I am quite certain after this election, both in NC and at the national level, this sovereign sorting (so it feels) will afford us the need to finally deal with unity among believers. Whether it be justice in the marketplace, equitable educational opportunities during this transformational societal shift, as well as a plethora of opinions sorely in need of open dialogue within the Body of Christ.
I intentionally used the term Body of Christ rather than the term “church” as I am still compelled by the challenging spiritual “foreclosure word” dropped in my heart on December 28, 2008. That and, the underlying nausea that follows with the daily rhetoric I hear among fellow “believers” from among both political parties!
This whole internal tirade was set off this a.m. as I read little more than two verses deep into my daily scripture journey, now in Romans 10.
“Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” Romans 10:1-4, NIV.
I find myself convinced that the church in America is exactly where “believers” were in Judaism during Paul’s day. I use the word believers because these people were zealous to the point of death, as Paul himself had been. They were “convinced”; note I used the same word again, owning the fact that I too could be off base in my assumptions? That’s why I blog “out loud”!
Paul was saying to these believers that a shift had occurred in their then blind faith walk and that what the Law had been designed to provide (an awareness of sin and the futility of attempting sin-less-ness), God had now provided true and full remedy for. In fact, a model of both righteousness and power was now before them, in the resurrected person of Christ Jesus. Their remedy would be a righteousness, attainable only by faith, yet a power as was already being fully demonstrated, by way of the Spirit’s residence in many of them personally!
On top of that, it would be a gift by the Spirit through grace, not based upon any one religion. Even the day of the priesthood and their evident entanglement with politics was over. All were now both Kings and Priests, and in fact, in a new Kingdom!
Of course this radical position was border line anarchy, and was met with renewed discomfort among the ultra-religious and political. Eventually, execution would again be their remedy, as earlier experienced by Paul, as he held the garments for those stoning of Stephen.
Religion, humanity’s best efforts, even Judaism, could never produce the love God offers and mankind desires!
Are we there again, when American Christianity has become so institutionalized, now unescapably steeped in her assorted tribes and traditions, that her only recourse for a nation under siege is mere politics? If so, that option has now surely run its course, in that she can no longer even attract reasonable candidates! Even the logic used to justify her partisan driven position makes no sense whatsoever, when one looks at the core values professed! We have become an embarrassment to our nation and out children!
“Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.”