People have certainly confused the founding father’s intention of Freedom OF Religion. They have misinterpreted or misrepresented their desire for the free exercise of religion. Many now believe, or at least purport, that their intention was for religion to have no impact or mark upon society whatsoever. As you well know, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
We are in a day where our religious liberties are being attacked from every side. I realize that you might not experience what these folks have gone through, but be prepared for the shrinking of the parameters when it comes to the freedom of expression.
Watch for bills coming through Congress like the Hate Crimes legislation that could limit what can be said from the pulpit and mark certain types of preaching as “hate speech.” How long will it be until we have to spend time in jail for preaching against the things the Bible condemns?
This is truly a historic time for our nation. We have just elected the 44th president of the United States who will be inaugurated in January. The truth still remains however, we are a nation divided over some very contentious issues. And the question on my mind is really simple, now what?
Psalms 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.” Ultimately, the problems within our country are not economic, financial, national or international…they are spiritual. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” Not only are we a nation full of sin, but we are a nation that has become proud of sin.
Look at history as recorded in Scripture as well as the nations that have risen and fallen before us; anytime you remove God from the picture, you spell doom and defeat for your country. So, now what? What is our task as believers today in America? What has God called us to do? I believe we have been called for such a time as this. And I believe the church is at a critical juncture and crossroads. Will we rise to the occasion and reach our nation for Christ, or will we abdicate our responsibility and fade into the shadows? It’s up to us.
It’s no secret that I’m somewhat of a political junky…and for good reason. I have decided, however, that there is no way I’m watching the election returns tonight. I remember staying up late in 1996, 2000 and 2004 hanging on every word and watching every state come in (and in fact, watching state returns in 2002 and 2006 as well). But now, I’ve just decided to wake up in the morning and hear the news.
- Well, for one thing, I’ve become fairly disillusioned with the media. Even the good news stations say the same thing over and over and have “breaking/urgent news” every five minutes. Is that really how often something absolutely urgent happens? Maybe so, but it reminds me a lot of the boy who cried wolf.
- Also, I’m not quite sure how this thing will turn out and if I’m going to be depressed or upset, I might as well wait until the morning.
- Finally, I’ve just decided that ultimately, God is in control. It’s not like I’ve decided that so it makes it true, I’ve just chosen to actually live by that philosophy in my life. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” I believe this and to be honest, that gives me an incredible sense of peace regardless of the outcome of this election.
Are there weighty and important issues at stake? Absolutely! Do I stand in favor of the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage? Absolutely. But I also know that there has never been an election in Heaven to replace God and there never will be. So, He’s still on His throne, He’s still in control and He’s got it all covered. Maybe we’ll be surprised, maybe we won’t…but I can guarantee you HE won’t be!
It was very interesting to me to see Rick Warren live and in person on Monday night, and then watch him talk to the presidential candidates on Saturday night, along with the rest of the nation. I found this quote from the Washington Post very interesting:
“This was not a debate. There was not a winner or a loser. The one sure winner was Rick Warren, who overnight changed the face of evangelicals in this country from the cartoon caricature of rigid, right-wing fundamentalists to one of open-minded, intelligent, concerned citizens. There were grumblings that the forum should not have been held in a church. But Warren managed to keep the religious aspect of the event to a minimum, including in his questions. And he followed his own advice, the lead sentence of his best-selling book “The Purpose-Driven Life.” It wasn’t all about him.”
I said it Sunday and I’ll say it again here; if you’re depending on the government to save you then I’ve got some bad news for you. Whether Barack Obama or John McCain becomes president I still don’t place my faith in either of these men. The government holds no power for the salvation of mankind. Only the gospel holds this power. If evangelicals would stop thinking of themselves as a voting bloc and start reaching the world with the gospel, I believe a lot of these other issues would completely disappear.
It’s really simple. God hasn’t selected Rick Warren to save evangelicalism; although I applaud him for a job well done. And God hasn’t ordained Barack Obama or John McCain to save our nation; only Christ has such power…and the willingness to do so.