Boy oh boy. 2016 has been a doozy in America. I don’t have to get in to the issues at hand for you to know that it has been a tumultuous few months. We are nearing the end of a grueling presidential campaign that has left our country more divided than it was to begin with.
Insults have been hurled. Skeletons have been found in the proverbial closets. Families have been insulted. Threats have been made. And that’s just the church folks. As the church, we haven’t looked that much different than the rest of the world this year.
The purpose of this blog, then, is to call the church into a time of reflection and repentance.
I don’t know what the future holds. But I do know that Christ has built his church on the fact that he is Christ, the Son of the Living God. And I know that we haven’t been doing a great job of communicating that to the world lately.
We have become fractured, spiteful, and divisive people. Our political party lines have divided the aisles of our churches even more. We have lost the ability to sit down and have an edifying conversation with one another. And everyone knows it.
As the church, we are called to be unified for the gospel and by the gospel. The gospel is the great unifier. Only the gospel can bring together polar opposites and give them unity. But we are divided. The gospel has taken a backseat to the whims of the day. We have allowed the political divide to divide the church.
Therefore, let us repent. The church needs to repent from the sins we’ve committed. Let us repent of being so quick to abandon the gospel when our social and political concerns rise to the forefront. Let us repent of placing any candidate on a pedestal higher than Christ. Let us repent of the words we have said toward people we disagree with. Let us repent of building the kingdom of our nation more than the kingdom of God. Let us repent of giving more attention to the present state of the nation than to the state of the gospel in our communities. This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s enough to get started, I’m sure.
We should also make time to reflect on these past few months. How have we reacted to others? Has our speech been edifying? Have we furthered the cause of Christ or the agendas of man? These are obviously heavy questions, and they convict me on a daily basis. Let us reflect on this tumultuous season in our nation while learning and healing. We all have a lot of lessons to learn and a lot of wounds to heal.
I think we can learn that we must always allow the gospel of Jesus Christ to reign supreme in our lives. God forbid that we ever look back on a season in the church and see that politics have taken the place of the gospel. God forbid that we ever allow a candidate to become an idol to which we bow down.
My advice for this week is to repent and reflect. Repent for the sins of the church. God has a future for the church in America. No one knows what it might look like, but God does have a plan for the future of the church. Reflect on what has happened. Learn from mistakes, and replace sinfulness with the holiness of God.
In conclusion, look forward. Don’t lose hope in the Lord and in the church. God will continue to use his church as his ministry on the earth. And he has given his church the message of the gospel, which has more power than any government, organization, or institution that the world can raise up. Have boldness in this message. Go forth with the gospel, because the gospel is the only message which can change lives.