A nationalistic Christianity is a toothless religion. This boils it all down to behaviors and laws. This has been seen before. The Jews used a faith based system and flooded themselves with so many laws and edicts they drowned.
Rome eventually legalized Christianity, but the only thing that resulted was the Catholic church and Rome's demise. While officially a religious, pious culture; the deceit and depravity led to a destruction of holy living before the collapse of the empire.
So what is it that we want as Christians in America today? What is it that we want of our leaders? Are we willing to demand the same things of ourselves? Having yielded the welfare of the poor to the government, do we now cede the moral welfare to a few elected officials with little to no accountability? Do we legislate change among men and women, or do we pray and lead lives of such holiness and Christ-like love that people have only two choices: embrace the truth or flee?
Will we continue to lament and complain because someone punishes or ridicules us due to our faith, or will we instead be a people who embrace the promise of persecution and rejoice when we are scorned?
Notice I ask the question as we. I am not immune to any of this.
Confession time, I live a large portion of my day without space for Christ. Many of you know that I am a minister professionally and that I guide college students along a path of growth spiritually and responsibility toward Christ and His church.
That being said, I have these huge gaps in my life that I just don't acknowledge a place for Christ or His Spirit to be evident or prevalent or abundant in my life. It is in these moments that I just check out, or retreat from God, from responsibility as a leader.
So acknowledging this absence, what now? What do I do to "fix" this?
The answer for me seemed to become clearer this morning. It was a pear tree. A pear tree? Yes, a pear tree.
An ornamental pear tree to be precise. You see, I don't really see the purpose of an ornamental pear tree. It looks nice, and provides shade, but then what? A pear tree's purpose should be to make another pear tree from the seed in its fruit. How does this answer the question?
The purpose of a Christian is to produce another Christian! My purpose is not to change how my nation feels about or follows Christ. My purpose is to make disciples, baptizing them into Christ and teaching them to obey all that God has commanded. If i feel like I am not accomplishing anything because my influence is not large enough, my focus is off. I am called to just be in the moment and in the with the person I am with and share with him (or her) the joy of God's salvation, the hope for them, and the life that is offered. It is not my job to provide shade and beauty for a large number.
While i was griping to a close friend about how long college was taking and all the unnecessary classes I was taking, he counseled me to remember my goal and that school was a means to get there (even algebra). Perhaps today I would have more hope and more joy if I remembered that I must only be with and share Christ with the one person in front of me at that moment. Win that moment, do not let Satan steal that moment, do not gripe and complain about things that will be dust in eternity.
Remember your purpose.
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