Amid the hysteria…don’t forget LENT
This blog is for all Americans who may have gotten caught up in all the hysteria of the political season. God calls on us to be quiet, reflect and pray for ourselves and our nation. Perhaps…just perhaps, we might find leadership in our decision-making when voting time rolls around. I find it quite amazing that many of the religious leaders are willing to get up on a platform to endorse this one or that one…without really knowing the heart and soul of a person…or their true leadership abilities. We hear the term, “Evangelical Christians.” What exactly are they compared to other Christians, you may be wondering?
An article (in part by Traci Schmaucher) explains the five main beliefs of the Evangelical:
1. …Personal conversion experience must personally trust in Jesus Christ for salvation.
2…Believe in the Bible as God’s inspired Word
3. ..The work of Jesus on the cross, through his death and resurrection, is the only source of salvation and forgiveness of sins. through faith alone. People can do nothing to earn their way to heaven and good works is our grateful response to our pardon, not to cause it.
4. … Motivated to share the gospel either one-on-one or through organized missions… the Great Commission’s call (to go into the world and spread the Gospel)
We all know that God looks at the heart and personal faith is a very private matter between a person and God. We also know that there are instances where Christ said, “Go and sin no more…or today you will be with me in Paradise” as he said to the thief on the cross next to him as they were being crucified. That thief (and this is good news for all thieves) had no time to decide what his doctrinal position was or if he, in his believing moments before death, had become an evangelical Christian. He probably didn’t know he was a Christian at all. This is great news for anyone just searching for faith and a promise that this life is not the end of everything when we die. It is simple and real.
To be enthusiastic about our country and the leaders we vote into office is a good thing, but there may be a down-side, especially when things get really ugly. Beware, I would say, of smooth orators and those who can lead a crowd beyond their actual good reasoning powers. The politicians, or want- to- be politicians, may find it expedient to tap into the beliefs of Christians…using them for their own gain and of course, the vote. If they can get an minister of the Gospel up on the platform to sing their praises, it is all part of the game. A minister is not called to endorse either from his pulpit or in public. He is to call on his flock or people in general to pray.
We are told in the Holy Scriptures “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
(2 Chronicles 7:14 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised)
So how does all this relate to our 40 days of Lent, when we examine ourselves and ask for forgiveness of our sins? I think the only way to truly find God’s love and forgiveness is in quietness…and prayer. I plan to go quietly to the polls, cast my vote, pray a prayer that somehow God is in control of our nation and who will run it effectively and not make us into another Syria. Removing oneself from the hype, hysteria, yelling and name calling may be the best solution.