There’s a palpable sense of frustration, anger and fear in the air all around the world today. In the USA it expresses itself through Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. England shocked the world with its Brexit.
In France, the far-right party of Marine LePen serves as a megaphone for those who are fed up with the status quo.
These feelings always exist but it seems that they are boiling rather than simmering now.
When people get mad good things can happen. In the United States MADD (“Mothers Against Drunk Driving”) was born from the anger of Candy Lightner who lost her thirteen-year old daughter when she was struck by a car piloted by a drunk driver.
MADD claims that deaths caused by drunk drivers have plummeted by 50% in the USA since its founding.
In Germany in the early 1930s, though, people were fed up with economic suffering and shame heaped on them from losing the First World War. Nazis, communists and others offered solutions for angry people—and paved the way for Adolph Hitler’s rise to power.
The moral of the story is to make sure your anger leads to something better … if you can.
I don’t know how all this is going to play out, though the rage and venom from sides of the political spectrum shocks me. Media—right, left and center–constantly stirs the pot and has given non-partisan journalism a black eye.
Today’s “news” often tells you more about the political bent of the journalist than it does about what has happened.
I Hope …
Here are two things I hope fervently: I hope each of us remembers that we don’t know everything. If we win, let’s remember that we’re sharing this country with others who also love it. Let’s try to understand why others are mad.
Getting 50.001 percent of the vote doesn’t make us right. It just makes us the winner of the election. Sure, that 49.999 percent of the electorate that voted for the loser has some doofuses (That’s the plural of doofus. I hesitated between doofuses and doofi).
But, they also bring another way of looking at things and challenge us to think beyond our limited experience.
Respect the other person, even if you don’t agree with him. Honestly, it’s hard to take my own advice when I watch adults act like two-year olds. These people are going to lead the free world? Help us Lord.
I Hope For the Church
What I hope for the Church is this: That we stop acting as if everything in history depends on Hillary or Donald. Neither one of them has nail scars in their hands.
Where men live together they must decide the rules of how they live together and who will be the leaders in these associations.
It doesn’t work without rules and authority.
Christians can/must be involved in our democratic societies. We need Christian truck drivers, Christian bankers, Christian secretaries, Christian doctors, and Christian politicians.
And no, this last isn’t an oxymoron.
Our problem comes when we think our main recourse is temporal power–politics.
There is a Power who reigns over all and He is the One who decides and disposes. My gripe is that we get so passionate about politics and so tepid about prayer, so red-faced about Republicans and Democrats and so “ho-hum” about a man’s eternal destiny.
Sometimes I think we are like mad bulls reacting to the bullfighter’s red cape. And the “bullfighter” shakes his cape often, simply to antagonize us and see us charge and accomplish … not much.
Our most powerful message is Jesus and the life change He brings.
The Most Important Thing
We could win the culture wars and still lose the eternal war for men’s souls. Sinful men who do right simply because it’s the law of the land are still sinful men, lost without the Lord Jesus. When Jesus changes our heart, we don’t need a law to make us do what pleases God.
We want to please Him.
Whatever happens the Lord wins! If the devil himself were president, the Church would still be victorious because the Captain of our Salvation defeated him at the Cross.
Tough times are the Church’s opportunity.
“But David. I’ve never seen sin prancing and preening like it is now.” Yeah, I know– What an opportunity!
“Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 5:20, 21 NKJV)
The Message paraphrases it like this: “All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.” (Rom. 5:20, 21)
This is slightly lifted out of its context but the truth still screams at us: “Hey, if sin is abounding on every hand, grace abounds even more! Grace ABOUNDS.”
Church, quit crying about what the enemy is doing. Stand up and do exploits in the Name of the Lord. Grace is pulsing through the atmosphere. This is our day.
Do we really believe the Word of God? Get angry at what makes God angry—the ravages of sin in lives, broken hearts, decimated relationships, children growing up in a home charged with hate, men and women separated from God.
Let’s get mad about that and get up and bring God’s grace to this staggering world.
(You still love me after that? Hey, you folks are special and I so love and appreciate you. My heart’s cry for each of us is that God touch us, grow us, and empower us to take His love to those who desperately need it.)
QUESTION: What are your greatest frustrations about evangelism?
Rick WARREN: That Christians would rather argue than evangelize. That people are more interested in winning arguments that in winning people. That people are more interested in making a point than in making a difference. That people put politics above the souls of people. That people are more afraid of guilt by association than allowing others to go to hell.