Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Thinking Rightly in the Midst of Chaos

Nothing gets the blood of a nation boiling like an election year! And as a Christian, it can be really difficult to wade through it all and keep thinking rightly. A few days ago I heard a great sermon by Russell Moore that focused on this very thing. He said that when we see the culture changing around us we can be tempted to fall into two types of fear and anxiety: "The sort of anxiety that can cause us either to be so timid and cowardly when the culture doesn't understand us, or when the culture even dislikes us...that [we] minimize the gospel itself." or "the kind of fear that leads us, in a hostile culture, simply to strike out in anger and to strike out in outrage." 

If you're tempted to respond in fear or outrage at our nation's current political state, I encourage you to listen to these wise words of truth from Russell Moore. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from his sermon: 

* "As American culture is undergoing a shaking time...when cultural Christianity is disappearing all around us...we should see this as God graciously identifying who His Church and who His people are, with a distinctive witness and message to the rest of the world, to the rest of the culture." 

*"You do not know what the future holds for you. And you do not know what the future holds for the culture around you. But here's what you know: No matter what you are going to face in the future, the worst thing that can possible happen to you has already happened. The worst thing that can possibly happen to you is not cancer, is not a divorce, is not financial ruin, is not going to jail, is not being beheaded by terrorists. The worst thing that can possibly happen to you is coming face-to-face with the wrath of God in the judgment of your sins and you have already been there if you're in Christ. And the best thing that could ever happen to you is already yours. Because the best thing that could possibly happen to you, if you're in Christ, is not that you would make it in your job and in your profession, is not that you would have the family that you wanted, not that you live in a culture that is morally behaved and upright. The best thing that can possibly happen to you is that you would be raised from the dead, seated at the right hand of the Father, and to hear from Him 'there is therefore now no condemnation for you.' And that has happened for you in Jesus Christ. The curses of God have been absorbed." 

*That ought to give us the freedom to move forward no matter what happens in the culture around you at the workplace; no matter what happens in the culture that is going on in the United States of America, because we are marching joyfully and triumphantly toward a kingdom that will outlast the United States of America. The United States of America has been a great blessing and there are many fantastic things to thank God for about the United States of America. But the United States of America is temporary. You and I have trillions and trillions and trillions of years ahead of us, which means that we can be Americans best if we are not Americans first. If we see ourselves connected to a global body of Christ, a number that no man can number in heaven, and therefore the kind of people who stand with repentance and humbly. Not as those who are condemning the culture outside of us, but as the people who are saying to the culture outside of us 'repent for the kingdom of God is at hand' and 'behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world'."

*"Lord, would you remind us that we are the people that You have given the message that brings with it the very power of God? Would You remind us who we are? Would You remind us where we're going? Would You remind us Who sent us? And give us the boldness and courage and conviction and kindness." 

Let's ask God to help us think rightly in the months and years to come. No matter what happens in our political culture we have to remember our purpose. We're not here on earth as Christians to gripe and complain and belittle our leadership. We're here to pray and serve and love and preach the Gospel. And when we're called to take a stand in battle formation, let's be sure we're fighting for the Truth of God's Word, and not our political preferences or religious comforts. Our desire for God to be glorified and people to come to know Him should be greater than our desire to be comfortable in the society we live in.