So I published yesterday’s Catch on the local Neighborhood Watch which was starting to get rather nasty between the-government-is-keeping-us-safe people and the-government-needs-to-get-its-nose-out-of-my-business people. It was nice to see 13 positive reactions to my article, and a few thankful comments. This is just indicative of the war that is going to go on at many different levels in our society today, and how you and I as believers can represent the kingdom of God without taking sides.
The divide in this country is so great that I have heard pundits say that if the Democrats win in November, the right wing will take up arms, and if the Republicans win, the left will secede from the union and form their own country. Sounds like civil war either way. Granted, this is a pretty far-fetched prediction, but the mere fact that someone would come up with this scenario, and it would sound vaguely plausible, indicates how far apart we are.
I am reminded of an incident early on in Joshua’s leadership of the children of Israel when he encountered a man “standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, ‘Are you for us or for our enemies?’
“‘Neither,’ he replied, ‘but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, ‘What message does my Lord have for his servant?’” (Joshua 5:13-14)
Are you for us or against us? Neither. I love that response, don’t you? And I believe this is where we find the Lord today: on neither side, representing Himself and His will in the world, and I believe that’s right where He wants us to be — standing with Him in His army of love and compassion and acceptance for all. We represent the Gospel of Welcome, remember? And Grace Turned Outward to everyone, everywhere. Please understand, I’m not saying don’t vote. We have our responsibilities as citizens of this great country to vote and to do due diligence in deciding our vote, but I am saying that the solution to what ails this country and the people around us will not be political. It’s a spiritual problem. It’s a problem of the heart.
I urge you to consider, when facing the leader of the army of the Lord, that the only right thing to do is fall on your face before Him and ask the same question Joshua asked: “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” I would love to hear from you as to His answer.
To listen in on a lively discussion on this and other culturally engaging topics, tune into our BlogTalkRadio interview with Doug Stevens this afternoon/evening at 3:30 p.m. PDT. Doug is a mentor for ministry leaders, a catalyst for mission, a partner in a number of intercultural engagements, and an author who is constantly intrigued by how God works in mysterious ways in the most impossible places (Christ Incognito is his most recent book). Tune in Live at 3:30 p.m. PDT if you want to call in and join us, or any time after that to listen to the podcast.
This is Giving Tuesday when folks all over the country are encouraged to give to their favorite work. We realize there are many worthy endeavors that will benefit from an increase in giving today. We would be honored if you would consider The Catch Ministry one of those, especially at this time when many people can’t give due to lost income. This is also a week when some of you will receive stimulus checks from the government, and we ask you to consider The Catch if you are not in need of all of those funds. Help us further The Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward — to everyone, everywhere.