Monday, March 22, 2010

Misplaced Fear

Regardless of your political leanings, last night's vote on health care was unquestionably an historic vote. We see this both in the excitement among those who supported the bill, as well as in the fear of its consequences so evident among those who were against it.

Russell Moore has a great post today though on what our response as Christians should be. His thoughts in it include the following:
Is it a problem that some of us who are tranquil as still water about biblical doctrine and ecclesial mission are red-faced about Nancy Pelosi and the talking heads on MSNBC? Is it a problem that some who haven’t shared the gospel with their neighbors in months or years are motivated to vent to strangers on the street about how scary national health care will be?

It’s not that I think Christians should be disengaged from issues of justice (God forbid!). It’s just that I wonder if we wouldn’t represent Christ and his kingdom better if we did it with a certain tranquility of Spirit, a tranquility that signals we’re not afraid of the rise and fall of temporal kingdoms and their policies.
He goes on to say:
So if what you’re afraid of is a politician or a policy or a culture or the future of Western civilization, don’t give up the conviction but give up the fear. Work for justice. Oppose evil. But do it so that your opponents will see not fear but trust, optimism, and affection.
Read the whole thing here.


Pete Scribner said...

In the same vein, Scotty Smith posted the following prayer today, based on Revelation 22:1-3 ("Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him."):

Dear heavenly Father, I begin this day somewhat conflicted on the inside… most certainly, a good candidate for some fresh gospel-sanity. I’m very thankful to live in this country—the land where you’ve twice given me birth—in my mother’s womb and from above. I’m very thankful that the “governing authority” you’ve established here (Romans 13:1-3) contains a two-party system—a democracy, even if it’s a broken democracy, which allows for dialogue, debate and dissent. Selfishly, I’m very thankful I get to live in my America rather than the Apostle Paul’s Rome.

That being said, Father, I need you to center and settle me this morning. As a citizen of heaven (Phil 3:20) and this country, help me know how to live and to love to your glory, in the midst of the current chaos and clamor about health care in our country. Forgive me… when I look to the horses, chariots and men of Congress, more so than to courts of heaven for my perspective and peace. It’s not who’s occupying the Oval Office, but Who’s occupying the throne of grace that really matters.

Forgive me… when I spend more time being cynical and snide about government, rather than prayerful and engaged with the brokenhearted and the broken-bodied all around me. Health care is a good thing, a gospel thing. You are the Lord who heals (Exodus 15:26). By the wounds of your Son, Jesus, we are healed (Isa 53:5). You give gifts of healings, to and through your people (1 Cor. 12:9). A part of your kingdom agenda is the ultimate health care of the new heaven and new earth, when the leaves of the tree of life will provide healing for the nations (Rev. 22:2). Hasten that Day, Father, please, hasten that Day.

But until that Day, and in light of that Day, keep us thinking with gospel-sanity… loving with Jesus’ compassion… serving with grace-full humility… and hoping with kingdom vision. So very Amen, I pray… we pray… in the name of our reigning and merciful King, Jesus.

Sue G. said...

Thanks for posting this Pete. I enjoyed Moore's blog and perspective.

Pete Scribner said...

You're welcome, Sue!

I started following Moore fairly recently. I find that he tends to ask thought-provoking questions and give very insightful answers.