Today’s a new day. If you truly want to find out what a church believes, you do not even need to attend the church. Just check out the social media pages of some pastors and their spouses. As I have scrolled through my social media pages, I have been saddened to see so many pastors and their spouses more concerned about politics than the gospel. So concerned about their political views, they are willing to attack other believers who do not think like/act like/speak like they do. Evangelicals need a wake up call, need to become more compassionate and humble, focused on the gospel. Believers and churches need to stop getting caught up in out right lies and conspiracy theories. Faith community, you can fill every public office with a conservative right-wing candidate and this nation will still be a mess, because the only hope is Jesus. It’s about a heart change, not a Republican, Democrat or Independent change. Wake Up Church. Jesus is love, grace and forgiveness. ~OC
At The Table
Today’s a new day! Let me say this loud and clear. God is not affiliated with any political party. If that statement surprises you, you might need to check your heart. Once again, God is not a Republican or a Democrat. He should never be used as a prop or weapon in political arguments. Sadly, God is often dragged into the political arena. His primary concern is not who’s in the White House or any political position. Obviously, Jesus cares for the needs of America, but he also cares for the needs of every country. Whether they love Him or not. It breaks God’s heart, when his people worship a political party or political figure. That seems to be a major issue among so many Christians today. If you call yourself a Christian, God should be the King of your life. Period!
Please hear me, I am not saying you cannot support your candidate, political party or country. That is your right. Please go vote. But your allegiance cannot be to a political candidate, flag or country. As a Christian, your allegiance should be to God. There will be moments in our lives where what seems to be in the best interest of America, or your political party will go against what God says is true. In those pivotal moments, you will have to choose who’s first in your life. Who reigns over your life?
This is not me pointing my finger at anyone or casting judgement. These are the types of questions we need to asking ourselves. These are the type of discussions we need to be having with each other. Even if we have disagreements. This is an invitation for all of us to sit down at the table. ~OC
A Loving Warning
Today’s a new day! People are not abandoning Jesus. People are abandoning churches that use Jesus to push political agendas, choose tithes and numbers over relationships and choose which sins are acceptable. That is just unacceptable to an unbelieving world. It is also unacceptable to a believing world. The Church needs to not only preach the Gospel, but live out the Gospel in words and action.
Even as I write the words above, I love the Church because Jesus loves the Church. This is not an attack on the Church. No, this is a loving warning to those churches who are more concerned about their own agenda than the truth of the Gospel. This loving warning comes from someone who has spent more than half my life in the church. This is a loving warning from someone who has seen the beautiful and ugliness of the Church. This is a loving warning from someone who desires for everyone to find a beautiful, amazing church home. ~OC
Check Our Hearts
As I scroll through social media and have conversations with some Christians my heart breaks. I read and hear comments that must break Jesus heart. I think to myself did that Christian actually read their post before posting it or did they check their heart before speaking. Probably not.
As I study scripture, I wonder what Bible some Christians are reading. Because my Bible says we should love everyone. Not just those who think like us, look like us or worship like us. No, we are to love Everyone! Sadly, I see a lot of Hate coming from those who would call themselves Christians. Here are a few examples:
*Those calling themselves Christians with their Christian flags, storming the Capital on January 6th. I could really just stop there, but let’s go on.
*Those calling themselves Christians buying into the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was stolen by the Democrats. Remember, no one ever produced any real proof. Every court, including the Supreme Court ruled there was no proof of election fraud. Yet the conspiracy theories continue. I believe conspiracy theories are nothing more than gossip.
*Some who call themselves Christians believing every Democrat is evil.
*Some who call themselves Christians believing racism is a thing of the past.
*Many Christians and Churches not speaking out against racism.
*Many so called Christians being part of hate groups.
*Many Christians being offended that some people refused to recognize Donald Trump as President, but now those same Christians loudly shout President Biden is not their President.
As I wrote this post, I thought to myself why would anyone want to be a Christian? But then I realized the Jesus I serve is all about Love and Grace. The examples above do not represent my Savior and most Christians. Jesus loves everyone. Sadly some Christians have perverted the Christian faith. It is up to true believers to stand up for what’s right. Even when doing so is not popular. It’s time for the Christian Community to check our hearts. ~OC
Take the Pledge
As I reflect on the unrest in America, I think about the powerful pledge from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As we celebrate MLK weekend, I wanted to share his pledge of non-violence. Here is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s pledge of non-violence:
I hereby pledge myself- my person and body-to the nonviolent movement. Therefore I will keep the following ten commandments:
1). Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.
2). Remember always that the non-violent movement seeks justice and reconciliation-not victory.
3). Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.
4). Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.
5). Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.
6). Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.
7). Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.
8). Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart.
9). Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.
10). Follow the directions of the movement and of the captain on a demonstration.
I sign this pledge, having seriously considered what I do and with the determination and will to persevere.
As I read the above commitments, I think about all the heroes that lived out those powerful commitments in 1963. America was dealing with major unrest, as Dr. King and so many heroes marched peacefully for civil rights. Yes, peacefully. So the question is, will you take the pledge? I have personally committed to living out these commitments. Will you? ~OC
America, Come Together
At 3:41 a.m. on January 7, 2021, Vice-President Michael Pence officially certified Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris the winners of the 2020 Presidential election. This should have been a pretty boring proceeding. But we know that was not the case. Instead, we saw a few politicians and many protesters try to hijack the election results. Thankfully some leaders who actually believe in the constitution prevailed.
A time honored proceeding that should have only taken a few minutes on Wednesday 1/6/21, ended up lasting until 3:41 a.m. on Thursday 1/7/21. Why? Because some sore losers did not like the results of a fair election. So those individuals decided to take things into their own hands. Instead of peacefully protesting the election results which is their right, this group was encouraged to march on the Capital. We all watched with sadness and horror as this group decided violence was better than peace. At last count, four people died during this senseless uprising. Yes, in America four people died and several more were injured because a group of people did not like the results of a fair election. I know some will disagree that the election was legal and fair, but court after court has thrown out every challenge. Why? Because no real evidence was ever presented to show any fraud. So on January 7, 2021 at 3:41 a.m. President-Elect Joseph Biden was officially certified as the next President of the United States of America. I encourage everyone to pray for President-Elect Biden and Vice-President-Elect Harris. They have a tough job ahead. They need our prayers and support. America needs our prayers. It’s time to come together and actually be the United States of America. ~OC
More Gospel. Less Politics
Today’s a new day! If your pastor is talking about politics more than the gospel, you might need to find a new church. ~OC
Jesus and Judas
During a time where people are ending friendships because they disagree about politics, I will choose to stay friends.
During a time where people are ending friendships based on different religious beliefs, I will choose to stay friends.
During a time where people are ending friendships based on different skin color and culture, I will choose to stay friends.
During a time where people are ending friendships based on different beliefs about the pandemic, I will choose to stay friends.
During a time where people are ending friendships based on someone’s sexual orientation, I will choose to stay friends.
I could continue giving examples, but I hope you get the point. I do not have to agree or like someone’s opinion or belief system to be their friend. I can just respectfully disagree. I can also have respectful conversations with them. I can continue to pray for them. I can continue to love them.
I often think about Jesus and Judas Iscariot from the Bible. Jesus knew the day he met Judas, that Judas would betray him. The smart thing would have been for Jesus to not even start a friendship with Judas. But what did Jesus do? He invited Judas into his inner circle. Jesus ate with Judas. Jesus engaged Judas in conversation. Jesus prayed for Judas. Jesus washed Judas feet on the night Judas betrayed him. Jesus loved Judas.
People are broken. Friends come with baggage. We can choose to discard those friends we disagree with or we can choose to love them. There is too much hate in this world. So, I will choose to love those I disagree with. Baggage and all. ~OC
Gospel Over Politics
As I scroll through social media, I see some post from Christians talking about fighting until “Our Team” wins. That would be awesome if these folks were talking about God winning. Which of course He already has. No, sadly these post are about a political party. A party that would rather win than be United. My prayer is that these individuals would be more concerned about truly living out the Gospel and less concerned about a political party or candidate. ~OC