Is it wrong to be a Christian and be politically active? Is it wrong to be a Christian and ask for very specific prayers? Is it wrong to be a Christian and speak out against the injustices in the world even if your life is far from perfect?
I must be a staunch Christian, because I believe in Truth. Grace is one thing, but when we forget Truth, we’ve got serious issues. We can’t just be “saved by grace” and forget what’s happening around us. We can’t pretend that the world comes against us at every angle. We can’t sit idly by in an easy peasy Christian bubble hoping it will all go away.
Consider it This Way
We have to consider what Christianity would look like today had Paul not been so bold in professing the gospel, and also disciplining those who perverted it for their own benefit. Paul believed in grace and lived fully in it; however, grace didn’t stop him from speaking out against injustices and sin! And Paul very honestly admitted his own faults and failures, but that never stopped him from distinguishing right from wrong. He may have dealt with his own sins, but God still authorized him to point out the wrongs surrounding him.
And what about Kind David? All those Psalms (songs) about how he felt God abandoned him, but in other songs he praises God and declares everyone should worship Him. So if we say that we shouldn’t show the world how tough it is being a devout Christian because it will turn them off, or somehow insist that we because our own lives aren’t perfect then how can we quote scriptures and witness to the world, then we should also disregard the entire Book of Psalms.
We will never be perfect, nor will we ever stop needing Christ’s grace. We all fall short. Every single one of us. If WE are allowing Christ to change our lives, and we continuously try to “resist the devil” (sinning), why wouldn’t we hope and pray for the same of others as we invite them to God’s banquet? We know it’s not easy to stop sinning. We know the consequences of sin. We know how hard it is to be good and kind every single day, because we fail at it miserably! The difference is that we know it, we face it, we go to God with it, and we repent. We acknowledge it for what it is. We don’t sugar coat it or put a bow on top of it. We don’t tell God, “Well, this is how you made me, so deal with it!” No, God made us the way we are for His glory, not ours! To change our hearts daily.
Jesus warns us:
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:13-15 EVS).
The Message puts it this way:
“Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention. Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity.”
Grace is Not a Free For All!
I refuse to conform to ease just because if feels good and better than being obedient. Imagine if we all just let our children run loose without rules or guidelines. That would be incredibly easy not only for parents, but mostly for the children who could do whatever they pleased without consequences. This is not how God operates despite all the hoopla that the Law is fulfilled. It is. Yes. But if we weren’t supposed to find some kind of “instruction” from the Law or God’s commands, we wouldn’t need the Old Testament. We could just throw it out the window and call it a day. Grace is not a free for all. Grace places a desire in us to be obedient while honoring God.
If the Old Testament were no longer relevant by any standards, then we can most certainly agree that the Ten Commandments should no longer be posted in public places. We can also disregard worshipping with our whole hearts and souls. We can dismiss the Psalms and convince ourselves God is NO longer for us and will indeed forsake us. And then we can eat evolution for breakfast, lunch and dinner and turn back into monkeys someday, because the Old Testament and all it speaks of is no longer relevant since Christ fulfilled the Law.
What Do We Stand For Then?
Standing up for life and the lives of the unborn. Standing firm on the platform of marriage that God created and designed. Speaking out against injustices. Helping the poor and those in need. Jesus didn’t preach anything different, folks. He didn’t change the rules. He exemplified them by living them! No one said don’t rest on the Sabbath, Jesus just showed them how. Jesus didn’t tell us to stop honoring our parents, He showed us how. Get my drift? We don’t just give those things up because we become Christians; instead, those things should be exemplified through our faith.
If we sit back and live in an easy peasy Christian bubble of goodness, then we are truly fooling ourselves and those around us. We are not only lying to ourselves but to the world who desperately needs to know Christ. They need to see the Truth of what that means, not just the Mary Poppins goodness of it all. Yes, surrendering our lives to Christ is abundantly amazing, but it doesn’t change the fact that we still reside in an ugly place full of darkness and trouble. We don’t get a free, “Get Out of Trouble” card when we become Christians. If anything, we get into more sticky situations than ever before, only now we have Christ to rely on Who helps us through it all. Our faith doesn’t make life easier, it makes our life easier to deal with.
Christianity and Politics
We also need to be politically aware of what’s happening around us and be actively involved, otherwise we will simply get what we deserve for being so passive on the subject. Do we want leaders running our country who are faithless and vile? Do we want people in office who won’t protect our rights and freedoms as Christians? Who will fight our battles for us if we don’t? If we all just had this blasé attitude about it all and claimed it was terrifying to nonbelievers to be outspoken about what we believed so we remained silent, who then would speak up? Sure, we can all sit back and drink our Big Gulps of Grace and let everyone else do the hard work and then criticize them for it, and even tell them how sadly mistaken they are for seeking prayer and guidance while we point our fingers at them. But what if everyone sits back gulping it up, lounging in a pool of fake grace? Then no one does anything, and we can kiss our freedoms goodbye and let the secularists take over and tell US how it will and won’t be.
Don’t Be Tricked
I don’t disagree with grace vs. the Law. I really don’t. But I don’t want us to be tricked into believing that grace means running back and forth in a field of daisies, laughing and singing all day. Christ said we’d lose friends and family, that we would have trouble, that our lives would even be in harms way if we followed Him. We would be hated.
We are not supposed to be loved by the world, people! If we are, then we are doing something seriously wrong. The world hates us because we won’t bow down to their “anything goes” mentality. That, too, is not what grace is about! And let’s also not confuse our desire for morality as being bound by “the Law.” The New Testament, although full of love and goodness, also warns us on almost every page not to conform to the ways of the world, and to stand strong on our foundation of Christ regardless of what the world throws at us.
The Ezekiel Way
“And he said to me, "Son of man,t stand on your feet, and I will speak with you." And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, "Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God.' And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house. (Ezekiel 2:1-7)
God commanded Ezekiel to eat the scrolls. To consume them. To make them a part of himself. Why? So he could preach it and teach it—even to a rebellious nation! God told him to speak His Words, “whether they hear or refuse to hear.” That says to me that even if the world doesn’t care to listen, we are still to speak God’s Word. For it is rebellion that makes them resist. So don’t ever let anyone tell you that just because you “don’t have it together,” you have no right to speak God’s Word. None of God’s prophets had it together! That’s why God used them.
A Good Head Bonking
We aren’t supposed to strongly believe in right and wrong anymore? Or is it that we just aren’t supposed to talk about it? Are we supposed to pretend we are one of them and avoid retaliation, or do we stand out like a sore thumb and get bonked on the head? A good head bonking isn’t fun…but it’s the hard life Jesus told us about that grants us a ticket on the narrow path.
I, for one, will not be led into the wide gate of destruction. I will gladly stay on the hard, narrow road.