Post-Election Post

Everyone else is doing a post-election post, so I thought I would too.

Honestly, it amazes me how many of the blogs I follow from Christian leaders who have tried to put on a good face in light of the presidential election results and have spit out some (seems to me) half-hearted spiritual platitudes.

I don’t know how many times today I’ve read, “Don’t forget – God is still on his throne.” (I imagine it with a sort of whiny, nasally tone.) Are we such a sorry bunch of people that we have to be reminded over and over again that the 2008 American election is not the end of the world?!

I’m not happy with the results either. In fact, living in northern Indiana, those in my district lost in nearly every race available. (We’ve sort of gotten use to it in our county.) Actually, I wasn’t really thrilled with our choices going in either.

Regardless, if you’re moping around because of last night – STOP IT! Yes, God is on his throne and all that, but I shouldn’t have to remind you of that. What we need to remember is what we do from here on out. Interestingly, it’s no different than what we should have been doing all along:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad). Do you desire not to fear authority? Do good and you will receive its commendation, for it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be in fear, for it does not bear the sword in vain. It is God’s servant to administer retribution on the wrongdoer. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath of the authorities but also because of your conscience. For this reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants devoted to governing. Pay everyone what is owed: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due. Romans 13:1-7 (NET)

Be subject to every human institution for the Lord’s sake, whether to a king as supreme or to governors as those he commissions to punish wrongdoers and praise those who do good. For God wants you to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. Live as free people, not using your freedom as a pretext for evil, but as God’s slaves. Honor all people, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the king. 1 Peter 2:13-17 (NET)

First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people, even for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. Such prayer for all is good and welcomed before God our Savior, since he wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NET)

Listen, Day 32: 1 & 2 Timothy

We are down to just about a week left in our listening program. This Sunday I’ll teach the last message in this series. I’ve had several people mention that they intend to listen through the NT again. That’s great! If you would like to listen to the weekend messages again, too, they are available on our website, or you can order a boxed set of the CDs through the church.

Saralynn wondered if the reference to giving thanks for our food had to do with Paul’s other discussions about food offered to idols. She didn’t remember that verse being there.

Dan’l:

  • So many people get caught up on whether the Old Testament Law (or which parts of it) still apply to us. The fact is, it doesn’t matter unless you’re going to break it. “The law was given to control lawbreakers.
  • In yesterday’s listening, Paul said that God punishes unbelievers as an example so people will believe. In today’s listening he said that God shows mercy on believers, also as an example. The more I read and listen, the more I hear that God really does leave the choice up to us whether or not we will accept his offer of salvation.
  • Three times I heard the phrase “married only once” in 1 Timothy (3:2; 3:12; 5:9). I cannot find that in any CEV that I have. So far the readers have done a pretty good job sticking with the exact CEV Bible text. However, they made an error in these three verses by reading their understanding into the text. Each CEV I searched (print and electronic) say “faithful in marriage” in all three spots. And frankly, that is the best translation as I discuss in my book. (I thought I was going to have to be bummed by the CEV; fortunately not!)
  • Paul refers to God as “the Savior of everyone.” Let’s be sure to note two important points: 1) that Christ himself is not the Savior of everyone and 2) that God is the Savior “especially of those who have faith.” That this is not talking about eternal life is hard for many people to accept.
  • I love the practical instructions for church life throughout chapter five – how to deal with certain widows, salary and payroll procedures, discipline, and thoughts on formal ordination.
  • People occasionally mention to me that I should be more open to different views and not as black and white in my theological understanding and what I teach. I don’t know. I think Paul is a pretty good example of being confident in his teaching. Of course, this is why it’s so important to “Understand It” in the first place.
  • Second Timothy 1 really got to me, as I was thinking this very thought earlier today and more frequently in recent days. Paul told Timothy to “make full use of the gift that God gave you.” I have to say that I don’t think I’m doing that. As Paul wrote a couple of verses later, “My work is to be a teacher.I mentioned Sunday that I don’t get to teach enough. That’s really been getting me down lately, and I was reminded of that again earlier today and then in our listening this evening.
  • How could I let chapter 2 go by without mentioning my life verse and the purpose of my life and this blog? “Tell these same things to followers who can be trusted to tell others.It’s not supposed to stop with us, and we dare not let it!
  • What a great reminder to keep being faithful to what we’ve been taught. It’s OK to ask questions; it’s not OK to walk away from the truth of God’s Word.
  • I really enjoyed hearing Paul talk about the people he had preaching and ministering everywhere. It made me think of a general talking about his troops out in the field.

Post-Election Blog

Church Update
The new road is open!!! I had to go to the store early this afternoon (my computer power supply died). I was gone for less than 45 minutes. When I left, they were still spraying lines. When I returned, they were moving barricades and letting people through. No news, no announcements. Just open.

The Good: Maybe the airport will be contacting us soon, now that this project is complete, and we are in the path of the next one.

The Bad: We thought that just our street (Lynn Street) was going to be dead-ended at the new road, and the next one(s) north would be open. Not so. There is absolutely no turning west off of the new Mayflower Road into our neighborhood. That means that those coming from the east (from South Bend) can get to us in only two ways:

1 – Go three blocks north on Mayflower, one block west, and back-track three blocks south to Lynn Street (what a pain!)

2 – Go one block south to Edison Road and come in our (formerly) rear entrance, which will be closed when the next phase of the road is started

Obviously, this is not good for us, access-wise. Keep praying – this must be coming to a head soon.

Personal Thoughts on the Election
Well, I have to say that I’m deeply disappointed in the results of yesterday’s mid-term elections. As of this posting, the Virginia Senate race is still being decided, trying to determine if the Democrats will control the U.S. Senate as well as the House. For those of us in north-central Indiana, we lost not only on the national level, but on the state and local levels as well. Democrats gained control of the Indiana State House by a small margin and our representative, Chris Chocola, lost his seat in the U.S. House.

While the Republicans certainly lost the elections, I believe that the ultimate losers of this campaign are the citizens of the U. S. of A. Not because they lost the elections – obviously, the majority of the voters got their pick. However, America lost because of the vast difference in the underlying ideologies of the Republican and Democratic Parties.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I fully believe that all candidates sincerely think that their plan is the best for our country. But I come from a biblical and theological worldview, not just a social one. Biblically and theologically, the foundation of the Democratic Party is just not there. The Republicans aren’t perfect – by any means! – but their conservative values are at least based on biblical principle, even if they’re not always employed properly.

Scriptural Thought of the Week
So what does this mean for us now? First,

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Romans 13:1 (NASB) 

No matter what I think of Democratic philosophy or ideology, the fact remains that God is still in control of everything – including the American government – and we are obligated to obey it and Him.

Secondly,

“I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NASB) 

We need to pray for our governmental leaders. Many of them are brand new, and – regardless of the letter behind their names – they’ll need a lot of prayer to get up to speed and try to do what’s right for our country.

In reality, this could turn out to be a very good thing. History has proven time and time again that genuine Christianity actually grows stronger and thrives in the face of godless and anti-God authority. It’s happening in countries all over the world even today. This is our chance to really shine. As the Dems announced over and over in their celebration speeches last night, it truly is a “new day” in America. Let’s do our part to make the biggest impact for Christ that we can in what time we have.

 

 

Until next time,

Dan’l

 

The comments in this blog are always the personal opinions of Daniel Goepfrich and are not meant to be taken as official statements of Oak Tree Community Church, its staff, or its members.