The shocking revelations of the depravity of both major party presidential candidates has many in the Church pointing fingers at the candidates and at each other. Attempts are being made to shame others into voting one way or another. Because the campaign has become so dirty, some are choosing to sit out the 2016 elections altogether. Regardless of what you do on November 8th, God is going to give us the President and the government we deserve. We have failed in our calling. It’s on us!
Believers have collectively forgotten the cautionary admonition of James to the Jewish believers dispersed among the Nations at the beginning of the Church Age.
James 1:22-26: But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.
This post is a call to repentance for many of the self-professing believers in Jesus of the United States. God, through James, called the largely Jewish Church of the 1st Century to practical personal holiness. As a people set apart for God’s service, the Jews repeatedly allowed the influence of the majority culture around them to negatively impact their witness of God’s relationship with them. They were to be a light to the Nations among the pagans. Time after time the Jews were dispersed because of their national failure to fulfill God’s calling. The majority population culture was dangerous to the culture God wanted to establish among His people, and thus among the people they resided among. This led to God’s discipline, Israel’s temporary banishment from the land they were given unending ownership of by Him.
America is not Israel. The Church is not Israel. The promises made to Israel alone through the Abrahamic covenant are not fulfilled in America or the Church. However, there are principles to be learned from Israel’s history. In this, the Church Age, it makes no difference whether one is a Jewish or Gentile believer in Jesus. The guiding principles of James’ original message are as relevant to the 21st Century Body of Messiah as they were almost 2,000 years ago.
Somehow a huge number of self-identifying Christians have arrived at the conclusion that by a collective force of will demonstrated at the ballot box the Church can change the direction in which our nation is headed. In America we elect governmental officials to do the right thing on our behalf. This is true in the Church as well. Most church-goers look to “professional christians” to do the work of the ministry, the work they are supposed to do. Whether it is our government or our local assembly the American Church is largely content to sit on the sideline watching others attempt to do our work for us. We fail to play the role God wrote for us in His grand story of all things, including the story of America.
The Body of Messiah, the Church, should get back to the personal business of making disciples of Jesus who make more disciples, one person at a time. It’s not glamorous. It isn’t popular, But It is effective. This is what Jesus taught His first disciples to do. By doing what He taught them to do, Jesus’s first disciples started a revolution in the Roman world. They turned it upside down in less than one hundred years.
It’s on us. Shouting at the unsaved when they act unsaved accomplishes nothing. Tweets and FaceBook posts aimed at brothers and sisters in Christ will not motivate anyone to vote any differently than they already plan to vote. Public attempts at shaming those who profess belief in Jesus divides the Body that He died to unite. These are not the activities of our calling.
Get Off The Sideline
If you are a believer in Jesus, then use the energy you are wasting on senseless arguments and attacks on others to get busy doing what Jesus teaches us to do in the Bible. Stop looking to build a majority at the ballot box as the last best hope for our country. Look in the mirror and remember what you see. We are the problem. We have the government we deserve because we have not fulfilled our own personal calling to make disciples of Jesus across America.
Right now the future of our country looks bleak. It’s on us if we fail to equip ourselves to make disciples of Jesus where we live, work, play, and worship. This is our calling. It is the only thing that has any chance of changing the trajectory of our country.