This week I’d like to share a guest musing from one of our church planters, Pastor John Weathersby of Transcend Church. Pastor John is the most socially networked pastor I have ever known. He navigates Facebook, Twitter, and more even better than I can find my way to Cracker Barrel. Many have been reached by him, and he has used social networking as tool to share the gospel.
A few days ago, we were sitting over coffee, and given his interest, I shared some of my thoughts and message that I presented to our church on Feb. 1st, when I spoke about Jesus’ prayer for our mission as both individuals and as a body. Jesus said, “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.” (John 17:20) And here we are as believers, not of this world, but certainly in it. But what is the content of our language; what jokes do we share or laugh at? If you’ve chosen to imbibe alcohol, in what context do you do so, what is your motive, and how does that play out in your life and witness? What about our eating habits; and are we good stewards of our income and possessions? And, how do we as believers handle our politics? I then spoke on Facebook and social media… and the things we post… that just about anybody can see who has an internet connection.
I heard from several people… and not everyone was pleased with what I had to say. That’s OK. It kind of comes with the calling. But back to Pastor John… He had recently written a blog on his church’s website that addressed the topic of politics. It’s worth a read.
And please know, I am not questioning your “rights”, for we have great freedoms in Christ. What I am asking you in all of these areas, and more, is this: Is what you’re about to share going to help or hinder the advance of the Gospel? You need to know… God holds you accountable as His child for your actions and attitudes, just as He does mine.
My hope, my prayer, my goal for you as your pastor is that you know, that you fully experience the joy, peace and love of the Lord. I take no pleasure when you (or me) get taken out to God’s “wood-shed”. I do not rejoice when people I love and serve are being disciplined, any more than I enjoy it myself.
Before I share John’s post, I leave you with these words of admonition from the Apostle Paul: So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles* or the church of God. 33 I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. 11:1 And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. (I Cor. 10:31-11:1 NLT)
My love for you and my soon coming King, Pastor Brian
Why I Don't Post Political Rants - Pastor John Weathersby
Oh, I have them. I could fill my Facebook wall with my positions, thoughts, and musings on life. However, those would be a disruption of the cross of Christ.
When I was redeemed, Christ became paramount in my life. This must be true – other things become second, to the purposes of Jesus. His mission to build the kingdom of God – to reach lost people, and to redeem them. All else is secondary and all else must be secondary.
Christ took the place of everything in my life and became my Lord. Anything that seeks to take the place of purpose and direction in my life is at best a distraction to my life’s mission, make Jesus famous. At worst distractions to the purpose of making Jesus famous become at best an idol and remove Christ as Lord of my life.
That said, the only election I’m after is the recognition of Christ over the throne of the hearts of individuals.
• If my political preferences or rants are a stumbling block to someone’s ability to hear me on the Gospel, I must crucify that desire to rant.
• If my preference for president stumbles even one lost person with whom I can discuss sin and eternity – I must crucify that.
• If my positions on fiscal policy and health care smite the ears of one lost dying person – I must crucify that.
Now hear me rightly: 'do I have political positions', yes.
'Do I have strong political positions', yes.
But you may never know them because: Political disagreements and discussions rarely changes minds, rather they entrench ideas and separate people.
I will vote my Christian conscience and I will trust that Christ has the government on His shoulders. Further, I will trust in the God of Genesis 50:20 knowing that this place is not my home, and when it bears the weight of sinful decisions of people, I am not surprised as this world is filled with sinning dead people who need the life blood of the gospel. My prayer is that our bad even those which are antithetical to the Will of God are used to bring us to repentance and greater knowledge of God.
Stay Encouraged and Trusting
Stay encouraged church, things may be bad, and they may get worse - but remember though Israel was enslaved (numerously) their God was with them and He is faithful. Don't worship at the idol of perfect government, it won’t happen. Worship and trust God, and do His kingdom work.
• Love your fellow Christian
• Love your neighbor
From genuine love and the prompting of the spirit will flow gospel presentation, going into the world, discipling, and trusting Christ as Lord. You'll look at your neighbors differently. You'll stop pre-judging Hindu and Muslim people, and you'll realize that they're pre-Christians Mark 6:34 who are lost.
Grace and peace,