Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Looking for Jesus

Looking for Jesus

Some states have had primaries already. And true to form, some believers are championing different candidates in hopes of “smaller government and less taxes”. Ah yes, utopia indeed. But what is at the root of professing believers, and local churches as a whole, becoming so enamored with the system we call democracy? Isn’t democracy, or a republic, a humanist system which basically means man rules himself? How is it believers cannot see where democracy has led? And look again at the “smaller government and lower taxes” mantra. At its core is the pursuit of more money for all of us. Yes, it is a form of the prosperity message.

But the effervescence exhibited by believers over the political system is a natural outgrowth of the powerless and anemic western church. Yes, big buildings. Yes, large congregations. Yes, a plethora of books. Yes, appealing preachers. Yes, communicative techniques. Yes, all of those things. But still the western church operates with the energy of the flesh and the ingenuity of the human mind. Flashy, energetic, amiable, organized, relevant, and with an accepted voice within the fallen culture, the western church has been able to grow and thrive within this hedonist kingdom.

But even though it has grown in numbers and money and even political power, it has had to sacrifice spiritual power and integrity in order to achieve its status. The modern churches treat sinners as “fixer-uppers” that can be repainted and repurposed by some strategic advice and a renewed self image. “Accepting Jesus” is treated as necessary only in the context of achieving an earthly reformation that makes you think differently and in so doing you reward yourself with the delicacies of a capitalist society.

And when you have gained a slice of Americana and the American Dream, you will be significantly involved in protecting and promoting that dream. And those who you think present an obstacle to your personal prosperity become your enemies. And when you have a financial stake in all of this, you jump into the fray and make your voice and vote be heard. Remember, where your treasure is, that is where your heart will be as well.

Gone are the days when the Christian faith embraced self denial and humble contentment. Gone are the days when believers focused completely on redemption for those around them. Gone are the days when believers would not be yoked with unbelievers and when believers looked upon the world as fallen and indeed poisonous. Gone are the days when believers would gather in extended sessions of prayer and beseeched God to help them live holy lives and be humble conduits of the gospel. Gone are the days when believers would never use the word “conservative” to describe themselves.

Today the sacred has been mixed with the profane. Even orthodox believers, who see very clearly the errors of the Osteens and Warrens and the Bells, have succumbed to the allurement of the spirit of America. The sirens continue to play sweet music about the founding fathers and the good ole days and a return to the Judeo-Christian ethic but in those sweet melodies are harmonies of death. Redemption has become a by product rather than a passion. America has taken on an entire spirit and has been lifted up as a beacon to the world and believers have bowed to that falsehood.

To listen to Christian television speak with words of worship about America is disturbing and blasphemous. And in this election year, the followers of Bell and of Warren and of Osteen and of Graham and even MacArthur all have found common ground. They will all join hands and march to the ballot box and attempt to leverage a better life for themselves. Can there be any deeper compromise? The watchman who speaks virulent words of correction concerning Joel Osteen, will vote right next to one who embraces Osteen, and perhaps Osteen himself. But yet the watchman is blind to his own deep compromise.

I Tim.2: I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

I guess God did not foresee the coming concept of democracy, however His command was to pray. But the ingenuous creativity of man does not openly reject the pray principle for leaders, but he deftly incorporates the fallen systems of the world in addition to prayer. Because we all know prayer never seems to produce the desired results. And even with “all” this supposed prayer (sarcasm alert!), and even with the evangelical voting block, Barak Obama was still elected. Perhaps this time around we could try harder? Even Calvinists who supposedly believe God sovereignty elects who He wants still complain about the government. That’s pretty sweet - you get to pronounce your belief in God’s complete sovereignty and complain at the same time. Here’s your cake go ahead and eat it.

Forget about the election and the nation. The church is in desperate need of correction and revival. We have been able to exhibit much activity and movement while still remaining dormant. And politics has provided a wonderful platform upon which to speak and move and get involved so as to camouflage the spiritual dearth. And an election year is a unique opportunity to feel moral courage, especially when one candidate promises you prosperity and one candidate is a liberal who might take money from you. In that scenario you can be bold and endorse the economic conservative! Perhaps the antichrist will be a conservative.

But the path of a dedicated disciple remains aloof from all that carnal clamor. Our path is lowly and self denying. We are grateful for any material gifts from God, but we do not seek them. We know all too well that all men have feet of clay. The braggadocio and the obscene amounts of money in politics grieves us. The reveling and the finger pointing are not instruments of God’s kingdom. It is a battle to be sure, but we as followers of the Lord Jesus cannot put down His cross and pick up earthly causes.

Even in the natural, men with normal intellects should see the useless and redundant exercise of the political system. Every year it’s the same. But if we look through the eyes of eternity and redemption, we must see how hollow and vacuous this system is. One day the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ. But that day has not yet arrived. And it cannot come through worldly systems.

Watch and pray.

Ti.2:12-15 - Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

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