“Circling the drain” –or CTD– is a somewhat humorous and somewhat sarcastic term. Sadly, for many Christians, it describes the wholesome values that they grew up with in this country –going down the sewer.
The last round of political elections made it ever so clear that the country is no longer united by common core principles. Of course there have always been divided opinions about what the government should, and should not, do. Today, more than ever, our fears are being used to deepen wedges that further divide us such that we are losing sight of what it was that united us.
Worries about the economy dominate the headlines. Individuals are concerned about having an income –be it from a job, retirement accounts or government subsidies. Corporations are seeking to remain profitable (and stay in business) in the face of looming tax increases. The topic of health care is tangled up in all of that too. And let’s not neglect the issue of education. Traditional teaching has been replaced with failing methods and the rankings of our students continues to decline in comparison with other countries. Religious, racial and gender (including sexual preference) groups have attained special status for acceptance and biases against those groups are on the incline instead of the hoped decline. The country’s laws are subtly changing to give more power to the government and existing laws are haphazardly enforced which is allowing chaos to undermine the whole culture. This is a partial list of the worries which are currently being discussed across the country –by nearly everyone because it affects so many.
What’s the point?
As Christians we are challenged by each of these issues to take a side. And we do. Usually, we’re persuaded by what we “know” are sound Biblical principles –and we have our churches and Christian radio to back us up.
But there’s a problem with all that. Whenever we take a side on an issue like one of these, we are snubbing our most basic Christian task.
Let me explain. . . Our sole purpose on this earth is to be an ambassador for Jesus Christ. As His ambassador, we represent His kingdom and no other. Our task is to tell everyone –when the moment is right– that God isn’t counting men’s sins against them and that Jesus willingly subjected Himself to satisfy His Father’s wrath by enduring the punishment for all sins committed by all people. This is plainly explained in and its context.
We can only be effective by representing one party. For example, would you want a lawyer to represent you and also prosecute you? Would you want a salesman to represent your company and sell for your competition, too? Would you want a pastor for your church to preach Christ on Sunday and Satan on another day?
Our Christian culture has drummed into our heads that we must foremostly obey God’s laws –as outlined in the Ten Commandments– and do our best to live holy lives which thereby helps us to be good citizens in this country. That appears to be a noble goal; but it’s totally false. The Law was only intended to show us our own condition –being spiritually separated from God– so that we would turn to Jesus for life. After that we are to be led by the Holy Spirit living within us. (There’s more about this in the Law vs. Grace section.) He –the Holy Spirit– will grow us into the image of Jesus –and He will lead us into the company of the lost as His witnesses.
Whenever we declare our alignment with one side of any of these issues, we have immediately halved our opportunities to share the gospel. Half of the people that we meet –those who disagree with our alignment– will tune us out because –to them– our witness is irrelevant. And worse, each additional issue for which we profess a viewpoint, will further reduce our usefulness. God did not ask us to share the gospel with just the people that think like we do! We’re His ambassadors to the world –to those who are dead in their sins. Money, education, morals are nothing to a dead person –they need only one thing –God’s gift of eternal life which only comes through His Son.
Sure, you can justify your opinion of which side is right or wrong –and even use Scripture verses to validate it. But each of the issues that people worry about are things of the world. You’ve heardmany, many times: “We’re just in this world and we’re not supposed to be part of it.” So don’t make attachments to it like the dead (lost) people do. Our task is to bring them life.
Let your views about the world’s ways be a stimulus to you. The problems that people encounter are designed by God to make them insecure so they can not depend on what they did in the past. Instability is a wonderful thing –for the lost. God’s intent is to show them that Jesus’ is the only viable security there is –in this temporary life –and the one after.
If you would like to discuss it more, contact me by e-mail at doug@MyRedeemer.org and include “MR Website” in the subject.