If you have spent any amount of time watching North American church culture you will know that there are often large differences from biblical teaching and how we live it out. While Christ (as God) told us to love one another, we pick our favourite groups to hate. While Jesus taught us that grace is available for all, we are still pretty sure that we get to decide who that applies to. Then like a hero we picket them and march into their peaceful lives to remind them that we are superior. So yes there will always be differences between the church I believe that Jesus wants to return for and the church that currently exists. So let’s take that into what will make this post out dated in a weeks time, that would be the Alberta election.
I have lived in three provinces, wealthy and poor, have and have not. I have listened to the man of God de jour tell me who God has highly favoured to govern me. 5 years ago if you said that the PCs were no good, you would be lying in a pool of your own blood from the outrage of your Christian brothers tiny fists of fury. In todays Alberta many Christians are on the same kick with the Wild Rose party. Which probably makes me a bad Christian because I probably did not vote for them. But all this to say that when we are happy with our “God ordained” leadership we have no problem calling ourselves blessed. However, the second our province elects a party of different social or economic priorities we go into melt down mode. Ps I am not saying I voted for the NDP either. Although as a German-Russian I am predisposed to socialism.
So here is where I see the divide between church and Christian behaviour. Too many churches are willing to back who they believe is Gods guy, party or platform. Too many churches are willing to throw a party for their hero and throw hate at their villain. We are willing to tell God how our province needs to be governed. Sounds dumb to tell God what to do…
Do you remember when the Israelites complained about the way God had set up their leadership and they said we need a king like all the other countries? God told them that they didn’t need structures of man and they argued… Then God gave them Saul. He ruled Israel like an empire… that wasn’t the best plan either. We still run churches like empires… but that is another post. It turned out quite bad in the end for them. But as mental as Saul was, God chose him and had him anointed. So let’s jump ahead to the teachings of Paul. In Romans 13, Paul teaches us that ALL governing authority is placed by God. Furthermore, those who rebel against them are bringing judgement upon themselves. What does rebelling look like? maybe Facebook posts about hell freezing over? maybe complaining and becoming stressed when God calls us to pray? maybe assuming we know what God needs to happen in our province? Perhaps, and just perhaps there are things that God (ruler of the universe God) wants to do that we cannot see. After all, Saul was not perfect, but he was still the anointed leader and in all his fault was to be followed.
So as the North American church stands its ground and blames, accuses and demands, let us act different as Christians. As churches build themselves as empires in the fashion of governments and try to copy the systems that were never ours to begin with, lets do something different. As Christians we can separate from the systems of church and become the true church by praying for our leaders and respecting them and therefore God’s opinion. I can say that as for this pastor we will continue to pray for our leaders and believe that God is bigger than our opinions.
So with all that… who did I vote for? O Doyle, because O Doyle rules… unless there is a banana on the road… then you drive off the cliff.