“Christian nation.” My dear Tea Partiers and Republican Christians: You keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means. For example, it doesn’t include you applauding Governor Rick Perry’s record high execution number in the state of Texas during the GOP debate on September 7. Rick Perry presided over the murder of 300 people. Pretend for a moment that you are pro-life.
But no, I get you. People commit crimes, they deserve to die. It’s the natural order of things. One brilliant light-bulb in the Twitter box even wrote, “If you don’t like the death penalty, don’t commit murder in Texas.” Of course! Because we all know that Texas is one of –if not THE MOST racially equal states in the country. Prosecutions are fair, juries are fair, everyone gets an Atticus Finch…Justice is served! And, as Rick Perry said in his response to the question NBC’s Brian Williams posed –Why the heck are your people applauding that you presided over 300 deaths?!?! –Well, Americans just love their justice!
Yes, let’s talk about “justice,” for a moment. Turn with me to Romans 6:23: “For the WAGES of SIN is DEATH…”(emphasis added). “Wages,” means the price, the cost, what you must pay. Note that Paul says “SIN,” and not “gay sin,” or “Muslim sin,” or “Black people’s sin,” or “pick a sin that you don’t do so you can condemn it.” No, he reminds us that ALL sin requires the price, cost, penalty of death. Did you curse today? How about lie? Say something nasty on Twitter? Here’s the verdict: O.J. DID IT, AND SO DID YOU!
We are all deserving of death every single day we live and breathe because we sin every single day. It is only by the matchless grace of God that we still get to live, and only because of the sacrifice of Christ’s life IN OUR PLACE that we get the glorious gift of eternal life in Heaven when we accept His salvation. Think about where you would be if God REALLY gave you the “justice” we deserve for our actions. Then, try to be a little humble and grateful, and show others the same grace Christ showed to the thief who was crucified next to Him on the cross: “I tell you the truth: TODAY, you will be with me in paradise.” I guarantee you that you do not hold the guest list to heaven in your hands, and you have zero control over who goes where. You WILL be surprised by who makes it in the gates, because it’s not about you or your opinion or your interpretation. GOD is God and you are you for a reason. It’s HIS job to judge, and our job to love.
Let’s pretend that our God is almighty, all-knowing, and a good and just God who knows exactly what He is doing. In Deuteronomy 32:35, God says “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.” What would that look like, if we realized that God has a pretty good handle on things, and He doesn’t actually need us to fight His battles for Him? Would we get off the street corners with our picket signs and our taunts and actually do something that would inspire people to turn from their ways and chase after Christ simply because they’ve seen how filled with Christ’s love we are? Would we stop trying to force Jesus onto people when God in His awesome wisdom and power gave people the free will to choose to accept or reject His salvation? What if Christians stopped acting like we can out Christian Christ and just followed His example? It’s one of those things that make you go “hmmmm.”
Let’s all pretend that as Christians, our number one concern is living a life that pleases God, a life guided by His word, a life modeled after the life of Christ. What would such a world of mini-Christs look like? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the Bible tells us EXACTLY what a “Christian Nation” looks like in Acts 2:
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.[emphasis added]
Holy SociNaziFascism, Tea Party! But there is the road map, in [pink]. You want lives to change, you want hearts to change, you want people to choose not to sin, and to instead choose Christ’s way? Meet their needs. Show them that they are not alone, that they have help.
A Christian Nation wouldn’t allow people to die due to lack of access to health care, food, or shelter. A Christian Nation wouldn’t stand in judgment of everyone else’s sin, knowing that it is only by grace we even get to be alive. A Christian Nation would be too busy providing for the needs of the lost that we wouldn’t have time to stand in judgment over the lost. A Christian Nation would understand that the world is looking to us to SHOW them who Christ is, and we would act accordingly.
I’m not talking to my “godless liberal” friends I know you don’t want this to be a “Christian Nation,” because you’ve met too many Christians in your day. I get that, too. It saddens me to know that in our imperfection, we have driven away more people from Christ than towards Him. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
It’s time to be real about being Christians. Be hot or be cold. Choose a side: Be followers of Christ –hearers and doers of His Word — or admit that the god we serve is just ourselves in disguise.