A long and winding road

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I’m one hundred times more passionate about creating Christians and churches that will be faithful, biblical, countercultural, and spiritually minded in a socialist America, in a Muslim America, in a communist America, than I am in preventing a Muslim America or a communist America. … My main calling is not to help America be anything, but to help the church be the church.                              – John Piper

Over the next 16 months, America is going to be embroiled in one of the most bitter political campaigns ever witnessed. It’s already started.  Politicians will use anything to further their own personal or ideological ends. And don’t think they won’t use Christians, too, for the same purpose, or the church, if they can. That’s why we must not be naive.  Christians need to resist the temptation to think that any kind of spiritual victory or any points for the kingdom of God can be won at the polls. The minute we think that kingdom ends can be serviced by political means is the minute we bow down to the idol of power. Truth must speak to power, not the other way around. If we succumb to power, we forfeit the truth. We become pawns in a game we shouldn’t be playing in the first place. We lose our voice. In many ways we have already lost it. That’s why the Millennials can help us get our voice back. They won’t take the political bait. They know nothing of the Moral Majority or the Christian Coalition or the thinking behind these organizations.

We are here to create and disciple followers of Christ. We are here to help Christians to be the church in the world, and the Catch has followers in 141 different countries. How can we possibly be serving 141 agendas at the same time? America is one country. What about the other 140? 

This is not to say we don’t vote or become involved politically, it’s to say we vote intelligently with a good conscience as best we know how, but we do not sell our faith for political porridge. We do not confuse the kingdom of God with any nationalistic agendas.

We were with our oldest son and his wife last night and had a brief discussion about the political situation in this country, and our son, being in law enforcement, gave us something to think about that will definitely affect our position on some issues. Opinions are just that — opinions — and subject to change given more understanding or given someone else’s perspective we haven’t considered. Politics are so dependent on compromise as to resist being arranged into positions that can be considered 100 % right or wrong, black or white, or even Christian or non-Christian. Like my wife says, “If you have to be 100% right all the time, then more than likely you are afraid of something.”

Enjoy the political discussions; keep an open mind; but beware of confusing the kingdom of God with any earthly kingdom or any strictly human solution to a problem. The issues are extremely complex. Avoid polarity, avoid the extremes, and avoid having to be right all the time.

It’s a long and winding road to November 2020. We have people in 140 countries for which November 2020 is just another month in another year. They have their own problems to solve. And Jesus is ultimately the only answer for the needs of the human heart, and He is the same in all the countries of the world, of that we can be sure.

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6 Responses to A long and winding road

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Like this: “The issues are extremely complex. Avoid polarity, avoid the extremes, and avoid having to be right all the time.”

  2. Stan Klassen says:

    Thank you for the thoughtful devotional. A friend, not a believer, once chided me for being stubborn. He suggested I should rather be determined. He went on to say, “stubborn is incapable of change, determined, on the other hand, can change if and when presented with facts.”

  3. Of course, wouldn’t you know it…
    When I saw the title for today’s Catch, I immediately thought of that wonderful song by the Hollies: “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”.

    I feel there’s a connection between John’s message, the song, and upcoming world events as described by John. And, I think I have a grasp on some of it – but not completely. Can anyone else see the correlations and instructive/inspirational guidance?
    Please, if so, provide your personal insight and what it means to you. Thanks!

    Here’s an old video of The Hollies singing their song and the lyrics below:

    The road is long
    With many a winding turn
    That leads us to who knows where
    Who knows where

    But I’m strong
    Strong enough to carry him
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

    So on we go
    His welfare is of my concern
    No burden is he to bear
    We’ll get there

    For I know
    He would not encumber me
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

    If I’m laden at all
    I’m laden with sadness
    That everyone’s heart
    Isn’t filled with the gladness
    Of love for one another

    It’s a long, long road
    From which there is no return
    While we’re on the way to there
    Why not share?

    And the load
    Doesn’t weigh me down at all
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

    He’s my brother
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

    • John A Fagliano says:

      “that leads us to who knows where” We don’t know what’s ahead and an unknown future is scary. Fear motivation is very strong in divisive politics. The caring person is not afraid because someone else is more important than fear. “We’ll get there, he won’t encumber me…because I care.”
      And the most powerful message is in the bridge: “…that everyone’s heart isn’t filled with the burden of love? The requirement of love being fulfilled? ( Well actually it IS a requirement but) No! it is the GLADNESS of love! God blesses the loving people with joy and that is what drives away all fear. If you’re afraid of something then there is love you are not giving. I think I get it.

  4. John A Fagliano says:

    “that leads us to who knows where” We don’t know what’s ahead and an unknown future is scary. Fear motivation is very strong in divisive politics. The caring person is not afraid because someone else is more important than fear. “We’ll get there, he won’t encumber me…because I care.”

    And the most powerful message is in the bridge: “…that everyone’s heart isn’t filled with the burden of love? The requirement of love being fulfilled? ( Well actually it IS a requirement but) No! it is the GLADNESS of love! God blesses the loving people with joy and that is what drives away all fear. If you’re afraid of something then there is love you are not giving. I think I get it.

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