Monday, March 7, 2016

The Church and the Presidential Primaries

Right now American political parties have an “in-house” decision to make—who they want to run against their opposing party for president. This is similar to what is facing the church right now. We have “in-house” issues to work out.

Within our party we are divided over who we want for President. Many Christians feel we’ve “heard from God” and our guy is the guy. This is fine, but our reaction to those who disagree with us tells us a lot. It reveals the condition of the church as a whole. Not so much that we disagree, but WHY we disagree and HOW we react to others who disagree with us.

Who do we vote for?

God is not double minded. He knows who He wants, but He wants us to come to the same conclusion because we have grown close enough to Him to think like Him. He has given us guidelines in His Word regarding characteristics of a leader, and He has given us His Spirit to guide us in these times. God knows the hearts of men, so we need His guidance. God promotes and demotes, but He leaves some things up to us. He may keep us from going in the gutter at times when we goof up, or He may let us reap the results of our foolish choices. Either way, He wants us to learn to see things from His perspective. If we ask the Lord for wisdom, He has promised that He will give abundant wisdom to those who ask in faith. (James 1:5). Just to clarify though, we DO need to vote. We can't just throw up our hands and say "Whatever happens happens, His will will be done anyway." No, there can be devastating consequences when we shirk our responsibilities! Look to His Word and seek Him in prayer regarding who to vote for.

So once we've made our choice, how do we respond to those who disagree with us?

We don’t want to yield to anger or fear when discussing issues with our brothers and sisters in Christ, or anyone for that matter. If we are angry, it is most likely because we are fearful of what will happen if things don't turn out the way we think they should. This anger and fear reveal our lack of faith and undermine our confidence that we have heard from God on who to vote for. This causes an unsettling in our spirit. This makes us anxious and we want everyone to agree with us because it will help us feel more confident in our decision. The solution in these cases is not to lash out at people, but to press in closer to the God of peace. Let's make sure that we are not only making the "right" choice, but that it is for the right reason. Let's humble ourselves before the Lord and seek truth. This is what will give us peace in the midst of this political storm. We can share our decision with others, and why/how we came to that decision, in an attitude of peace. And when others share their opinions with us we need to compare what they say with the peace in our heart to see if it bears witness. If we get worked up, we won't be able to do this.

The enemy will sow paralyzing seeds of strife and confusion wherever he can. Fear is good soil for those seeds. We must not have more faith in the candidate we choose than in God. We must trust the Lord above all else—the God of peace who WILL crush Satan! (Romans 16:20).

Our adversary wants us in discord. God wants us in unity, even when we disagree. Only the Lord can bring true unity. As we each press in to get closer to Him, seeking more truth and clarity in our own heart, He will direct all of our paths towards the same direction--towards Him. This brings us all closer to each other as well. Once we resolve this we will be a stronger church.

As the church begins to awaken together with a corporate vision our light is dim at first, which brings the cloudy chaos we’ve seen among us. We need to continue to awaken more fully so our corporate light shines brighter. None of us can elect a president on our own, or by our own opinion, no matter how strongly we feel. It's not the strength of our personal opinion that elects anyone, it's our unity. Of course I'm not talking about a false unity where we think we must be right simply because many other people agree with us. This is not true unity of the Spirit but a political spirit like at the tower of babel (Genesis 11). Instead we must humbly seek for a unity of truth in the Spirit as we all walk closer to the Lord. 

Arise and shine saints!

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