Now is the time to rise up

An Open Letter To The Church: The Way We Talk About Politics, The Election, and Each Other HAS to Stop

Note: This was something I wrote before the last election, and I’ve decided it deserved a re-posting. You will notice that in other posts, I have since expounded upon views that I merely alluded to here.

I’m probably not the only one whose Facebook feed has been flooded with politic commentary. In the past, I’ve avoided speaking up on such things, and I’m still avoiding making any sort of public statement about my voting decision. But I can’t ignore the way I’ve seen believers talking about this election.

I’ve seen people on both sides of the debate, arguing for their stance and making damning statements about, “any believer who doesn’t agree with me.” I’ve seen people who are confused, wanting to participate in the vote but uncertain about how to make a good voting decision. And I’ve seen people who are afraid – what does the future hold for our country? How can we have peace in the midst of this uncertainty our nation’s direction?

Many of us are hoping and praying for revival in our land. What if God’s purpose in this election is not for us to have a leader who is morally perfect, but to have a leader who would position our country for his plan for revival? If this is the case, then the outcome of the election has a purpose that goes beyond our ability to ascertain who would be the best for our country. To understand GOD’S plan for this election, we need higher thinking.

Again, I’m not going to say what my voting decision is. But I will tell you that I have total peace about it. I was originally not going to vote. I didn’t have peace about either candidate, and I didn’t want to feel responsible if I “picked the wrong one” and they ended up destroying our country. But then God started to give me a glimpse of his thinking, and my heart changed.

My purpose in writing is not for you to make the same voting decision as me. My purpose is to encourage you to seek out the counsel of the Holy Spirit and invite God into your thinking. My heart is for you to experience peace about the outcome of this election and a sense of hope for our future as a church and as a nation. We need to stop looking at what’s around us and instead, ask God to give us the vision that only comes from faith. This will change our outlook and enable us to display the faith, hope, and love that the world so desperately needs from us.

On another note, I’ve seen Christians on Facebook saying things like, “This makes me not even want to call myself a Christian anymore,” in order to distance themselves from the problems within the church. This makes me sadder than anything else that I’ve seen.

What does a Christian mean? It means “little Christ.”

When we make statements like this, we are basically saying that something that a PERSON is doing makes us not want to be called, “Little Christ.” Since when does our pride in our Christianity rest on other people’s actions? Our pride should be in being like Christ! If the actions of other believers can cause us to want to disassociate with Christianity, then was our Christianity ever based on Christ to begin with?

How are we representing Christ to the world if all they ever hear from us is how embarrassed we are by other Christians? I’m not saying that the church isn’t flawed, but that OUR FOCUS NEEDS TO BE ON CHRIST!

If we were truly in love with him, truly following him, truly focused on his mission, we would spend ALL of our timing seeking ways to represent him better and to share his love with the world and the rest of the church. We would NOT focus our precious time and energy on complaining about the state of things.

Complaining about the problems in the church is first of all, DIVISIVE, and second of all, it’s not a solution. We seem more ready to understand this when we are interacting with unbelievers. Many of us realize that being argumentative isn’t the way to win people over. It’s showing love and grace. It’s speaking purpose and truth.

Since when have we forgotten that we were all sinners? That the purpose of the church is to rescue us from our sin, and so the church is bound to be full of sinners? Since when is it okay to not offer the same love and grace to the sinners WITHIN the church that we offer to those outside of it? If anything, we need to give MORE love and MORE grace to those within the church.

“They will know we are Christians by our love for each other.”

If we aren’t loving each other, then we aren’t representing Christ well. If we complain publicly about other Christians or bad mouth the church, we are just as much a part of the problem as the people we are calling out.

Church, we are the Bride of Christ! The BRIDE of Christ? Don’t you realize what this means? Do you have any idea of the heights to which you have been called? Do you truly understand the depth of the mystery you are meant to reveal to the world? Wake up! Recognize what’s actually going on around you! Realize the truth about the days we are living in! This is not the time to let anger, frustration, or criticism get in the way of the calling God has so graciously bestowed upon us!

We need to stop thinking such low thoughts and start asking the Holy Spirit to show us the way God sees the church. We are told that the Holy Spirit searches all things, even the high things of God. If we have the Holy Spirit, we have access to the very mind of Christ! We need to stop participating in the back and forth about politics, success, and the problems in the church and start being the light of the world! We need to rise above worldly thinking, and yet how many of us are giving right into it without even putting up a fight?

God promises to do exceedingly and abundantly more than all we could ask, think, or imagine. How can he give this to us if we aren’t thinking his thoughts? How can he give us more if we aren’t stewarding what he’s already given us? Jesus is standing before the church and begging her – come with me! Let me give you more! Let me show you the high thoughts that I have for you and the plans I have for your future! Let me carry you into MORE than you can ever imagine!

Please church, don’t let the thoughts of the world take you over. You were made for so much more, and I KNOW that we have it in us. God predestined us for this very hour, and it’s time that we take the first step into our true calling.

How Kate Middleton Can Help Us Understand the Bride of Christ

There’s something about the Duchess of Cambridge that has enthralled the masses. She’s beautiful, poised, and has an admirable sense of style. She’s great with children and foreign dignitaries. She carries the title she’s been given with grace and dignity.

A big part of our fascination with the woman formerly known as Kate Middleton is her ascent from “commoner” to holding a position in the royal family. Her story is a real life fairy tale, and I believe there’s a much deeper reason why her life speaks so strongly to our hearts.

The Beast and the Harlot: Who Are They?

Most concepts in the book of Revelation have more than one tier of meaning. For example, the woman who appears in Revelation chapter 12 is both a picture of Israel, a picture of Mary and what she endured giving birth to Jesus, and a picture of the church. That’s three meanings. The image of Mary and her journey is a bit more literal — she gave birth to Jesus and was kept safe in the desert (Egypt). The other two meanings are more abstract, and in order to understand them we need to be able to look at history as a whole, understanding a broad series of events through the prophetic imagery that God is giving us.