The mid-terms are over and rather than specifically talk about them I feel that I need to take a little different path today. I am a preacher, a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a Christian, a Vietnam veteran, an American, a patriot, a husband, father, and grandfather. I have strong opinions regarding Faith, Family, and Freedom and voice them as I feel the situation warrants. I have and will speak about politics, religion, family, morality, and life without fear and even in the face of threats. I know what I believe, in whom I believe, and understand what my ministry and purpose are, at this juncture in my life. I am who I am by the Grace of God and hope that I am charitable to all without compromising my convictions.
We have all heard that we are to “love the sinner but hate the sin.” Some have questioned if that is even possible and I say, “It is, but add the caveat that “loving the sinner” does not mean compromising your convictions to accommodate their disagreement.” Forgiveness does not mean a license to do whatever one wants for repentance is to do a 180-degree turn and do what is needed to modify behavior and actions. In the matter of sin, it is to cease following the desire of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and being dominated by the pride of life (following the evil one and/or the flesh) and to focus on God and His precepts. But, that is another subject for another time.
As a preacher, I learned long ago that it is not only possible for preachers to engage in self-righteousness but a likelihood at some point in life. I would suggest that few, if any, realize they are guilty of that sin and believe they are following God’s standards while others are falling short. We, preachers, are prime targets of the enemy of our souls, to fall prey to that mentality and thereby damage lives or produce Pharisees who follow us, and we become like the Pharisee and the Publican praying. We thank God that we are not like them rather than focusing on our own failings and asking mercy. It is my belief that everyone must follow the dictate of their hearts in seeking to fulfill their purpose and assignment in this life. God has not called or appointed all of us to do the same thing, otherwise many of us would be unnecessary.
I had a fellow minister lecture me about my active voice about political matters and insisted that I was outside the will of God, violating Scripture, and he even questioned my relationship with God. I listened to the brow-beating for what seemed to be an eternity as he proclaimed his righteousness, which I saw as self-righteousness. He paraded his personal beliefs about what a Christian and a minister should do regarding politics including that we were prohibited from disagreeing with government and our mandate from heaven was Obedience and Prayer.
He spoke of the medium of Facebook, my use of jokes offended him, it was not becoming a minister in his mind. My political blogs and posts were objectionable because Christians were to have nothing to do with politics and we were to pray, vote, and leave the politics to politicians. In his view, anything other than actively proclaiming the Word of God, the Gospel message, and calling believers to prayer was taboo for the believer. In his mind, I was being an apostate and an embarrassment to the ministry and a hindrance to the advancement of the Gospel and Evangelization.
I waited, like Job as his comforters, demeaned him until I could take it no longer and at one of his pauses to take a breath asked if I might ask a question or two? He, apparently believed he had reached me and I was having a “come to Jesus moment” so he consented. I asked several questions that I will list:
- If we see someone in danger are we to warn them and seek to help them avoid and avert danger or are we to simply say, “God bless you, I will pray for you,” and leave them alone? He said with obvious incredulity, “Of course we are to help them.”
- I continued, “If I saw a child playing near a busy street and no adults around, should I simply utter a prayer for the child or warn the child and attempt to get the attention of the adults charged with his/her care?” He was even more animated and said, “You cannot allow a child to suffer injury or death if you can prevent it.”
- I asked, “What are we to do with James 4:17?” He paused a moment to think and asked, “What do you mean?” I quoted the passage and asked, “If I know to do good and do not do it, what does that make me?” He, with obvious aggravation, demanded angrily, “Just what do you mean?”
That opened the door for me to address what I believe God has called me to do. That is to be a Watchman on the Wall. If I see something in violation of biblical principles being pursued by the government am I to be silent? If it endangers lives, and livelihoods am I to passively fall into line with the edict? If the nation is drifting away from her moral moorings, and disregarding the Creator God and His precepts am I not to try to bring her back on course by making as many as possible aware of that drift? Likewise, if I see good I need to highlight it.
I asked about Ezekiel 33:9-11 where God spoke to the prophet and by implication to each of us regarding sounding the alarm. In that passage, we are reminded that if we “see something and say nothing” and they perish their blood will be on our hands. I understand that this is immediately applied to the Gospel message and Salvation, but does it not cover all of life. How righteous are we if we see people’s lives being destroyed as they blindly follow governmental edicts and we sit in silence without attempting to sound the alarm?
I use jokes to lighten the load and heavy weight of life for as many as possible. I have learned, first-hand, that Laughter is Good Medicine. I have experienced numerous times when some true friends would call or come by during a time of crisis where ominous clouds were hanging over and I wanted to run for cover. They would tell me a joke and as much as I did not want to laugh, I found that as I laughed the sunshine broke through the clouds, my attitude changed, and I saw hope again. I present scriptures and devotionals to address the spiritual needs of people because I know that without God, we have no hope.
It is my conviction and contention that because we as occupants of this world and are to occupy until Jesus comes we must deal with life as we find it. That is one of the reasons I address matters political. Does that make me lesser of a Christian and an embarrassment to the ministry? I hope not. I believe that it is the mandate for each of us to pursue the call of God upon our lives.
At this juncture in my life, I believe that I have heard the Macedonian Call to observe what is happening and Sound the Alarm when I see dangers. I am also to observe what I see deficient and needy in the Church and call for believers to return to our first love and devotedly stand on the principles and precepts of the Bible. I am to strengthen the feeble hands and encourage good behavior too. If the Church is silent, evil will prevail, lives will be ruined, the Gospel message diluted, and Salvation becomes elusive. Therefore, what I do I do as unto the LORD.
I attempt to refrain from a self-righteous attitude. That is something each of us should do. I do not suggest that everyone should do what I do, they should not, for that is not their call or assignment. I want to be objective, honest, ethical, biblical, and speak the truth. I never want to become closed minded and refuse to hear the objections and arguments of others. I may disagree, but I might also see something I have not seen before and modify my position. The foundation upon which I try to build my life is “What Does God Say?” and “What Does God Want?” If I sit in silence, according to God’s word the blood of the innocent will cry out to God as a witness against me and I never want that to happen.
Some may read this and wonder why I am writing this and others will be encouraged by what I am saying. America is too great a prize to not invest ourselves in the fight for Faith, Family, and Freedom. Elections are not the only time to pay attention to what is happening. We have been given a treasure in the Republic and our System of Government and we dare not take it lightly or leave it to the politicians to determine the fate of the nation. I ask that you Pray about your purpose in this cause and do what your heart demands. I ask that you become informed as to what is happening and follow the demands of your heart. I ask that you invest yourself in America by voting in each election and vote according to your conscience not according to personality preferences.
God bless you and God bless America!