Posts Tagged ‘honor God’

I remember it so clearly. I was in my office in an old converted barn in Hamburg, PA when I got the call. My wife told me a plane had just flown into the World Trade Center. My mind immediately went to the idea of some poor pilot losing control of his single engine plane. A tragic accident, but easily reparable. My mind could not conceive of the evil that was taking place. I could not imagine a world where someone would use a plane full of people as a cruise missile. It would happen three more times that day and the days that followed were some of the most uncertain I can remember in my 54 years. It was horrible. 17 years later, the memories are still difficult.

Today there will be messages everywhere and they will say “never forget.” This much is clear, I won’t. But yesterday, I saw another meme. A meme of a large gathering of Muslims praying here in the states with a caption saying “never forget.” I don’t think that’s the message we want to send either. Here’s the thing, nothing angers me more than when some high profile Christian has a lapse in judgment, like a moral failure for example, and people want to lump us all into the same category and I’d like to extend the same grace to people of the Muslim faith. The vast majority are not jihadists, and they were no doubt as horrified by the events of 9/11 as the rest of us, maybe even more so, considering the unfair backlash that followed.

I will never forget that day. I couldn’t if I tried and we should remember those who lost their lives that day but rather than anger at the perpetrators, we should honor the memory of the victims by doing something positive. Never forget Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors and even our enemies. Hatred will never be beaten by hatred. Only love can beat hatred. As creative Christians, we need to stay on mission. Our mission is ultimately to spread the Gospel. To spur one another on to love and good deeds. We must take seriously the biblical admonition: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21) We should never forget, but this is the best way to remember.

Do something good today. Honor the memories of those who lost their lives that day. More than that, honor and glorify God today. Use your gifts to spread the Gospel today.

Well I got up this morning and did my civic duty. I have to admit, I can’t recall a time when I was less excited to cast a vote. I felt like this time the two major parties gave me a choice akin to “Would you rather have nausea or (how would Sheldon Cooper say it?) digestive distress?” Nonetheless, those were my choices and I had to choose.

I can almost hear someone screaming “What about a third party?” I’d love a viable third party, but the third parties have got to get their collective acts together. They can’t just jump in at the eleventh hour every four years and expect to do anything but strip votes away from the candidate they most resemble, handing the election over to the candidate they least agree with. If they want to be viable in 2020 they need to start in 2017 and make some strides in the “lower” offices. That way if they do ever get a president, the person will have a few people to back them up. Get your act together third parties, we could have used you this year but once again it’s too little too late.

This is not a political blog and I don’t want it to become one. Voting is a privilege we should take seriously. We should cast our once vote, but then what? Well Romans 13 tells us: “13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”

In first Timothy 2 we read: “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,”

Looks like we are supposed to submit to the authorities, pay our taxes and pray for our leaders. Keep in mind when these passages were written, it is likely that the world was ruled by a guy named Nero, a far worse choice than nausea or digestive distress, and by the way those folks didn’t have a choice.

So what do we do? The same thing we should do tomorrow, and the day after that and the day after that… If your vote has been cast, you did everything you can to control the outcome of this election. Now it’s time to get back to work, faithfully serving the Lord, honoring God and as Peter wrote, “2 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” Your call to do these things supersedes whoever the current occupant of the White House may be. You voted for your candidate now it’s time to pray for the winner and elect to follow…