“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11).
Are you just as outraged by racism as you are abortion? Are you just as concerned for the disenfranchised, in this country, as you are the plight of would-be migrants? I won’t say too much about war and poverty, drug abuse, immigration reform and border walls, the mistreatment of animals, gun violence and gun control, pollution and the environment, religious persecution and religious liberty, civil rights, human trafficking, or corporate greed (I should have hit at least one item on everyone’s bucket list of societal ills), other than to point out that each of these should probably be troubling to you too, in one way or the other. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20). I freely admit that God taps me on the shoulder, quite frequently, and reminds me to put away my partisan. Likewise, please set aside your own ideological leanings; please set aside your Party affiliations and groupthink, for just a moment, and ask yourself this question: “Is Jesus at the wheel, or my politics?” Yes indeed, I confess having to ask myself this question more often than I care to admit.
Recently, here in West Virginia, a County Deputy Director for 911, allegedly, though I’m pretty certain it has since been confirmed, posted an outrageously, racist meme and remark on social media. The post was straight out of a bygone era of which I have absolutely no desire to see repeated. I commented the following, on my social media account, this morning, in response to the Deputy Director’s post:
I know there will always be someone hating someone else for some reason, and thank God we, as a nation, have at least moved past legalized bondage and segregation, of fellow human beings, based on ethnicity, but this ugliness is symptomatic, of a much greater sickness, which remains with us to this day. I do wonder how many of my pro-choice critics, who, in the past few weeks, have accused me of being judgmental or harsh, based on my abortion posts, will make the same accusation now.
Some may disagree, and that is fine, but I believe my response, to the post, as well as the question posed to my critics, were both reasonable. Neither were intended to be quarrelsome, but rather to provoke thought and just possibly some thoughtful dialogue. Abortion, especially the recent passage of late-term legislation, has weighed particularly heavy on my heart, and I have expressed more than a few opinions on the subject, for which I have received much pushback, not all kind, from friends on the left, though, to be fair, I get plenty of pushback, from friends on the right, anytime I say too much about corporate greed, or heaven help me, offer even the slightest criticism of Capitalism. But politics are but a symptom of what we’re seeing unfolding in our country, let alone our world, and for this reason, if for no other, I must speak up. For we are children of God, yet we know that the whole world is under the control of the evil one (1 John 5:19). And I am convinced that the faithful remnant, spoken of in the book of Malachi, is every bit as relevant today as it was then: “And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not” (3:18). Therefore, let us, today, be as the Apostle Paul prayed for the Philippians: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” (1:9-11).
My initial instinct was to steer this blog away from controversy, but then I remembered that being a Christian is controversial; Jesus was and is a controversial figure, and with all that being said, these issues are an unescapable part of the world in which I live. Instead of hiding from touchy subjects, I believe what matters to God is how Christ-like I handle them. Talk about an uncomfortable subject to explore today, but like it or not, these kinds of questions are a part of my own walk and probably yours as well. So, whatever we do, whatever we approve, let us do so in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:17).
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