https://vatucson.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Barnes1-e1565915550164.jpg 2287 1980 Veritas Academy of Tucson https://vatucson.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Logo-transparent-header-1.png Veritas Academy of Tucson2020-11-01 11:31:592020-11-01 11:31:59Stop the Hand Wringing, Focus on the Mission
As the election nears and news from all sides gets worse and worse, nearly apocalyptic, “This election could mark the end of democracy as we know it.”, perhaps we need to take a breath.
Who are we? What is our mission? What gives us peace and purpose?
First and foremost, we are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are His servant-warriors, bought by the blood, redeemed so that Jesus could have a people of His own possession who are eager to do good works. (Titus 2:14) We aren’t political party members, we aren’t lobbyists, we aren’t even fans of our favorite sports teams — not first and foremost. Those are side interests. They should not form us or form with whom we are willing to fellowship. Our identity in Christ should inform our understanding of the world, the future of our country and our place within it.
Our identity in Christ as blood-bought disciples willing to lay our lives down for Him should also form our entire mission. At election times, we must remind ourselves that our mission is not to preserve conservatism, it is not to preserve social justice, it is not to protect civility. It is to advance the Kingdom of God through making disciples. This is the only reason Jesus left us here after making us one of His children. And the Kingdom of God will not be affected one bit by whoever wins this election. It will not budge, it will not shudder, it will not quake, regardless of any turmoil around us.
The church will not suffer damage. Jesus said that He would build His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Sure, buildings could be destroyed and individual believers may suffer, but the church cannot be destroyed. We can rest that God and His purposes will march on. In His kindness and mercy, for more than 500 years He has allowed the church in America incredible freedom to worship, to declare the Word, to make disciples, to open schools, to reach out to the lost through a whole array of ministries, and to publicly build churches. In most of history and the rest of the world, this has been unknown. And, sadly, for the last 100+ years, the church has squandered much of this freedom.
What is God’s plan for us at this time? I don’t know. I am not a prophet. But I do know that the plan is not for us to huddle in fear, wringing our hands in despair because evil people may prosper.
Now let me make myself clear. I am not saying that all of us should abandon using the freedoms we have to participate in the political process. I am not saying that we should throw up our hands and say, “It doesn’t matter how I vote.” Far from it. God tells us: “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jer. 29:7
I personally am doing all I can to make a difference in this election cycle. I believe that a lot is at stake locally, in our state (especially for school choice), and nationally. But I am not confused. God already knows the outcome, is already working with a plan for His people after the election, and has called us to inexhaustibly work to make disciples and advance His Kingdom even if we find ourselves faced with a hostile culture on all sides.
Our mission goes deeper than this temporary kingdom known as the United States of America. Our mission transcends all of this and seeks the eternal good of those around us. This weekend, thousands of believers went to Washington to pray for our country. One of the last speakers recalled a moment at the end of Explo 72, a nationwide conference of nearly 80,000 Christian young people. All the lights were turned off plunging the Cotton Bowl stadium into complete darkness. Billy Graham lit one candle. Then he passed the flame to another candle. And so on. These few little candles up front, far away from those of us in the crowd, were brighter than I would have imagined. Then slowly, one candle at a time, the light filled the stadium.
This is what God has called us to. Lighting one dark soul at a time with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was one of those candles in that stadium that day. God has preserved His light in me and used it to light another dark soul and then another, and then another.
The darker the darkness, the brighter the light shines. Remember whose you are, who you are, and what your mission is, regardless of anything that might happen in our country over the next six months and beyond. 2020 has been a tumultuous year and God has not been surprised despite one earth-shaking thing after another. Psalm 46:1-3: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
God may have some radically different plans for the church at this time. For every bit of freedom we still have, we need to use it for the Glory of God. Focus, brothers and sisters, focus. Your fellow servant-warrior, Christopher