04 November 2006

Elections come and go, but God remains forever

Tuesday, Nov 7th is election day in the USA.

It is mid-year elections and of course the get out the evangelical, whatever that is today, vote movement is once again moving forward at full pace. The pundits, the Theonomists, and the Reconstructionists are all waiting to see if God is going to win this election. What a shallow view of the sovereignty of God.

Elections are purposed in the divine purposes of God as a means to His ends for the praise of His glorious grace. But they are no more conditioned or influenced by another force any more than a brutal dictatorship which remains one as long as God determines that to be His providence. I am a Baptist by conviction. In the US we might have been a limited religious freedom country made up of about four major denominations if it had not been for the Baptists. I am an incurable Christ lover by God's decree and gracious election (whoever heard of one of those in this world). I no more want to affiliate with the religious right and the confused doctrines of a Pat Robertson or a Jerry Falwell than I want to be ruled by Sharia Law or anarchy.

My days as a hippie (I am 56) radical are behind me. I stood in front of the state troopers while occupying a student building at a NY State College in 1968. I experienced pepper gas and all the tension of a mass demonstration. I was going to vote for Frodo Baggins in the 1968 election but he did not get on the ticket, so I voted for Eldrige Cleaver and Mark Lane. I am glad that I saw how Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin really manipulated alot of young people and walked away from that long before I was A Chrisitan. But then again in '68, guys were leaving for Canada and other places during the October draft. I drew a high number but after a few years I gave up my student exemption, and waited for six months to be called. I never was. If the war had continued, I would have been on my way as soon a I left school so I figured. Let's get it over with and take the risk.

It is wonderful to be able to express my freedom in a demonstration or in an election as a US citizen. But far too many Christians in the world suffer daily as they live to honor God in whatever way they can. American evangelicalism as a whole is a far cry from what true biblical Christianity is. It would do us well to recall Peter's 1st epistle.

Peters’ purpose in writing this letter seems to be based on clearly making it known to his readers about the heavenly inheritance. He also follows Christ’s example, if we would reflect back to the Sermon on the Mount and other passages where Jesus guarantees persecution for the believer, to give consolation to the persecuted, and to prepare them for a greater approaching ordeal. Peter exhorts all by letter’s end - husbands, wives, servants, elders, and people to live as good citizens wherever they are, so as to give no reason for the enemy to reproach Christianity or the gospel of Christ. Rather he would hope that they would win them to it, reminding them that they are established in the faith and others can be as well. But too often our political Christianity just does the opposite in the name of political freedom. And we do everything we can to anger the enemy by accusing them of all sorts of nasty things, which they will do by sheer nature and hatred of God.

All Christians, if they rightly consider their calling, must never settle themselves here in this temporal place and kingdom, but see themselves as travelers, sojourners and as pilgrims waiting for the consummation of Christ’s kingdom to come in His person unto the praise of His glorious grace. Jesus taught us “My kingdom is not of this world”. Yes we are members of His kingdom, but it is not of this present world or its system. The kingdom of God is within us and whereever we are there exists the kingdom of God, in small tracts as it were, as we gather as bodies of believers throughout this world. We should live as aliens and many times brethren we are made to be aliens in many lands and many places. We simply are not wanted. However we are God’s chosen. No politics here, just God's election by His immeasurable and all consuming grace.

Stay tuned for the results.

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