Acts 17:11- “The people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica…”
Luke defines “open-minded” as:
– “listened eagerly to Paul’s message” and
– “searched the scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.”
As a result, “many believed”.
Many Christians have this backward.
– Rather than, “listening eagerly to the gospel” they, “listen eagerly to their favorite (or least favorite) political candidate”.
– Rather than, “search the scriptures” they, “search the internet for memes and one-liners about their political enemies.”
Additionally, they fail to learn whether or not what they are seeing is true, so they simply pass on falsehoods and lies for the sake of scoring political points and making themselves feel better. The Bible calls this, “bearing false witness” and make no mistake, it is sinful.
The result? Few, if any, are actually converted to anything, this only fosters anger, cynicism, and mistrust. For the Christian, as we retreat into our echo-chambers of self-righteousness, our ability to demonstrate empathy, sympathy and compassion is diminished as are our opportunities to speak truth into a culture that is deeply in need of it.
The WOPR computer in the movie “WarGames” had it right- “The only winning move is not to play”.
I challenge those who identify with Christ to:
– care as much about the health of your local church as you do your government;
– be as interested in, and as committed to, the local church as you currently are in your government;
– pray often for and with the leaders in the local church;
– point people to Christ as the answer, instead of any political leader, policy or law;
– recognized the truth found in the words of Derek Webb: “we’ll never have a Savior on Capitol Hill”;
– demonstrate empathy, sympathy and compassion to those of a differing political opinion than you;
– if you do not have a relationship with someone who has a differing political opinion that you…GET ONE, and…
above all else…
Remember the words of Jesus in John 13:35- “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are [his] disciples.”
Not the bumper sticker on your car. Or what school you went to. Or the flag that you salute. Or your country of origin. Not the creeds you affirm or the political party you support. Not the church you attend or the position you hold in that church.
Your love for one another proves it.
*a play on Derek Webb’s “T-Shirts (What We Should Be Known For)”