain well before the election that President Obama would win reelection. In 2008 I was completely certain he would win the election. And, you know, in 2008, I realized that I could be at peace with Barack Obama as President even though I disagree with him politically on pretty much everything.

Daniel answered and said:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding;
he reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,
and the light dwells with him. (Daniel 2:20-22 ESV)

The President of the United States is not a king, nor is he the supreme ruler. His power is shared equally with that of Congress and the Supreme Court. In 2008, Republicans ridiculed the Democrats saying that they raised Barack Obama up as their messiah. After the lamenting I saw yesterday, Republicans did the same thing with Mitt Romney, and were therefore crushed by his loss as if the world is now going to end. There was (and still is) a plethora of derisive blaming and name-calling by defeated Republicans that is nothing short of vile and mean-spirited. And what’s worse is that many of the awful remarks I have seen are from professing Christians.

I think what the Christians lamenting the direction our nation is heading fail to realize is that we are not going to be judged for what is happening now or what is going to come now that the Republican messiah wasn’t elected (because apparently now if you are a Christian you have to be a Republican). We ARE being judged for what we have done for decades with our legalistic moralism and prosperity gospel teachings. The legalistic moralism focuses on sins that good Christians don’t do while the prosperity gospel promises us material wealth and happiness in the here and now. So what we are left with is either the self-righteous critical Christian or the selfish materialistic country club Christian, the latter of which pretty much prescribes to moral relativism and only as much backbone as to protect their possessions and personal comfort.

So to my fellow Christians I ask this: Which are you? Or are you a combination of both?

I think as a whole, Christians here in the US, particularly among the Bible Belt, are known more for what we are against than what we are for. We will attend political rallies disguised as prayer walks, and we will support entrepreneurs when they offend homosexuals, and then pat ourselves on our backs for standing up for our faith and our freedom of speech. But where is Christ in that? We want to pass laws to protect human life and protect marriage, but when has the law ever changed the human heart? We rail against homosexual marriage but turn a blind eye or even justify no-fault divorce. We may not be quite as vile as the Westboro Cult, but we still point the finger at homosexuals telling them that they are going to hell for their sin as if being homosexual is THE sin that will send them to hell, yet we are largely silent about fornication and adultery. Therefore, homosexuals see us just as they see the Westboro clowns because while we don’t picket funerals with “God hates fags” signs, we are just as guilty of not showing the love we are commanded to show to our neighbors.

So Christians, you want to “turn our country back to God”? You can’t do that through political means. Once social issues are political issues, the culture war on that issue has already been lost. Laws don’t change hearts; only the Holy Spirit can do that. Engage the culture instead of just condemning and avoiding it. Disciple instead of pressing for a quick decision that amounts to offering a “get out of hell free” card that produces no fruit. Stop looking at evangelism as a way to fill up your church building on Sunday mornings so you can continue to pay for it, and instead be willing to give up the comforts of an elaborate building in order to actually lead the lost to Christ and build his kingdom instead of filling our pews. Pray for a heart that is broken for the lost, and repent of your own self-righteousness. And pray for your duly elected leaders, whether you voted for them or not – not for your comfort, but for God’s glory.

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:13-17 ESV)

16 Responses to 'And the sun still rises in the east'

  1. Hmm, not sure where I fall…

    I make an effort to practice what I preach, since I know people are watching whether I know it or not.

    I have questioned a few of my Christian friends, why will they go out of their way to boycott a show if a homosexual is in the lineup, however they don’t bat an eye at all the mess that goes on with regular couples on shows engaging in premarital sex, infidelity, etc., One response I got was that some ‘sins’ are so bad, you can’t help but point it out. My comeback, is that God says it’s all a sin. Our ‘righteousness’ is as filthy rags. Who are we to place certain sins in their own special category?

    I also reminded them of the Pharisees who were about to stone the woman committed adultery? You ever wonder why they didn’t want to do anything to the man? Jesus stooped down, and wrote into the ground and wrote, “He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone. That didn’t go over to well, and caused quite a lively discussion on FB.

    I haven’t been on Facebook in months, but that incident, isn’t why stopped going there.

    I agree with you that the USA is being punished. We’ve become complacent, turned from God and have willing accepted all sorts of things that go against Gods teaching. This didn’t happen overnight, it’s been here for a while.
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    • DragonLady says:

      I’ve fallen under both, but I mainly lean towards legalistic moralism because I grew up with it. It’s a constant battle for me.

      I’ve got too many gay friends & family to continually be condemning. They hear it enough, so all I would be doing is just further pushing them away. Sexual sin is sexual sin, and I’ve done my share. Besides, they were all friends long before I knew they were gay, so what message would that send if I ended our friendships over that.

      I have considered giving up Facebook entirely for some time.

      We reap what we sow. :)

      • You can disagree with a persons lifestyle, but still love and associate them. Constantly condemning means that the person won’t want to be around you at all. Why some don’t understand that, I’ll never know. I try to treat others how I want to be treated. At times, that can be hard with some ‘special folks’, lol.

        I had the same conversation with some of my friends (both conservative and liberal.) It works both ways, you can’t be ‘nasty to the other side’, and think that’s acceptable. I’m conservative, but I’m always open to chatting with others.

        As I told one group, conservatives fall short of engaging the other side. It’s most apparent within minority communities, and those with ‘unacceptable lifestyles’. Ignoring them, because they don’t count isn’t effective, and now some are starting to realize with the rise in the minority population that they DO matter.
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        • DragonLady says:

          We are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves and Jesus illustrated it with the good Samaritan showing that our neighbor is anyone we come in contact with.

          Yes, the nastiness from both sides just serves to further divide which prevents working together for the common good. I’ve pretty much always been conservative, but have always had both conservative and liberal friends. I don’t always agree with my conservative friends either.

          I know it is difficult to engage with minority communities when you have been in a particular culture your whole life. And my attitude is still changing in this regard, but I’m pretty much done with the “This is America; conform” attitude, and now look at minority cultures as a mission field with a huge opportunity to spread the Gospel even though I am still failing miserably at putting it into practice.

          • I know it is difficult to engage with minority communities when you have been in a particular culture your whole life

            I’d say it’s no different if you reverse that. Just something to think about…I believe what makes it difficult for some is they are simply not making an effort or they over-analyze the issue and believe they have to do more than is needed. People can share common interests, regardless of their background. Just because someone has to be of the same race as myself, doesn’t mean I’ll get along with them. Since I know that, I don’t use that as a block to interact with other races.

            This is something I’m passionate about since I see how some people (both minorities and non-minorities)try to make more out of it than it is. There are many times when I’m the only Black person at an event, but it doesn’t make me feel awkward. Treat and interact with others the same way you engage those you normally hang out with. No secret handshakes, code words, etc. ;)

            One of the many things I appreciated about the last church I attended, African American pastor and the current Lutheran church I’m attending now Caucasian pastor, is they regularly went out and interacted with everyone, and it showed in the church membership since more than one race was represented. Until that time, I saw it but it was with my the liberal groups I’m associated with. They went out of their way to engage and interact with other races. One of the many reasons that liberals are very effective within minority communities. Even if they might not have their best interest, they regularly engage and interact with them through the various groups that are available. When you look at the conservative base, there are no organizations that specifically target inner city areas. I do have a group of like-minded conservative folks here in Maryland (most aren’t minorities) and scattered throughout the USA. They ‘get it’, but more people need to come aboard too.

            I do all sorts of evangelism where I live — Christian and political are just a few. My motto is to interact and engage respectfully with others.

            • When you look at the conservative base, there are no organizations that specifically target inner city areas.

              That’s just one example. Oh my, I’m now quoting myself, heh. Minorities are all over, but you’ll find the heaviest concentration of political groups within heavily populated areas.

              One thing I regularly heard while helping various politicians is they won’t change, so why waste the resources. If they had read their history, they’d have known that minorities mainly voted Republican, up until about the 1930’s or so, but an effort was made to reach them… one way was getting religious leaders on board, and another was creating programs/groups that were geared towards minorities. I’d say it was very effective. ;) I must say, I have chuckled a bit when hearing some of the conservative talk show hosts talking (after this election) since some are wondering how can we appeal to the minority population. Well… it starts with interaction.
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              • DragonLady says:

                I totally agree with everything you’re saying. I should have expounded more on my statement, because yes, it is going to be hard both ways because it requires leaving our comfort zone. And many people are raised to honor their heritage/culture, and in the process make that heritage/culture their identity, and to adjust to accommodate another’s culture is perceived as turning their back on their own. I think maybe if we all recognized that tendency, maybe we could be more accepting of one another.

                I am so thankful that my parents jointly put aside (as best they could) the racism they grew up under to raise me to treat black people as the same as white because as Daddy said “The only difference is the color of our skin. That doesn’t matter to God, and it shouldn’t matter to us.” So whenever it’s creeped in via extended family or friends or acquaintances, I’ve been able to go back to Daddy’s talk with me when I started kindergarten and later what the Scriptures teach, and reject any notion of racial superiority as the work of Satan. We all came from common ancestry, and we are all family. :)

                Our church attempts to reach out to everyone. We are still predominantly white, but we are not lily white, and I love that. I wish we were more ethnically diverse, but it’s all in God’s hands. I think one of our best methods of outreach right now is through our food bank. Being the introvert that I am, I am totally uncomfortable helping with the distro, but they are real people with real needs not just for food, but for the love of Christ. That motivates me to get out of my comfort zone. :)

  2. stacey hoffman says:

    great post! :)

  3. Petra says:

    Great post! Well written, and so true! I have nothing to add. Just agreement.

  4. I forgot to mention I linked to your post on a few forums, because it sums up a lot of what I’ve been feeling post election.

    I must say I am surprised at the viciousness I’ve seen from some conservatives/Christians. You won’t win everything, turning that anger onto ‘the other side’ is mean-spirited and my definition of a sore loser. Romney lost, accept it, keep moving forward and let the loss make you bitter.

    I could go on and on, but I’ll stop.

    Eventually, I’ll write something about being conservative and link back to this post. ;)

  5. Uhmm, that should have been…
    keep moving forward and don’t let the loss make you bitter.
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  6. Nicole says:

    I am far from being in any way religious but this was a very, very well written and meaningful post. Thank you.