Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Get With the Program!

Members of the GOP point fingers and begin recriminations on the recent loss in the presidential election. Purveyors of doom and gloom expound on the Internet. Those who see “signs of the times” in every event see recent events as another indication of the soon coming of Jesus to overthrow the liberal rascals and establish his millennial reign. Political pundits speculate all is lost and the Grand Old Party and our nation have died.

Don’t believe it!

God is still in control. Although weakened the United States government still has checks and balances. The USA is still a democratic republic. Well, at least for the time being.

Yes, the “anointed one” – to use one pundit’s terminology – can appoint liberal Supreme Court Justices. These justices are indeed a concern. But they haven’t been appointed yet. Yes, the great idiot in Washington can undermine freedom of speech and rule of law with his incessant efforts to circumvent the congress and the Constitution.  Yes, many bad things can happen. But they haven’t happened yet and 95% of what you worry about never happens. Fear of the future is your own worst enemy.

Come on! Get with the program. There are some definite steps you can take to help shape the future. Here are a few of them:

1.     Share the Gospel with the lost. America’s greatest need isn’t to pare the welfare rolls. America’s greatest need is to redirect sinful selfish hearts. Only the Gospel – only Christ Jesus – has the power to do that. We got where we are partly because Christ’s church sat back and whined about all the cultural shifts rather than figuring out how to communicate the Gospel cross-culturally. I mean that! Sharing the Gospel in the current American culture is cross-cultural evangelism! That means Christians must learn to speak the language of a culture of people with empty hearts and worldly minds.

2.     Live the Gospel with all your strength. George Barna reported years ago that while 80% of the American people express a belief in God only 5% of those professing God live according to biblical teaching. He pointed out the fact that about as many Christian women get abortions as those who profess no belief in God. While Christians profess family values the divorce rate among Christians matches that in the world. Christians cheat on their Income Tax, practice shoddy business ethics, and engage in extra-marital affairs just as much as their non-professing friends in the world. Don’t say anything, though, you might drive them away from the church! How silly!

3.     Get involved in your community. Christians have long had the tendency to withdraw from the world into safe little enclaves. Whether a monastery or a Christian school the attempt to withdraw to avoid interaction with a sinful world is foolishness. Come on Christian parents, why don’t you volunteer to be teaching assistants? Why don’t you run for the school board? Why don’t you inform yourselves on both sides of an issue and engage in the process? Don’t you realize you’ve withdrawn into your safe little cocoons and permitted the secular/progressives to have their day? They’ve indoctrinated children since the days of Roosevelt and you’ve let them do it. What did you expect? You think others won’t listen! Well maybe not but that’s especially true when you won’t say anything except to condemn.

4.     Make some new friends. For the most part after you’ve been a Christian for a few years church people constitute your only friends. I belong to a Rotary Club here in Palm Springs where homosexuals constitute about half the membership. I’m worried sick that rubbing shoulders with them – figuratively speaking – will cause me to become gay! NOT! Everyone in that club knows where I stand. They understand my principles even though they may not agree. At least I have access and am earning a hearing. They are my friends! Believe it or not, every member of that club – straight or gay – is concerned for the peace and well-being of others. Right now that small club is raising thousands of dollars to alleviate malnutrition among children in the horn of Africa. Is that sharing the Gospel? No, but it is meeting human need and I can participate without saying, “Be warmed and filled!”  Do I preach to them? Not hardly, but when they ask or open the door I share my faith in real terms they can understand and they know I serve my Lord Jesus. You can do that too!

Just four steps! I’ve only suggested four simple steps and you can probably think of others. What are Christ-followers for? I’m not into the “social gospel” but I am into a Gospel that results in changed hearts because changed hearts lead to changed lives and changed lives lead to a changed culture. And God knows we need to change our culture!