Sunday, December 6, 2015

It's a conundrum

To say the least, Christianity in America is a conundrum.


Guns.  No guns.  Rights.  No rights.  Safety.  Fear.  Refugees.  Terrorists.


A plethora of "difficult and intricate problems."  To say the least.  But, unfortunately, my brain never quite stops at saying the least I have to say.

It would be different if we were totally uneducated, unschooled, illiterate, unable to discern.  It would be much different if we were like in the dark ages, the days before Luther unlocked the Word of God from the pulpit and we only had the educated and learned to tell us what the locked words said.

Those days existed.  Thank God they no longer do.

So here we are.  Americans.  If you're my age, born in the 60's you've lived a pretty prosperous and fairly protected American life.  Our parents and grandparents experienced war.  Our mothers raised us in the light of feminism, some, well really, many disregarding and shaming their own mothers before them who stayed in the home and raised a family.  One, because their opportunities to do otherwise were limited or non existent and two....see number one.  We, of the 60's, were part of an in-between time when everything that once was valued, suddenly, in many ways, became ridiculed and shamed.

Our feminist leaders, fighting so hard for equal pay and equal rights and equal opportunities, breathed into women a fire of confidence, but their grandchildren and great grandchildren are now living without great purpose and meaning, second guessing nearly every institution, and struggling to find direction.  Did feminism win what it set out to do?

At the time, maybe, but 50 years later.....I'm not so sure.

We have man-boys and woman-girls.  And in the midst of it all we are a country that is hated by a small group of people that is tearing the United States into even more tiny pieces.

My nieces and nephews, of high school and college age, at Thanksgiving this year shared they were thankful they themselves have not been hurt by terrorists.

Let that sit for a minute.

They thanked God they had not been hurt by terrorists.

Where just one to two generations ago thanks was said for home, food, and clothing this generation is thankful that they have not been killed by a terrorist.

Does anyone else find something wrong and unsettling with that?

My friends and family, who profess Christianity are in two entirely different camps on gun control, abortion and homosexuality.  How can that be that there is such a divide among America?

This is what I would like to see among all my brothers and sisters in Christ.  It may not be a solution, but it certainly can't hurt.


Stop and pray.  And then pray some more.

When your church doors open on Sundays and Wednesdays or whenever else they open, do nothing but pray.  Let the non essentials go.  There is no emergency meeting that needs to be held that cannot wait.  There is no song that needs to be practiced that cannot wait until all have prayed.  There is no sermon that needs to be written that cannot be better spoken from the heart.

Pray, Church.  Pray hard.  And then pray even harder.

The way things have been done in the past are not cutting it anymore.  The enemy is at our doors, and wringing our hands and going through the centuries old motions are not going to keep them from busting down the gates.

Our children are thankful they have not been killed by terrorists!!!!!!!!!!!

Our Christian children are being raised in fear that they will be killed by terrorists.  In America, of all places.

Does that not bother anyone enough to stop yelling and not listening and stop arguing and stop shouting and stop blaming?

America is flawed.  But since its birth it has been a place of refuge for those fleeing from tyranny.  People came because of our founder's constitution.  Now people hate America because of our Constitution.

It's not about more laws.  It's not about less guns.  It's not about our rights.

It's about Jesus Christ, who paid the ransom for us all.  We live in this conundrum of time, following Him, in a government established by Him.  Yet, His followers are doing everything but asking Him, what do we do?  

Church, we have to show the way.  There are no other reasonable options coming through.  Our elected officials are a mess because we, God's precious kids, are a mess.  But we can't show the way when we don't agree on THE WAY!!

Our country is a mess because God's church is divided.  It is not a liberal's fault or a conservative's fault.  It's our fault.  We didn't create all the mess but we're helping to make it messier.  It is our responsibility to confess, to repent, to beg God for mercy.

We have not loved enough.

We have not overcome fear enough.

We have not trusted enough.

But it's time now to pray that we love enough, that we fear less, and trust more.

It's time to trust with all the faith He has given us, not cower under our critic's pointing, blaming fingers.  

Jesus did not condemn those of no faith, he shook his head at those of "little" faith.

It's time, dear followers of Christ.  Brothers and Sisters of all who call on the name of Jesus - none of us have it all right and all of us have some of it wrong.  But Jesus doesn't think like us, act like us, or falter like us - thank God - He knows the right way.

He has given us the tools we need to endure.  If you have faith, you have all you need.  It's time to strengthen it.  It's time to start working out at the faith gym.  Time's are going to get more difficult, but only so that our faith gets strengthened.

Our children are afraid.

No more.

We are either who God says we are... or we're not.  It's not about the size of your faith, whose faith is true or weak, it's about how we are going to start using the faith we have been so freely and mercifully given.