Even though our current times call for a tremendous deepening of faith, we’re tempted to look elsewhere for answers. We all hope for change, but the future is far from certain. Things will either turn out worse of better than you think. Our predictions rarely hit the nail on the head.
Some are obsessed about the upcoming US Presidential election, but the outcome won’t fix everything and may not fix anything. The entire world faces deep rooted problems, and uncertainty climbs higher by the day.
Flames rising higher
The 2nd recent tragedy in Kenosha, Wisconsin reveals much about the current state of affairs. If you survey the Twitter-verse, you’ll find two distinct camps: those calling Kyle Rittenhouse a patriot hero and others calling him a vigilante murderer. Very few ask, “How in the world did we get here?”
Kyle should be hanging out with friends like any 17 year old. He doesn’t need to be hailed as a patriot or condemned as a killer. Nobody should desire either of these from him. Cheering for Rittenhouse or calling for his head completely misses the point. And the devil loves this.
Have your ever seen an argument between two people, and both have a legitimate point? Then the volume rises, tempers flare, and reason gets tossed out the window. Fists may even fly. Who’s right or wrong doesn’t matter when we reach this animal state. Satan is having a field day right now. There’s nothing he enjoys more than seeing us rip each other apart.
Last night the protests in Kenosha were peaceful. I would love it if what happened was a wake-up call to everyone saying: We’ve Gone Too Far. But I’m sad and afraid that it won’t be the end of the tragedy.
Cast your vote
With the US election coming up, many are at a loss about who to vote for. I say, don’t stress about it. Just choose who you think will do a better job, but don’t count on him.
Instead, cast your vote for the narrow way of Christ.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Some Christian leaders today place a huge emphasis on political battle lines. In this way, they lead people through the wide gate of destruction. Political theatre is a spiritual distraction now. Neither candidate can heal the deep wounds now exploding into chaos and rage. Neither candidate carries a unifying voice. Maybe it’s impossible for anyone to do so.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t vote, but real healing won’t occur unless God works a major miracle. I believe he’ll let us act according to our own free will—which doesn’t offer much consolation now. Many already feel that the government fails to represent us as about 40% of eligible voters never vote. This is a way of speaking out, even if it’s unintentional. They reveal the value of their vote by not casting it.
So what can we do? I say vote for the narrow way. The narrow way sees clearly that racism and police brutality are real—but burning down and terrorizing neighborhoods is just as evil. The narrow way does not identify with teenage militias in the streets killing people for any reason nor with extreme progressives displaying wanton perversion in the streets. Sin is plentiful these days, and the evil one is delighted.
And yes, there are peaceful protesters. And there are good police officers who desire the best for their communities.
How Jesus teaches us
Some Christian leaders today claim the fight is against some kind of Marxist bogey man. They try to scare you that they’re coming for your children, your guns, and to shut down your church. They claim Trump is a victim being attacked by the legions of evil. This has nothing to do with the Holy Gospel.
In the Sermon on the Mount, which holds the core of Jesus’ teaching, nothing like that can be found anywhere.
Jesus speaks of the purity of the heart and of peace. Blessed are the meek and merciful he says. Yes, we must thirst for righteousness, but for a righteousness that restores. He tells us the problem is in our hearts when we lust for someone or something.
Compare this to the Law & Order message some Christian leaders are thumping now. That message has nothing to do with the Gospel. I’m not saying it’s not important, but it’s nowhere near the core of our faith.
Jesus tells us explicitly what to do: give to the needy, pray, fast, and do not judge others. And to make sure there’s no doubt, he tells us not to resist an evil person and to even love our enemy.
How many are laser focused on this narrow gate today?
You say you want a revolution?
During Jesus’ time, the Jewish nation was under constant threat and the harshest oppression. But Jesus preached to them to love their enemy. No wonder he said the door is so small. It’s microscopic today if you ask me. But this is what Jesus Christ is all about. In sin, we were his enemy, and he forgives us and died for us.
Is your priest or pastor giving you this miracle making message today?
We run from this message. We don’t want the full Gospel. We pick and choose. And we’re tempted to dive head-first through the wide gate into the flames of hell.
Jesus warns us about the false prophets. He says you will know them by their fruit. Do we think that carrying a weapon of death or smashing a building somehow represents Jesus? Also, he tells us that many who proclaim him as Lord, he will not recognize. Ironically, many so-called Christians may end up entering into the wide gate along with Antifa extremists and White Supremacists.
Jesus did not stand up to the political and religious oppression of his day by inciting a revolution or armed defense. He criticized the deep sinful nature of abusive power. Then he died for it. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not of this world.
Where do we go from here?
The near future is uncertain, but it certainly won’t be easy. The challenge calls for a great spiritual effort, and tremendous trust in God. On the inside, we should be fully aware of the implications. Jesus understood the severity of sin unlike anyone ever. Still, he did not walk around with a long face or whip people into a vengeful frenzy. Instead, he preached peace, hope, service, and love. He gives this all to us, and he shows us the way.
So guard the full truth in your heart, and don’t ignore the crisis you see. Lean on God for comfort. Fill your lamp full of oil and be vigilant. Our actions should imitate our Lord. Preach the real Gospel that God is full of love and forgiveness. He wants mercy not sacrifice. We can be joyful at any time for our souls are at rest thanks to the work of the resurrected Christ.
Then put on some music and dance with your loved ones. Show them deep tenderness. Fast and pray for this suffering world. Help the needy. Dig deeper into your faith. The world needs you to be salt and light to conserve and shine the way. Vote for the narrow way of Christ.
And go ahead, let them call you a fool for believing. Then pray for them and serve them earnestly.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
1 Corinthians 1:25
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