A Lament for Thursday

I am frustrated with so-called Christians who’ve essentially replaced the God of the Bible with the god of American sub-cultural christianity. They long for the good old days when the church had positional authority: power & prestige; when they had a place at the table. But, because they were more interested in political power, they failed to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Christians are absolutely allowed to interject themselves into the conversation. But…how? And, for what purpose?

When Paul exercised his right as a Roman citizen, it was for the furtherance of the gospel. It seems to me that America’s Christians often exercise their rights as “their rights”, forgetting that they were bought with a price- this means for all intents and purposes, they have no rights in light of the Gospel. We are to give up what is “ours” for the sake of Christ, and for the sake of the “other”. This is why Paul wrote, “consider others better than yourselves.”

While there are certainly cultural things that we may stand up and speak against, it is time that we, as Christians, understand that our country has moved on. We’ve lost the cultural battle. And because for so long we were used to getting our way, we are now facing exile. And exilic believers act differently- read Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles in Jeremiah 29.

What’s more, Jeremiah 49:1 says, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Has Israel no sons? Has Israel no heir? Why them has Molech taken possession of Gad? Why do his people live in its towns?'”

People can lament about the “loss of our nation” all they want. I read the words of boomers and builders as they lament about what’s happened to “their country”. And the answer is so simple.

They were more interested in securing for themselves financial blessings and success in post-war America than they were in passing on the faith. The church, especially the conservative Christians, became enamored with political power- in short, they “gained the whole world and forfeited their souls.”

And now, far too many of those who call themselves “Christian” support a bully politically who doesn’t even believe what they claim to support. And, it’s possible that this person will win.

What needs to happen is not a return to the good old days when evangelicals reigned and the church was listened to.

What needs to happen is for people within the church to remember that God changes hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit and that we are to be heralds of that Gospel.

 

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