By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

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Presidential Elections Demonstrate Disturbing Trend in the Church

The funny thing about character is that it is an inside job, but it is evident on the outside when something does not go someone's way. We call it the fires of adversity, whcih brings the dross to the surface. Fire not only reveals the impurities in a person's life, but it also reveals that which has been hidden. In a very public world with social media, people can no longer just have opinions over coffee, they feel the need to go public with their thoughts. Jesus never had a problem with people's opinions. Peter rebuked Him in public, the sons of Zebedee called fire down from heaven, and Thomas said, if I don't see I won't believe. So, going public is not the issue, the issue is what you are revealing about yourself by going public. One of the many things God is doing right now is exposing people for who they really are.

There are many things being exposed right now in a very public way and I think many more things will be exposed, but this is not a license to start throwing stones. When the disciples were publicly discussing who was the greatest among them, Jesus did not say, "How dare you want to be great," but tweaked their understanding of what greatness is by bringing a little child near and saying, if you want to be great, be like a child. I am thankful the church is speaking out, I am glad people have a platform to share their ideas, thoughts and opinions about a variety of subjects. Religion and political correctness seeks to silence people, but Jesus liberates them and the first sign of freedom is getting your voice back. So speak, share, disagree and promote, but in doing these things, don't forget Luke 6:45 that says, "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."

This election process for the president of the United States has brought out some things that give me grave concern for us a church. One, there is much evidence to the fact that we as Christians believe in selective righteousness. When we can assault someone with our words because of how many times they've been married but have the same level of divorce in the church, this is stone throwing. When we can measure a candidate by their morality, when we have rampant sex before marriage among believers, this is selective righteousness. When we think their attitude and views on people is crass, rude and dishonoring, but we slam them with our words, this is selective righteousness. Many Christians are against someone more than they are for someone and it is evidenced in our Facebook posts, blogs, radio interviews, conversations and sermons.

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. —Author Unknown

He that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone... —Jesus (John 8:7)

Humility is not passivity, rather it is the ability to be teachable. When we measure our level of righteousness, purity or holiness against someone else, we are using false weights. The only person we are to compare ourselves to in these areas is Jesus Himself, and He was without sin, so we all fall short (Rom. 3:23). What I see happening is Christians wanting to take a place above others in order to look down on them. This is called self-righteousness and was the very thing Jesus dealt with when He walked the earth. If Christians are not careful, we are going to miss the next move of God because Jesus never came the way the religious people thought He would come. They wanted a conquering king, and He came as a humble servant. He came to lift people up and the religious leaders wanted Him to tear people down.

As Christians, we have enough of our own issues to deal with both internally and externally. Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35). The litmus test for discipleship is love, and 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 gives you practical evidence of a lover.

Love is fierce, but it is not mean! God so loved the world (John 3:16). Unbelievers are not going to become believers because we throw another stone at them, nor are believers who are acting like unbelievers going to return if we continue to throw stones. Love is the answer!

Shawn Bolz in his book Translating God says, "You can only influence that which you love." If we are going to be world changers, we must become lovers of God and lovers of people, for last time I checked, God's kindness led people to repentance (Rom. 2:4).

I came to Christ in January 1989 not because someone threw a stone at me, but because someone showed me the love and kindness of God. Stone throwing isn't a kingdom concept, so please, stop throwing stones and start sharing the Good News, that once I was lost, but now I am found!

Lisa Great is an author, speaker and blogger with Mouthpiece Ministries International. She has been in ministry for over 25 years, she has a BA in Youth and Family Studies, a MA in Education. She can be reached at mouthpieceministries.net; mouthpieceministries.wordpress.com; or on her Facebook page Lisa Great.

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