State of the Union

November 9, 2017

Polarization, division, violence, rage, alienation, despair, confusion.

 

Welcome to the new motto for the USA, to replace the old one - "E Pluribus Unim" - "Out of many, one."  There has never been more disastrous division in this country since the Civil War.

 

The world needs the church of Jesus Christ!

 

Polarization, division, violence, rage, alienation, despair, confusion.

 

Does this describe that church?

 

The Church of Jesus Christ is growing throughout the world everywhere except in the USA.  Here, Biblical literacy, church attendance, faith, membership, relevance, even belief in God - all becoming fossils to be found by future archeologists 1000 years from now.

 

Church buildings, once havens for fellowships of believers and for the sin-sick soul, are now scenes of dispute, and as we have seen in First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, shooting galleries for evil sociopaths.

Problems of faith should not be insurmountable.  What happened to the faith of the saints who solved problems by acknowledging that the One Who we have in common is supposed to replace what divides us?  Are we fated to be religious dinosaurs, slain by the cultural climate changes of the world?

 

United we stand.  Divided we fall. The world might not want us, but really needs us.

 

Theologian Karl Barth once said of World War 1 that the war had happened because Europe had fallen asleep on its Bible.  The world is at war; every attempt to bring peace seems to lead to new war, whether in politics or in the church.  There is no plan, no path, no outline to the solution.  We have fallen asleep on our Bible; the Word became flesh (John 1:14) and He, Himself is the Way.  And He calls us to stop asserting our rights and insistence on our personal preferences and the need to "be right:"

 

"He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me." 

(Matthew 10:38 NKJV)

 

Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." (Matthew 16:24 NKJV)

 

Three simple words will save us from the foolish self-righteousness and introduce us through portals of grace and God's righteousness.  The three simple words are "I don't know."  Those words can force us into seeking Him, by listening to His still small voice to our hearts and minds and especially from His Word.

 

There is an old saying:  Only fools argue in a burning house.  Will the world see us as "E Pluribus Unum" or "too irrelevant for anything but target practice?"

 

Repentance is best done on calloused knees.  We need to not know so much and come together under the one flag of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  We don't know how to solve our problems but we can take His advice:

 

"The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.  (Psalm 19:9 NKJV)

 

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."  (Psalm 111:10  NKJV)

 

Let the class please come to order.

 

Blessings from here to eternity,

 

Pastor Drew

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