For many weeks this post has been on my mind. I have hesitated in writing it because the last thing I want is to offend anyone or cause more divisiveness than we already have in our nation.
But as the past few days have become so bad with clashes between different factions in our nation, I feel I must share what is in my heart.
First, a disclaimer here: I am not pro-Trump or never-Trump. I am not here to promote any political party. I am also not here to even promote the Christian faith. If you are Muslim, Jewish or atheist I am not speaking to you. My words are to those who, like me, call themselves Christian.
When Trump ran for president he was strongly embraced by many in the evangelical world. One of the main reasons for their support was that Trump promised to promote Christian principles and appoint judges who would rule in favor of the Christian agenda.
I am not saying promoting Christian principles is a bad thing. As a Christian who has been a Christ follower all my life, I long to see Christian principles be a strong part of the fabric of our nation. I truly believe the Bible’s statement that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.”
But my fear then – and my fear now – is that we are looking to a man and/or a political party to promote the Christian faith rather than looking to God for that.
As Christians we can work to see “righteous” laws that agree with God’s Word are made by Congress, signed by the President and upheld by the courts. Nothing wrong with that.
But laws do not make a person or a nation righteous.
God’s Word and the whole idea of our Christian faith speaks against that.
Look at the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. Led by Moses out of Egypt bondage, God Himself gave them laws. If you read the Old Testament you see how many times they failed to follow those laws. Why? Because as God’s Word says “For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. ”
The story of the Christian faith is that laws did not work. They could control the behavior of man to a point, but in the end, they always failed. Man always found a way to ignore and/or disobey the law. The nation of Israel wandered further and further away from the law because the law did not change their hearts.
So we can pass laws that make what we believe is sin against the law. We can even persecute those who break those laws and send them to prison. But how has that make our nation a Christian nation? Granted it would mean that we as Christians might feel safer in a nation where everybody had to agree with us or go to jail. We as Christians might enjoy a great safe and comfortable life.
But how would that change the hearts of the people? How would that truly make us “all” Christians?
Jesus spoke about the importance of a change in our hearts, not just our behavior in that famous passage we call the “Sermon on the Mount”
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”
So – we can make laws against murder (not saying we should not do so) but we cannot change the hearts of people who harbor anger in their heart. And sadly, I have seen on numerous Facebook posts where Christians have been so guilty of disobeying Jesus’ instruction as they begin to call each other “fools” when they disagree on an issue.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Clearly Jesus was calling us to a higher standard than just setting up a set of laws for all to obey. He was calling us to a change in heart.
Only God can change a heart. All the “righteous” laws in the world, even if enforced by our courts, cannot change the heart of men and women.
My fear is that instead of trying to share God’s love and God’s truth to our neighbors, instead of reaching out to those who were planning an abortion, who were taking illegal drugs, who were living a lifestyle we felt was wrong, we looked to a man/a political party to pass laws that would stop them from that lifestyle or punish them for it.
What if we went to that woman contemplating abortion and asked what we could do to help her keep the child? Could we pay her medical bills? Could we help her find a good family to adopt the baby? Could we help her gain skills to get a better job? And, if in the end, we could not change her mind, could we show her love and compassion as we pray to God to change her heart and mind?
And what about Jesus’s statement:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”
I am thankful that I have lived my life in a nation where many Christian beliefs have guided our country – and I’m all for promoting those principles. But we must never think if we force people to live by our Christian standards through fear of persecution or punishment by the courts, we are making our nation a righteous nation.
No law – no matter how good – can change the heart. That is the whole point of our Christian faith.
Just a closing thought: what if we spend as much time praying – seeking God – sharing His love to those we do not agree with – as we spend arguing, debating and even attacking those who are opposed to our Christian standards – would that make a real difference?
This is a very refreshing post. You make an excellent point about righteous laws not making the nation righteous. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for stopping by and for your kind comments.
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Amen Sister! Very well said.
I’ve been thinking about this as well! While on a walk, I saw a sign posted that reminded people to clean up after their dogs. The area already had a rule about that, but the sign was funny to me because it was like, “Did you know that dog poop does this this and this? Please remember to clean up.” They are trying to solve the problem with a rule and a sign.
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This is a very thoughtful post, and I appreciate it. It seems we have come to a time where some people of one political party think the people in the other political party are evil. And I am talking about both parties here! I pray for our nation every day, and I ask God to guide us. Thank you for your post.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hi Barbara, I have often thought we should spend more time praying, being compassionate, and sharing Christ’s love rather than arguing and finding wrong. Blessings! 🌺
Yes! And I need to follow my own advice!
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Well said, Barbara! 🙂
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Amen and amen and amen my friend. I must admit I’ve been a bit discouraged about the behavior of some of our fellow Christians. Taking the battle to each other, rather than fight our true enemy.
Reblogged this on Grandma's Ramblings and commented:
I posted this a couple of years ago – but as we head into another election season and as the rhetoric again heats up as to our need to be a “Christian” nation, I thought I would share it again.