Friday, October 31, 2008

Early Weekend Devotional: Church in a State

I am very disappointed and greatly concerned over some Christians who are letting their fears and anxieties about next week’s election extinguish their rationality and diminish their faith. The demonizing of the candidates on both sides has revealed the ugliness of prejudice and the great amount of ignorance that still persists in the hearts and minds of our people. I am ashamed that Christian people, who should know better, are allowing the devil to prey on their fears and overturn their faith so quickly.

Romans 13:6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing.

I’ve read some alarming emails and blogs from Christians on both sides of the political realm, who are absolutely hostile to the other camp. Their hatred is spewed out venomously and in doing so, they actually deny their faith. Isn’t it Jesus who said love your enemies? Wasn’t it Paul who wrote that the authorities are God’s servants?

Perhaps the day after the election, on November 5, we should all get down on our knees and ask God to forgive us for being so spiteful, unrelenting, and unchristian. We represent Christ all of the time, if we call ourselves Christians, so when we diabolically demonize our opponents, we are not only guilty of slanderous gossip and character assassination, we are letting ourselves becomes the pawns of Satan. That’s something that we should never allow to happen, no matter how passionate we feel about our politics.

It will be part of my Christian duty to pray each day for the new President, whether or not I voted for him. As a Presbyterian, I firmly believe in predestination, so whoever the people choose, God has already decided that person will lead our nation. And no matter what policies the next President tries to push through or accomplish, my duty is still the same: I will pray for him as God’s chosen servant. I may disagree with politics and politicians, but I try never to disagree with God’s choices.

Perhaps this devotional has angered you. Maybe you feel as if you’ve been rebuked. If so, then look into your heart and ask yourself this question: have I allowed my political passion to override my faith?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, sometimes You must despair about how Your Church expresses its political views. Remind us that we are called to be peacemakers and servants, encouragers and disciples, citizens of heaven, as well as earth. Keep us from being hateful, proud, and alarmist. Remind us that God is always in control. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.

John Stuart (aka Stushie) is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to pastor@erinpresbyterian.org.

6 comments:

John Shuck said...

Thanks, Stushie.

After this election we may all need to take an emotional bath!

I have a quibble with this one:

As a Presbyterian, I firmly believe in predestination, so whoever the people choose, God has already decided that person will lead our nation.

Not sure I agree that the doctrine of predestination refers to that level of specificity.

Stushie said...

Maybe I should have written "sovereignty of God"...thanks John. Your agreement means a lot to me...:)

Quotidian Grace said...

Thank you, Stushie. I know I need to repent, too.

B-W said...

Just tossing in my own two cents, I don't agree with that either "predestination" OR "sovereignty of God" means that "God has already decided that person will lead our nation." That's a little too mechanistic for my tastes, and makes God directly responsible for evil rulers.

Stushie said...

I guess I still carry around the Scots Confession in my heart and theology - viz.

We confess and acknowledge empires, kingdoms, dominions, and cities to be distinguished and ordained by God: the powers and authorities in the same (be it of emperors in their empires, of kings in their realms, dukes and princes in their dominions, or of other magistrates in free cities) to be God's holy ordinance, ordained for manifestation of his own glory, and for the singular profit and commodity of mankind.[1] So that whosoever goes about to take away or to confound the whole state of civil policies, now long established; we affirm the same men not only to be enemies to mankind, but also wickedly to fight against God's expressed will.[2]

jairus' daughter said...

yeah, folks, predestination or none, I really, rationally, don't think either of these candidates could be the anti-Christ. BUT there is plenty of Christian polemic playing with that idea. lord 'ave mercy.