Posted: 10/12/2017 – Lessons from the Garden
Lessons from the Garden … ” And God Cried “
November 8, 2016
On November 8, 2016 many Christians helped elect a gambling mogul and self-professed unrepentant sinner as President of the United States.
(Picture .. Garden of Gethsemane outside of Jerusalem)
In the aftermath of the election there has been a series of unbridled hate, fear mongering, bigotry and horrific actions of racism sweeping the country. Sadly, the scenes our country has witnessed in recent months seem to have been partly forged by our newly elected president. With this scenario begs the question: How could Christians support someone who’s demeanor, behavior and past/current practices reflect a life that is alien to the teachings and life lived by our savior Jesus Christ.
In the aftermath of the November election, does Christianity in America have a problem? How can so many individuals who profess to be Believers support and accept non-Christian practices in the political arena.
A better question to ask might be: “How could so many Christians support someone (or anyone) so radically anti-Christ in every way and not see any problem in doing so?
Admittedly, it’s a question that boggles the mind. Regardless whether a Christian considers his/her self theologically a liberal or conservative, there is only one truth, Jesus Christ. If that same person considers his/her self politically a liberal or conservative, that truth remains unchanged, Jesus Christ. The truths our savior gave us where transferred through his teaching in the New Testament. To ignore, alter or selective edit those truths/teachings is to taint his words. Why would someone, anyone want to taint the words of our savior? Maybe they don’t know they are doing just that. Or … maybe they have determined that his words (truths) do not fit into the current political environment. If we ignore portions of Jesus teaching to achieve a specific agenda, we not only taint his words, but we invalidate John 1:14’s description of who this man truly is: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”. To selectively chose to recognize some of Jesus teachings and ignore others … seems to be hypocrisy or heterodoxy.
Many Fundamentalist and Evangelicals in churches and state houses across the country support laws and political systems that replace knowledge and compassion with morally tainted views. If Jesus were to return tomorrow would he advocate brutality toward people of color or different race, deny equal rights and protections to LGBT people, or reject all science education and replacing it with creationist ideas and views. Would he advocate threats and physical violence toward women regarding the very controversial issue of abortion? All these issues are critical items for discussion with heated disagreement, but not items to be resolved from the pulpits of American churches through political intervention. Separation of Church and State must remain intact as our Constitution defines. If this were to change it would open the doors for groups with extremist views to seep into the fabric of American society.
There are those who believe the accent of Mr. Trump in Washington will restore Christianity and its accompanying values to its rightful place at the center of American life. They believe Christianity is under attack in the United States and they look at Mr. Trump as a conquering hero, if not a new Messiah. These individuals say they have been praying and dreaming for someone to appear, step forward, save our country, and return our nation to a Christian state. But a word of caution needs to be offered. We should be weary of who we meet in our dreams … that individual might turn out to be your worst nightmare.
Most Christian’s would agree the ongoing culture-wars within America has caused a deterioration in the core Christian belief system within the United States. That’s not to say that living like Christ isn’t still a point of emphasis in American Christianity, but to be honest with ourselves, how many of us can say we are working hard to achieve the life Christ expects of us. We should all take Jesus words, “go and do likewise” to heart and try to do as Jesus would do (WWJD). We should strive to live the very heart of the gospel Jesus lived every day of his life. It is true only a few are fully equipment to pick up ones cross and follow Jesus, but each one of us is fully capable of following his teaching without waiver.
When Christianity gets flipped upside down in the unstable world of political partisanship, and realize that actually living a life like Jesus lived is a bridge too far, then the time Paul warned us about has arrived.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
We can see a time when people have stopped putting up with sound doctrine and have gathered for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and have turned away from listening to the truth in favor of alternative facts, or “Altered States“.
Therein lies an important question. Does Christian support of our new president compel the American Church to question what does it mean to be a Christian?
We should search our hearts to understand the demands Christ’s life place’s on our own lives. It is our responsibility to try and determine not just the Church’s relationship to American politics, but the future of Christianity for generations to come. Sadly, there are some Christians who believe they alone understand the “truth”. They believe everyone else is “ungodly” and in need of “redemption”. This group of Christians would have you believe America is on an apocalyptic path straight to the abyss. Fear and obsession’s can cause people to look for answers in the wrong places. This can lead to a form of religious extremism. It is essential separation of Church and State remain intact else it would open the doors for people with extremist views to infiltrate American society. It is up to every freedom-loving person, who prefers freedom of choice, freedom of worship, to make a daily effort to live all the lessons given to us by our Lord.
Pray that God’s children will recognize the hypocrisy of the idea that our country is a broken Christ-less land and run to embrace a Christ-like love that will spread throughout the land. This will bind the bleeding of love from the hearts of the American people more rapidly then searching for demons in the halls of Washington DC.