:: destruction of allegiances

 “The first thing that happens after we recognize our election by God in Christ Jesus is the destruction of our preconceived ideas, our narrow-minded thinking, and all of our other allegiances—-we are turned solely into servants of God’s own purpose.” – Oswald Chambers

How I wish this was true of the Church.  If it was, we would find ourselves living in unity for the sake of Christ and His kingdom.  Sadly, we find ourselves embracing the identity of a political party and their agendas.  Through senseless discussion and debate we try to change the world by using extreme and fearful rhetoric.  We use a verse or two from the Bible to make the case for our agreement or disagreement of a side.  Of course, politicians know this as well so they use religious undertones, or overtures to stake their claim to our hearts and minds.

It was Jesus who said we, His followers, are to seek first the kingdom of God.  In and through that we will find God’s agenda, and He will give us the insight for living life as He has intended.  I’m not saying it will be easy, but it will be His way.    I’m not saying He will tell you which political party is godly and which isn’t.  I’m also not saying you shouldn’t vote.  What I am saying is that God wants to love humanity through us by caring for the widows, orphans, outcasts and marginalized.

More so today than in times past, I am disheartened by the way we treat each other.  I’m also troubled that we minimize what it means to follow Christ by taking on the labels of liberal, conservative, fundamental, independent, etc.  We have created sides, which has caused us to see things through a cloudy lens.  We hold to the ways of the Social Darwinism’s “survival of the fittest” and determine that there must be a winner and a loser, and you don’t want to be the loser.  We have given our allegiance to philosophies that do not resemble the gospel.  Yet, we are challenged in scripture to not be corrupted by the philosophies of this world.  All this is so contrary to the gospel, the kingdom and the way of Christ.

Have we considered that maybe the Father doesn’t need us arguing for our own rights?  Are we not called to contend for the faith?  Are we not told by the Apostle Paul that as Christ-followers we are called to take on the ministry of reconciliation?  If I remember correctly, some of Jesus’ final words in scripture were in commanding his disciples to make disciples who follow and imitate Him.  I believe that would mean we are commanded to do the same.

It bothers me immensely that “Christian leaders” (myself included) have taken scripture and approached it from a Pharisaical perspective of determining who is in and who is out through a performance-based Christianity.  We have made the gospel an issue about heaven or hell.  N.T. Wright states, ‎“The ‘Kingdom of heaven’ is not about people going to heaven.  It is about the rule of heaven coming to earth.”  As I read the scriptures, OT and NT, I find that God wants us to join him on His mission to reconcile humanity to Himself, and at the heart of His mission is “love.”

So, with “love” in mind, let’s be honest.  Most of us struggle with understanding how to love our neighbors, and our enemies.  Could it be that we don’t know how to love ourselves?  Maybe we ourselves don’t know how to love.  It is much easier to hate and judge others because it would release us from the responsibility of loving others into the kingdom.  We cast them off as hopeless.  We put the responsibility on them to figure out.  The problem that arises is they will not know how to love as God loves if we don’t love as God loves.  At some point we must see  others as God sees them…with compassionate eyes.

‎”Being a disciple means deliberately identifying yourself with God’s interests in other people.” – Oswald Chambers

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Thanks for reading my rant.  Right or wrong, they are my thoughts.  I leave you with these questions to ponder:

1)  Have you allowed scripture to read you, as opposed to reading the scripture through your lenses?

2)  Have you considered laying down your political agendas to carry the yoke (teaching) of Jesus into the voting booth?

3)  Have you loved your neighbor by caring for the widows, orphans, outcasts and marginalized without regard to why they are in that condition?

4)  Would those in your world call you a little Jesus, or a religious nut?

Feel free to leave a comment, but be respectful and not argumentative or attacking.   Show love.  Otherwise, I will lovingly cut you off.  Peace…

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May we, who follow Christ, come into unity in Him.  May we find that His grace is more than sufficient to reconcile and redeem humanity to himself.  May we realize that the kingdoms of this world have divided us and caused us to become selfish.  May we enter into communion, prayer and fellowship with each other for the sake of the kingdom of God.  May our destructive allegiances be cut off.

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