Wednesday, August 05, 2009

God's Ambassadors

Originally posted on Thursday, 17 Jun 2004

“But my heart cry is to say it is crucial that we hold ourselves accountable to a life of holiness--that if we walk righteously, there will come a response from God. Our lives will be a highway over which God shall come.”~ Henry Blackaby, Holiness

It is a great frustration I have to see the church get so heavily involved in politics. The American Church has so closely tied their faith and Patriotism so that the two are almost one. To be a Christian is to be an American and to be an American is to be Christian. We begin to think that the government exists to promote life the way we think it should be.

American Christians tend to overstate the importance of the faith of the founding fathers. We get so very upset at the thought that the words Under God might be removed from the pledge or that the Ten Commandments can’t be posted in court houses and schools.

I really believe that American Christians are far more interested in living in a country in which we don’t have to worry about being persecuted or laughed at. We want life to go smoothly and to live out our faith quietly.

I am sorry that is not the life God has called us to live. God has not called Christians to preserve the Union and to keep the United States a “Christian” nation. The United States is not the New Israel, we are not a theocracy. God’s primary concern is not that the United States has a government which agrees with Him. God’s primary concern is a Church which follows Him.

As an American I deeply love this country. I am very thankful for men like my grandpa Huff who fought in World War II to keep this country free. It is a blessing to be able to enjoy this freedom. Yet, political freedom is not what we called to protect. We were called to bring spiritual freedom to a world that is tied with the chains of sins.

The only way we can do this is by doing what God asked us to do. Not petition the government to change or make laws. We are to be God’s ambassadors. We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, “Be reconciled to God!” (2 Corinthians 5:20; NLT). Our allegiance is first to God, we are to promote His kingdom above anything else.

The problem the Church has when we allow ourselves to get so involved with politics is that we immediately turn people off. Politics is very divisive. Already Evangelical Christians are equated with Conservatives. We are viewed as closed minded, bigoted, and legalistic. The Church’s efforts to get involved in politics has done more harm for God’s kingdom than good.

This country will not be changed through laws. It will not be changed though different Supreme Court Justices. The only way this country will change is because Jesus Christ once again rules in the hearts of the majority of her people.

Rather than getting so worked up about gay marriages and the pledge of allegiance we need to focus our efforts on telling others about Jesus. Not just talking with people, but showing people God’s love. The Church needs to get out of politics and start getting involved in people’s lives. Only when our focus is on helping those in need, ministering to those who are sick, and reaching out to the lonely will the voice of the Church be heard.

The power of the Church is not found in political might, it is found in the way we live.

Live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone (Colossians 4:5, 6; NLT).

Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us (James 1:27; NLT).

Be very careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God when he comes to judge the world (1 Peter 2:12; NLT).

By living holy lives we provide a highway over which God’s truth and love can travel. Until we live this way all our efforts and all our words will be nothing but a noisy cymbal to a world looking for relevance and truth.

Our goal as American Christians should not be to have a land in which we are free from persecution. Our goal should be to help the Kingdom of God grow throughout the world. We are first and foremost a citizens of God’s Kingdom, it is time that we lived like it.

1 comment:

Paul said...

I have posted several old posts from my first year of blogging that are no longer on Paul's Ponderings to demonstrate that my belief that we shouldn't use the name of Jesus to promote our politic agendas has been something I have written about consistently, and it was first directed on the "Christian Right." If the "Christian Left" now wants to take issue with me, that is fine, but I can't be accused of be a talking head for the "Christian Right".

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