Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Fear factor

 There is a verse that has been on my mind lately, 2 Timothy 1:7: for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

 One would think from the last few months that the opposite is true. Elections are often fueled by fear, but this one has had the fear stoked well by many in the Republican Party. We are told my other Christians, and even pastors, that we must stop Hillary at any cost. We are told if she wins,

We will lose our gun rights

The Supreme Court will be stacked with liberal judges

She will launch an attack on Christians

America will cease to exist

Muslims will take over our country

Abortion will be legal up to a child's 5th birthday (OK, exaggeration)

We will have no freedoms left.

The earth will burst into a ball of flame (OK, no one has said that)

And more.

  We have made Hillary Clinton into such an evil monster capable of things she can't do on her own, that many of our fears are overblown and unrealistic.

  To stop this evil monster that has been made bigger than life, we are told we must vote for Donald Trump, long time donor, supporter, and defender of this evil monster and her husband....a man who helped her get where she is, and helped finance other liberals who got us into this mess..... a man who is so far removed from anything a Christian should stand for or against.

  The fear mongering going on by Christians in the Republican Party is out of hand, and shows a complete lack of trust in God. I've been there. I have been scared to death of a Hillary OR Trump presidency. I still have concerns, but I do believe I am trusting God for this election, even though I won't like the results if either wins.

  Where IS our trust and faith in God? Why are Christians so afraid of losing rights and freedoms that they'd resort to the fear mongering and attempts to shame or scare others into voting for someone no Christian should even think about voting for?

 I am nearing the end of a 90-day devotional titled "I Am N", a devotional chronicling Christians in Muslim countries and what they go through. They know when they convert to Christianity what it means. They know they may lose family members and be killed or tortured by Muslims, even ones in their own family. They know they may lose everything they own, and they still follow Jesus.

 In the book, there was the story of one young man who said God told him if he became a Christian, he'd lose everything he owned, he'd be tortured, and he'd lose his young son. He still became a Christian.... and he did lose all he owned. His young son was killed, and he himself was locked in a bunker for several days while his own father would come in and beat and torture him.

 Imagine that kind of courage and desire to serve God. If we are so terrified of Hillary Clinton that it causes us to act, react, and vote the way so many have, how on earth would we ever stand up to persecution like our brothers and sisters in Muslim countries?

 We are so worried about our freedoms, our rights, what kind of judges will be on the Supreme Court, and other such things. Are we too soft, too accustomed to our comforts, too afraid to be inconvenienced in any way if the wrong candidate wins?

 These men and women in Muslim countries follow Jesus, often at the endangerment of their own families and children.....and we are so scared of a politician that might do something to endanger our children that we act irrationally instead of trusting God.

 Do I want to lose freedoms? No. Do I want a Supreme Court justice put on by Hillary or Donald? Absolutely not. I still hope that somehow neither candidate wins, but is that what life is all about - winning elections? Maybe there is more than one issue here. Maybe we have gotten too accustomed to our home here on earth and have forgotten that we are not living for here. We are more citizens of America than citizens of Heaven. We tend to be more concerned about what affects us as Americans, instead of what affects our souls and relationship with God. We tend to fear more what will affect our freedoms as Americans than what will affect our relationship with Jesus Christ.

  Think about it: in these last few months, what has been your concern more: who is going to win this election, or concerns about things of God: souls slipping into hell, reaching out to people with the Gospel, showing the world that we are truly different...... I don't believe I would be wrong in saying that the majority of Christians have been way more concerned about who is going to win, about being right, about getting others to vote like them, and other such things..... then things of God.

  Could it possibly be if we were more concerned with the things of God, more concerned with being salt and light in this sinful world, more concerned with our relationship with God....that we wouldn't be ruled by fear of politicians and who may or may not curb our freedoms?

  It has been suggested by a friend of mine that if we ever want revival here in America, it may come at the cost of some of our freedoms and comforts. Is he correct? He may be. Do we want revival and a return to God in America, or do we want our freedoms, comforts, and our candidate to win more than that?

 What is truly most important to we American Christians? What we do fear more,losing freedoms and rights,  the Democrat running for president, or displeasing God and being like the world, instead of in and not of?

 I learned a lot this election, and believe I came out better for it. Not voting for the Republican nominee wasn't an easy choice to make, especially with the pressure from other Christians trying to get me to do what I believed to be wrong. It has forced me to leave the election in God's hands and to trust Him. For me, there is no good outcome. I won't be up late watching  the election results, for I really don't care which one wins. No matter who wins, I believe our country is going to suffer, along with our freedoms. Am I concerned? Of course I am, but I am not cowering under my blankets at the thought of a Trump or Hillary presidency.

   It has made me more determined to stay ready to meet God. It has given me a renewed sense of what it means to do the right thing in the face of opposition. It has reawakened the realization that I have been too concerned about what affects me as an American, and not enough concerned about what affects me spiritually.

  If we do this serving God right, we shouldn't be so worried and fearful of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or any other politician or person... or really anything else. Being a Christian in America rarely costs us anything, and we have gotten too pampered, too earthly minded, too addicted to our American freedoms.

 If we want revival, if we truly want to "make America great again", it may cost us something.

 And by the way, I don't want persecution or loss of my freedoms any more than you do.

 Fear factor....it is something that should not be a characteristic or tool of a Christian..... even at election time.

This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue;
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

O Lord, You know I have no friend like You,
If heaven's not my home, then Lord what will I do?
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door,
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

They're all expecting me, and that's one thing I know,
My Savior pardoned me and now I onward go;
I know He'll take me thro' tho' I am and weak and poor,
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

O Lord, You know I have no friend like You,
If heaven's not my home, then Lord what will I do?
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door,
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Just up in gloryland, we'll live eternally,
The saints on every hand are shouting victory,
Their songs of sweetest praise drift back from heaven's shore,
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

O Lord, You know I have no friend like You,
If heaven's not my home, then Lord what will I do?
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door,
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.


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