Monday, January 19, 2009

A Call for Change: A Christian's response to our government and world

I’ve been thinking about this inauguration. Even though I disagree with Obama’s ideology, I am thrilled that the ultimate glass ceiling has been broken. This is a historic time in our nation’s history. It has given me cause to reflect on how we got to the election of a liberal president. What was his appeal? Why did people vote for him? I think I have come up with an answer. I think it was the idea of having someone positive in office. Someone who appealed to people’s need for hope in their lives and change in our government. If you voted for him, I would be interested in your reasoning if it varies from that analysis.

Regardless of whether you voted for him or not, I believe for Christian’s regardless of political persuasion we should see opportunity. Obviously people are attracted to a message of hope, peace and change. As Christians we have the answer to all those desires in Christ. However, at the root of the issue a politician is not the answer that Christ is for the hurting heart. A politician cannot solve the problems that plague souls in need of a Savior. All Christians, regardless of political persuasion need to get busy sharing Christ with the world around them. I believe the Bible gives us a prescription for sharing the love and hope of Christ in our world.

We are to be a light in a world of darkness(Matthew 5:14). That means that we show Christ to the people we meet who do not know him. How we do this is by our good works and by displaying the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

I’ve been trying to analyze the good work I do that will show others Christ, to be honest it’s embarrassing. I need to be doing more for the world around me. Not just work within the church although that work is important, but work for the poor, needy, widows, and fatherless. That is real religion (James 1:27). That is how the world sees our light

The world should also see the fruit of the Spirit working in our lives. What I mean by that is that we are a people of love and peace. Often conservative Christians shy away from those titles because it just seems too liberal. However that is a type of liberalism that God requires. In three passages in the New Testament we are admonished to submit to our authority and to make peace and do good works (1 Peter 2:13, Romans 13, Titus 3) . This is something God takes seriously. We must do it, since it allows us to show God to those looking for hope and change.

Christians must change from a worldy attitude of cynicism and evil-speaking to one of love. We must not only speak kindness but must show real sacrificial love to the needy around us. That does not mean we back down from our morals. We show love for God when we stand for what God calls right. However when at all possible we must avoid the desire to speak hate against those who disagree with us, and instead speak truth in love and promote leaders who share our moral values.

Christians are to be a people set apart to peace. People without Christ react with hostility to those who do not agree with them. What causes people who don’t know Christ to see the difference in our lives? If we claim that Christ has changed our lives yet react the same way as everyone else, why would someone believe us? They shouldn’t. If we choose to live in the Spirit and love peace people will see the difference in us. They might be attracted to that difference and come to know Christ. When we respond to the world with anger, cynicism, and mockery simply because we don’t “get our way” we are giving into the flesh and are not living by the Spirit.

Christians in the community should be leading the way in the areas of doing good instead of relying on politicians to do it for us. We should not wait for our government to do what the Lord has already commanded of us. For conservative Christians who did not vote for Obama, I ask you to examine your life. Have you been doing all you could for a needy in a lost and dying world? Or are you of the mindset that “they need to work harder”, or “it’s not my responsibility”. I think as Christians we have been corrupted by a world view that says we should work hard for as much as we can and let everyone else fend for themselves. While that world view is “The American Dream”, it not the Bible’s view. The Bible teaches us to be self-sacrificing, work for the good of others, and give the glory to God. Blessing is the recompense for these actions, but “blessing” does not always mean financial reward (2 Corinthians 9).

In light of these observations, I will mirror Obama’s call for community service but for different reasons. We should help the needy not just because we should serve those around us, but because there are lost souls who need to see the change a Savior can make. They see that change clearly through Christians who are God-loving and People serving.

As a Christian we possess the real Hope. Don’t let secularism take away our chance to share truth. Let’s reclaim Hope and change within the Church and make a difference to the World. The call for Christians everywhere is that we embrace change in our own lives. Regardless of your political leanings and the result of the recent election, if Christians live with our minds set on Christ, our actions will follow and positive actions will result.

God Bless America.


Ben and April said...

Well said, Keri! I appreciate your perspective and the challenge!!

Keri said...

Thanks April. I've been convicted about my own life in this area, and the sermon last night convinced me that i need to do more.

Paul & Amy said...

I agree, Keri. Good challenge and reminder.