Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No Hope? Really?!?

Perhaps you've seen this picture floating around the interwebs bewailing our nation's condition on the basis of our president and our economic situation. I apologize in advance if what I'm about to write comes across as harsh to some of my friends who may have posted such a picture, but I think this needs to be addressed.

There are several things that truly bother me about this clever retort, especially given that most of the people I see posting it are confessing Christians.

1) Extreme Censure of Our President

I don't care what side of the aisle you're on, we who call ourselves subjects of the Divine King need to keep things in perspective. Our ultimate allegiance is to no earthly government but is to the Kingdom of God Almighty. Just as Abraham was a sojourner and alien looking forward to the land promised him by God, so too are we sojourners and aliens on this earth as we await the full consummation of God's kingdom in the new heavens and earth. If we have this outlook then we should be less distraught over the political mechanizations of our present dwelling.

In addition, let us not forget that we are to submit to our earthly leaders. Hebrews clearly states:
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (13:17)
Holy Scripture does not give Christians much leeway in having respect and honor for those who are in positions of leadership over us. This doesn't mean we have to push aside all political opinion, but it does mean that care must be taken when expressing harsh and flippant criticism.

2) No Cash

I promise you that I fully recognize the financial hardship that has come upon many of us in this economy. I could give you a laundry list of challenges my wife and I have faced and continue to face due to difficulty securing gainful employment, bills accumulating from school and medical expenses, and the struggles that come with rising fuel and commodity prices. Without even mentioning the financial security we in America have when compared to the majority of the world's population, there is an even greater reason to not fret. In Matthew 8:20, when presented with a man who wanted to follow Him, Jesus warned the man that, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." If the one to whom we swear allegiance did not consider financial security to be the upward calling of life, what right do we have to gauge our own sense of worth and safety in it?

3) No Hope

The hope we have as Christians is not found in political systems, financial gains, familial protection, or any other finite thing. Our hope is based solely and completely on our Almighty God and the work done by Christ on the cross. It is hope in the Divine Person that brings the psalmist to compose:

In you, LORD, I have taken refuge;
   let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
   turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
   to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
   for you are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
   from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.
For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD,
   my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
   you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
   I will ever praise you.
I have become a sign to many;
   you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
   declaring your splendor all day long.
                                                 (Psalm 71:1-8)
No matter the perceived difficulties we face we should be able to declare the splendor of our King all day long. We are not a people without hope, and if we are to be a light to a darkened world we need to be a light that shines the hope that can be found through Christ and that supersedes all other circumstances.

No comments: