Wednesday, August 21, 2013

America's Problem...

Let me begin by saying that I am not in any way a supporter of Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson.  While I agree with their basic premise that all ethnic groups deserve equal protection and rights, I do not always agree with their tactics and statements.  But my fellow conservatives seem to be missing the point and so I decided to offer some thoughts to them.  Conservatives tend to think that only liberals are to blame... but just isn't true.

Disclaimer aside, they are not the problem.  Their tactics, misguided as they are, are not the problem.  I make this statement because in the fall out from the Zimmerman
Trial many people who were supporters of George Zimmerman are blaming Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Jackson for the riots and hype surrounding the trial and its verdict.

The worst part of this trial in the social media sphere is that these hateful comments on both sides are coming from those who call themselves Christians. 

While they are not helping the problem, they are NOT the problem.  To blame them is to ignore a much larger issue.

It is no secret that racial tensions are running high in this country.  I am an avid proponent of the benefits of social media outlets such as facebook,
twitter, etc, but for every "good" thing these outlets accomplish, an equal and sometimes greater evil is accomplished as well.

In the course of President Obama's two terms in office I have witnessed an alarming trend on social media outlets.  People (supporters and opponents) referring to the President as merely "Obama". 
Not "President Obama" or even "Mr. Obama" (if they desire a less respectful address).  Even resorting to nicknames such as "Obummer".  Again these things are seen coming from those who call themselves believers.

Whether you agree with the President or not does not give Christians (or even American citizens) the right to show disrespect to his office and authority.

Romans 13 tells us that all authority has been ordained by God for His purposes.  Sometimes those
leaders are Godly and lead the Nation towards Christ in their decisions, sometimes they don't.  Sometimes they are God's blessing on a Nation and sometimes they are God's judgment.

Regardless of which way you feel President Obama is for our Nation, he is for better or worse our President.  He has been given authority and we are to show the respect due to that office.

That does NOT mean that we must agree with all that he does or even be silent about our disagreement with his views.  It does not mean that we must comply if he tries to legislate something the Bible deems immoral.  It does, however,
mean that we must voice our disgruntlement in the proper way.  That begins by respecting the office and more importantly the God who has ordained that authority.

I do not agree with much of what our President does, but President Obama is not the problem with America.

The news media plays its part in all of this of course, but even THEY are not the problem with America.

So what is America's problem?  Are you ready?  The answer may surprise you...

The problem is sin.  Sin is the problem.  More specifically, people who act on sinful temptations and given in to the desires of their flesh.  Everyone, from President Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, George Zimmerman, Republicans, Democrats, you, and me, everyone wakes up every morning and resumes a battle with our flesh.

Sin causes racism, race baiting, murder, lies, hatred, bigotry, blasphemy, and every other kind of evil you can think of.

In fact, it is a battle that we may set aside as we sleep but our enemy attacks even in our dreams.  Ever had a dream wherein you did something immoral?

The enemy I refer to is not Satan, it is you and me.  Satan may lay a snare before us and he is certainly crafty foe.  But it is us who give in to his temptations and willingly place ourselves into his snare.

So where do we go from here?  Let me make 2 suggestions.

What will fix the problem?

1.) The problem of sin will NOT be dealt with through political and social activism or well-stated arguments.   Refuting Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or exposing the George Zimmerman's or even the Trayvon Martin's of the world will not fix this.

Attempting to deal with the problem of sin with clever argumentation will produce the same result as placing a band-aid on a crack in the Hoover Dam.  Eventually, probably sooner than later, it will burst through with a much larger problem.

Don't we see that trend in the escalation of the vigilante justice mindset that grips people on both sides of any hot issue.

2.) The problem of sin HAS been dealt with through the Person and work of Jesus Christ!  Amazing!  So what do we do now?  We, those who are in Christ, need to point people to the Savior!

Use God's Law, the great equalizer among all mankind, to bring the knowledge of sin (Romans 5:8; 6:23; 7:7, Exodus 20; Ephesians 2:1-10) and then point them to the kindness of God to have sent Christ.  Who came and took the wrath of God for our sin so that we could be forgiven (2 Corinthians 5:21).

The Gospel is the answer for racists, racism, greed, murder, drugs, public schools, gang violence, snobbery, lies, pornography, adultery, lusts, or any other problem that faces our society.

Jesus Christ is the only One who can truly chance hearts, minds, and desires.  Only through HIM will this world change.

Christians, let's be sure that we are passionate about the wrong and sinful things in this world.  Let's be passionate about social injustices, but let's never let those things elevate themselves above the saving message of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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