Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Christian "End Game"

I spent a lot of time in this last election cycle promoting Amendment 43, the Colorado Marriage Amendment act. It was time well-spent. But I walked away with a sense of inner tension between my witness to my culture and world and my ultimate allegiance to the Kingdom of God.

So, I came away with these questions. What is the Christian "end game?" What should be our ultimate prize in view of eternity?

Scripture tells us to "set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15)

This verse speaks to action in the public square but it also calls us to a higher plane.

Following the November election, there has been much teeth-gnashing among Christians. I assume that many of these believers had hitched their wagon to the success or failure of Republican candidates. Now there is some merit to these sentiments, I will grant you, but true Christianity does not require a political litmus test. Jesus never required a political statement of affirmation prior to his conduction of services. The "enemy" was not Democrats or Republicans, but Satan.

As believers we will find ourselves on tricky ground if we exclusively politicized our beliefs. I fear that many believers are caught up in this pursuit. Jesus taught that true faith was ultimately lived out through godly actions towards others. When Nicodemus visited Jesus, the conversation was not about politics advancing the Kingdom of God but faith and ultimately faithful people. Jesus could have shifted the focus of his ministry and rubbed elbows with the politicians of his time. But he didn't. He equally called all-great and small- to a life-changing faith.

So what's the end game? American Christianity is drifting a bit. I understand the desire of faithful believers to live in a better world free of the sins which are so rampant today. I know too that many believers are legitimately motivated by speaking out for godly values in the public square. But this passion cannot be our first love. We need to return to the basics of faith- caring for the sick, feeding the hungry, provisioning the needy and caring for the widow and orphan. Our prize is the advancement of the Kingdom of God not a political agenda.

Few have ever been argued into the Kingdom of God. Most have been loved into it.

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