THE FOOL’S ERRAND CONTINUES
The world continues to race with vigor toward an immense and unimaginable justice which will be meted out in front of a Great White Throne. It thinks of nothing but its own desires and interests. And while time is expiring the only hope is Jesus. There is no other way. He alone is the way, the truth, and the life. The prophecies warned us that things would get extremely bad and just get worse and worse. And the world has obliged those prophetic looking glasses by reflecting their truth.
But there is a reality beyond what we can see, and that reality will soon be the only reality. The sin and selfishness and debauchery of this present world will soon be wiped away and the glorious kingdom of Christ will be established for all eternity. And there will be only two places in which all men will spend that eternity. One is called heaven and one is called hell. It does not matter if we like it or even believe it at all. It is coming and every soul will stand before the Great God and have to account for his sins. And the sheep and the goats will be eternally separated on that day.
Can you even fathom the profound seriousness of such an event? Does it seem like so much religious folklore to you? If it does than you are in the mainstream of evangelical thought and practice. You see the American evangelical community has sold their souls for a mess of political and nationalistic pottage, and the prospect of eternity has all but vanished from our hearts and our practices. We now bow before the golden calf of political power and nationalistic fervor. And even our carnal denominations lead the way into the pursuit of temporal change through political persuasion. Here is an example from a man who is the head of the political wing of the Southern Baptist Convention.
This kind of earthly energy works directly against the kingdom of God. Oh it may seem so noble to work to make abortion illegal but in the end it has no place in the teachings of the New Testament. This world is an enemy of Christ and the fallen venue of politics has never been the way of Jesus. Sure it is tempting to wander into the political arena and garner votes in order to clean the outside of the cup. But it is a mirage and a fool’s errand to be sure. Not only does it distract us from our eternal task and calling, but it changes absolutely nothing. It soothes the conscience and makes us feel morally self righteous.
But it is much more serious than that. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction, and in the case of being political the reaction is devastating. When the church goes chasing the idol of politics it leaves the calling of our Redeemer. You cannot serve two masters and you cannot have the power of the Spirit when you are double minded. Either the gospel is the answer or it is not. And if it is the exclusive answer for people and residually their culture is the gospel of Jesus Christ then it must be our literal obsession. There cannot be any compromise here.
You might think that after decades of political activism with little or no reward to show for it that the church would finally get it. But, sadly, the church still trudges through the muck and mire of politics assuming that the next election will be the moral pot of gold. But as the years progressed it wasn’t just morality that energized the church. Now it is also money, capitalism, taxes, Muslims, and Obamacare. How in God’s dear name have we been swept away by the machinations of fallen man and his temporal carousel and in so doing we have left Christ and His everlasting gospel? Like trading filet mignon for cotton candy, experiencing how cotton candy quickly disappears in your mouth, but continuing to pay for more in hopes the next mouthful will be different.
It would impossible to estimate the impact on the church if we had shunned politics and spent all the time and energy in prayer and spreading the gospel. But we continue to be ignorant of a fact of life. The culture in which you live is like undertow. It slowly but surely pulls you into it unless you actively resist its temptations. And instead of recognizing this culture for what it is the church has embraced many facets of its practices and even its philosophies. We all must work and shop and participate in many aspects of any culture, but when you buy into its source of power, its multi-religious sentiment, its obsession with money, and its fallen sense of morality then you have abdicated your allegiance to the teaching and ways of Jesus.
And the article to which I linked illustrates clearly just how deep the church has delved into this fallen culture and all its systems. And millions upon millions of dollars are spent attempting to wield influence upon this system. And while that is happening the church continues to evolve into a religious reflection of that system and culture. To think you can play in mud and not get dirty is a self serving illusion. But let us be honest. The sense of competition in politics appeals to the flesh as well as now and then a sense of victory.
You see the prayer closet has no sense of earthly competition or victory. The prayer closet is never results oriented. But politics generates much heat and little light. But people feel as if they are being moral, and now economic, champions when within the rough and tumble of politics. But if they are believers they are deceived. But allow me to swing the door wide open here and pull all the clothes off of the emperor.
The reason believers are active within the fallen political system is clear and simple. They love and have an allegiance to a country called America. And the majority of that love and allegiance can be traced simply because they were born on this part of the planet. And just where can we glean that principle from Scripture? We cannot, and in fact everything in the New Testament points us to a celestial country not of this world and yet somehow professing believers feel that God created and blessed America in a very special way. Not only is that demonstrably absurd historically but it is manifestly and almost deliberately being embraced against the clear teaching of Scripture. In effect sentimentality and a sense of community have trumped obedience to the New Testament.
But I cannot see this fool’s errand abating any time soon. However under the radar there are a growing number of believers who have had a spiritual epiphany about the entire mess. Not only have they been discouraged and frustrated by the political system, but the Spirit has opened their eyes to the fallen nature of the system itself. In other words many of us have come to the conviction the God never intended for His people to become involved in these kinds of earthly endeavors.
II Tim.2: Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
God is not impressed with your energy or your organization or even your sincerity. Obedience is better than sacrifice. And you cannot get entangled with the wars, political or otherwise, and still claim to be pursuing a separated and sanctified life, if indeed that is even a goal anymore. And the political harangue concerning the next election has already begun like Christmas lights put out in July. And churches are gearing up for the next battle to the point of prophesying that some candidates are anointed by God to take dominion over this nation like the kings in the Old Testament. The entire spectacle is a three ring circus and has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with Jesus and His kingdom.
We can only pray that the Spirit will illuminate more and more believers to the worthlessness, and even sinfulness, of this fallen system.