Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you~ Hosea 10:12 NIV
If you have been a reader of my blog for any length of time you have probably already recognized two truths. First, I am an enthusiastic follower of all things political and second, I’m less than satisfied with the state of political affairs in our country.
I have written several blogs detailing my opinions concerning several of the candidates running in the 2016 election. However, my irritation with the current political landscape runs far deeper than the sorry collection of candidates running for office this year.
Like many in our culture, I have concluded that prevailing “wisdom” and government policies have encouraged and enabled folks to reject the principles of hard work, faith, unity and personal responsibility. For decades now a large share of the population has chosen to actively reject the very values and principles that made America great in the first place. The choice to abandon our founding principles has not been without consequences. America has become a nation fractured by discord and conflict, a country overrun with rabble-rousers, crybabies, and freeloaders.
Sane people (especially Christians) are naturally panicked by the devolving social and political structures. There are two opposite but equally rational and all too human responses to the cultural and political turmoil. The first is all too common in Christian communities. We withdraw from the greater culture and pretend the darkness and problems don’t actually exist or that they can be fixed through superficial, feel-goody kinds of events or undertakings.
We turn off the television news, tune into our families and focus in on our local churches and the activities that make us feel secure, happy and like we have at least a little bit of control in this world.
This approach directly defies the biblical directive to act as salt and light in our sin-weary world. If the last three decades have taught us anything it’s that when we retreat into our holy huddles we preserve and enlighten only each other. It does not take long for the devil to gain a foothold in the social and political realms, and the world devolves rapidly into social and political chaos.
Another option is to try and outsource our job as salt and light. We work to get the “right” people elected and then demand that those folks legislate political and social changes. The hope is that if the right laws are passed, those laws will eventually change the hearts of people and even if hearts aren’t changed at least questionable behavior is kept in check.
The political approach has accomplished little in past decades but to alienate unbelievers who have determined that Christians think it’s their business to police the rest of the world’s behavior. Even in the cases where it does work, it’s still a disaster from a spiritual perspective. For the most part all we’ve done is produce a crop of well-behaved heathens who lack the spiritual insight to recognize how lost they truly are.
Truth be told, the Christian community bares at least partial responsibility for the mess our world is in. It is our God-given duty is to morally preserve and spiritually enlighten whatever culture we find ourselves in. If you’ve turned on the news recently you know that for the most part we have failed to live up to our obligations.
Roughly two decades ago Churches ceased to pray corporately because prayer meetings are boring and the people in the pews no longer felt like praying. Around the same time many Pastors stopped preaching on the importance of prayer, repentance and doing hard things, even when we don’t feel like it. In its place the Church has focused a lot of energy on helping folks to feel good about bad choices.
The solutions to the problems we see in our world will not be found in church programs or improved marketing campaigns designed to make Jesus cooler and more user-friendly than He really is. Our problems will only be solved when the people in the Church renew an interest in prayer and repentance and stop looking to worldly people to solve spiritual problems.