We often hear sermons about how Christ will return for His bride, a bride with a stainless gown. After a recent conversation with a friend, I have to wonder if the church in America, as part of the bride of Christ, doesn't have red, white and blue stains as she waits for the bridegroom.
This blog has never minced words when it comes to thoughts concerning the fight for the church against the American culture. Nor have I side-stepped my disgust for a church that wraps itself in the flag as if to wage a holy war in the name of a particular political party or issue. My concern for the growing abdication of the church to "be the church" in America versus being the church "of America" was brought again to my consciousness recently by an old friend.
Joe and I grew up together, similar families, backgrounds, the same church, and zealots for Republican political power. We maintained our friendship after college, but soon after I was married he moved away and our discourses on politics ended. Until last week, after almost 12 years, our families sat down around the breakfast table. Come to find out, Joe has had a similar revelation as I had. Thank God, I thought to myself. There are times when I thought I might be going crazy and now finally, someone who can relate to this. Can no one else see what is going on with the church, the very body of Christ, and American politics?
Joe worked in Republican campaigns and quickly learned the duplicity of the message which caused for him some disillusionment with the party. Boy, did this sound familiar. I listened as he recounted the politization of our old home church, forming an army of party people, that frankly made me a little sick. He said he wrestled with being a cynic, because certainly that wasn't the answer. Yes, I agreed, but what to do?
And so I've been thinking about this since last week. What to do. And I've wondered, could the spirit of the anti-Christ be lurking in our churches who have given themselves over to a quest for political power? Could politics be satan's weapon to weaken the church; to make it so focused on legislation rather than Christ's message of love that changes hearts?
I so firmly believe that if we (the church) could activate ourselves to love others the political fights we wage would be unnecessary. But, for now, they distract us from fulfilling Christ's message. And this great potential is muzzled, and in many ways duped, by one party.
So, what to do? I wonder if it isn't just this, to be a voice; there may be others and together we may see change if we only call for God's people to "humble themselves and pray, and turn from their wicked ways" so that He can heal our land.
I recognize the risk in speaking up and believe I've already suffered consequences in many ways. I love my country, but more than that-or maybe BECAUSE of that-I want to see the church return to the role we have been called to.