“This morning I’m going to preach on a subject that may make some of you want to walk out of the sanctuary.” This was how my pastor began his sermon yesterday morning. He implored us to give him a chance and stick with him after he unveiled his sermon topic.
His next slide read, “Christians and the Government.”
Our church has been doing a sermon series on Gospel answers to some of today’s issues. Our pastor is using topics requested by church members over the summer. So far he’s preached on conflict resolution and mental health. It’s been a really, really great series. But yesterday’s topic was definitely a doozy.
In our country, the political divide has never been greater. For some people, if you don’t agree with their political affiliation or views, then the relationship is cut off. “Cancel culture” is all the rage.
Fool me once, DONE.
But is that what Jesus teaches us? (I’ll give you a hint, the answer is NO.)
Micah 6:8 was used as the main verse yesterday. It says:
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
How many of us can honestly say we enter into political discussions with goodness, kindness, and humility? We focus on the “justice” part and completely forget the rest. Not that you can’t have godly outrage against certain issues. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in justice. But when justice is the ringleader, and goodness, kindness and humility are forgotten, that’s when we’re in muddy waters.
God bless [hated politician of choice].
“How many of you can honestly say that you pray for blessings to come upon Joe Biden?”
“How many of you can honestly say that you pray for blessings to come upon Donald Trump?”
These were the next convicting questions. Wowza. Guilty as charged. Depending on your political affiliation, you may believe Joe Biden or Donald Trump is as good as the anti-christ. And you’re allowed to have your opinions. However, if you search your heart, could you honestly say you follow God’s directives on how to treat those you view as “enemies?”
Luke 6:27 & 31 says:
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you…And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”
And 1 Timothy 2:1-4 speaks to how we should pray for those in authority over us:
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
If you had the ability to bless or curse Joe Biden, Donald Trump, or another politician of your choice, which would you do? Could you honestly say that you hope that person would spend eternity in Heaven? Do you laugh when they stumble or make a mistake? Do you join in the chant, “Let’s go Brandon?”
If I’m honest, I’m guilty of a lot of these. Because I’m sinful, selfish, and prideful.
So it was with a lot of conviction yesterday that I realized I needed to search my heart. I need to take a posture of humility, and begin praying for those I don’t agree with, who are in authority over me, as well as those I know to have different political affiliations or views than me.
Only God can show me how to have a balanced diet of goodness, kindness, justice, and humility. And my balanced diet may look different than yours. Each of us is responsible to God in our own way.
He’s given each of us different passions, different personalities, and different convictions. But He requires ALL of us to pray for those we don’t agree with. To do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with Him.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21