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Communists, Criminals, and Clowns? The State of the Union

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I rarely make public political commentaries, but three distinct perspectives are weighing heavy on my heart amidst this election season, and I would be lax in not sharing them with you. This November, I will vote in my fourth presidential election. I can honestly say that in my short time having been eligible to voice my opinion about candidates, I have never been more perplexed and dissatisfied with the overall representation by our nation’s elite. And I have never been more riddled by the back-and-forth banter from both sides—especially from those who have slung innuendoes like spit wads in fourth grade.

Communist.
Racist.
Fascist.
Criminal.
Liar.
Clown.

I’m surprised MTV isn’t airing the debates instead of Fox News and CNN.

But right in the middle of all of this, I have never been more excited for what’s to come in our near future. Because the issue at hand isn’t really the issue at hand.

That’s why I am blowing the whistle and calling for a team timeout before we jump back into the game this autumn.

The State of the Union

Quite obviously, the general population is speaking: we are done with the establishment as it is. We are done with lobbyist-owned career politicians who parrot the opinions and puppetry of their largest donors. And we are done with fluffy, empty promises that are as sugary and dentally hazardous as State Fair cotton candy.

In fact, it’s my opinion that the rioting, reality TV show debates, and finger-pointing is not the problem at all. The three ring circus act on display before our nation (and perpetuated by all of us) is simply the exposed, inflamed, badly bruised joint protruding out of an already broken bone.

Suffice to say, the state of the union is hungry and dissatisfied—but it is far from being hopeless, atrophied, and even worse, dead.

Much to the surprise of the people of this great nation, allow me to propose that our deep longing really isn’t for a President at all.

It’s for a King.

The King is Among Us

You’d have to live under a rock to not be aware of the fact that in this very moment in history, everything that can be shaken is being shakenfrom Wall Street to D.C. to Hollywood to the Church itself.

We’re truly feeling the burn (not the Bern).

But why? It is so that when the dust settles, the unshakable Kingdom of Godwhose King is alive and wellis the only Kingdom to remain (see Hebrews 12:27-29 for context).

Embracing that truth requires our embracing three perspectives during this critical juncture in our nation.

Pass the Salt, Chicken Little

We are God’s delegated authority in the earthsalt and lightauthorized to have influence upon every area of society. Unfortunately however, too many of us are cowering under the weight of social pressure and buckling amidst present conflicts because we lack the Kingdom perspective to see our part in God’s eternal purpose and the faith to believe we are not riding a sinking ship. As such, we have adopted a “Chicken Little” approach to our position as Christians in this world.

Listen-up: the sky isn’t falling. In fact, it never has. Just ask men like Joseph and Daniel from the Bible.

Jumping into the history books, both men took their place of influence in societies that were downright evil, serving even more evil leaders. While they could have succumbed to the pressure placed upon them, they did not. Instead, they served with integrity and excellence.

Therefore if they—ordinary men with extraordinary faith in God—can do it, we are without excuse. It is illegal for us to operate as victims of society and as helpless citizens of our nation when we have been given access to much more than those two men had in their day, specifically the power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s take our place as His delegated authority in the earth and know that the One who promised to never leave us or forsake us reigns over all.

The Reigning King

Either God reigns over all or He reigns over none. Thankfully, He indeed reigns over all the affairs of man (see Isaiah 52). And that fact should provide us with great confidence. Even when our free will is the catalyst by which detrimental choices are made, His purpose will be fulfilled. There are an unlimited number of “plans” at His disposal to bring about His purpose; the eternal purpose He has designed since before time.

Christian Culture vs. Kingdom Culture

Christian church culture isn’t necessarily Kingdom culture. In fact, Jesus bucked the inbred religious establishment on numerous occasions in order to expose their faulty thinking and divisive heart motivations. Fast forward two thousand years to today and a large segment of the Christian church subculture believes and acts as though Jesus is coming for a weak, beat-up, sickly people in need of rescue from this God-forsaken earth. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.

He’s not Dr. Jesus Kevorkian.

On the contrary, He is coming for a highly effective, healthy, influential, unified Bride not having spot or wrinkle; a Church whose strength is demonstrated by exercising truth in love through the posture of servanthood (read Ephesians 4 for context).

A second faulty Christian culture mindset is that “whatever happens will happen,” insinuating that we are simply limp bystanders in His plan for the earth. The idea that everything that happens in life is His will is incorrect. Supporting the former notion would suggest that we don’t actually have free will (and the natural consequences associated with exercising our free will). In addition, it would neuter the promise found in Romans 8:28. Exploring that point further, if everything that happened in life was His will, why would He have to “work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose?” The promise would simply be unnecessary.

Third, another faulty Christian culture proclivity is to approach those with whom we disagree with a religious spirit, one in which God is at the center, though rendered powerless. As such, defending His honor through militant, “Bible-thumping” words and actions is the only way to stand firm in our faith.

This election season, do your homework, study well, and exercise your responsibility to vote. Above all, know this:

We are not helpless.
We are not weak.
We are not sinking.

Instead, the Lord says, “Awake, awake, put on your strength…shake yourself from the dust and arise.”

Selah.