Tomorrow we will begin the All Things New vision casting series of blogs. Our plan is to split this vision casting into 6 different blogs with each one casting the vision for a different aspect of ministry. Because we believe this series is very important for our ministry moving forward, each vision casting blog will also be emailed to the entire All Things New mailing list. We ask that you take the time to read these blogs, share them on your Facebook page so that your friends can learn more about our ministry, and give us any feedback that you may have on any of the topics. The following is a blog that I typed a few weeks ago and something that I have been thinking about lately both in Haiti and America…
There has been so much in the news recently about different marches, protests, and just an all around divisive political climate that is tough to be a part of. Haiti is also going through a time of political divisiveness that stems from a recent election cycle that lasted over a year longer than it was supposed to and with the winner of the election going from just over 30% of the popular vote in the October 2015 election to over 56% of that same vote just 1 year later. There are now people marching in the streets and protesting this election in Haiti just like there would have been had any other outcome been affirmed. It seems like no matter where we go, there is this divide that exists in politics and amongst people and there are increasingly fewer leaders who unite people rather than dividing them. I am not old enough (though I am 38) to remember a truly uniting political figure. From Clinton to Bush to Obama to Trump the divide in American politics seems to be growing larger with each election cycle. This is not necessarily the leader’s fault. It seems much more likely that certain issues are driving a deeper and deeper wedge between people and no matter who is leading the country there will be deep disagreement based on these issues. Some of the biggest issues in America right now seem to be gun control, LBGTQ rights, healthcare, pro-life/pro-choice, who to tax and how much, refugee and immigration laws, and how to fight terrorism both outside and inside our borders.
I am not going to write this blog by stating things like, “GOD is in control” or “Just trust in GOD and everything will be alright in the end.” Those 2 statements are very true but they skirt past the very important idea that we have to stand behind the beliefs and ideals that we hold true and act on those beliefs in love rather than spewing hate. We have to be well-thought-out in our beliefs and take the time to understand what we believe not from an “emotional, I just heard someone that I like say something that sounded good so I believe it now” position. We need to know what and why we believe things based on the everlasting truth of the Word of GOD. It is 100% ok to take your Biblically shaped beliefs and share them with the world, act on them, and even march because of them but don’t just adhere to a political platform and assume it follows the Word of GOD…I can promise you it does not.
After we have taken the time to understand what we believe based on the Word of GOD, we have to be willing to act on those beliefs. Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to talk about something than it is to do something about it? And I mean really do something about it. How easy it is to sit on Facebook and in a circle of our like-minded friends and talk about terrorism and how we have to do this and that to keep terrorists out of our country. How much more difficult it is to share our faith with as many people as possible and go to the places where terrorism exists to share the love of Christ. How easy it is to judge pro-choice activists and to get angry at the killing of babies in the womb. But how difficult it is to step up in the face of the worldwide orphan crisis and adopt children, become a foster family, or support organizations across the globe that do. I have seen hundreds of posts on Facebook about refugees recently, but prior to this latest executive order, I had never seen one post about it outside of a friend of ours who ministers to refugees in Ohio. If we are really passionate about it, we have to do something about it. I have read some of the most heartfelt passionate pleas for different political issues by people who do absolutely nothing about it but talk. Talking is not enough and we should have no platform (Facebook, Twitter, pulpit, etc.) unless we have built that platform with our own sweat and tears by actually leaving the comfort of our own home and standing up for the beliefs that we hold dear based on the actual, true Word of GOD.
With all of that said, 2 weeks ago our son Elijah came into the world. We are adopting him and he has been a part of our family since the time we heard about him back in October. My desire for Elijah, for Sophie, and for our kids in Haiti is that they will know the Word of GOD and because of their knowledge of His Word they will know Him. If they know Jesus Christ as their Savior and really understand that relationship then everything about their lives will change…Has everything about our lives changed? In an era where everyone has a voice and every one has an opinion (and these opinions can be shared with hundreds of thousands of people with the click of a button), let’s speak on behalf of the Word of GOD. We are not Republicans or Democrats, we are not Baptists or Methodists, and we are not conservative or liberal…We are followers of Christ and that one trait is what defines us at the expense of absolutely everything else. Let’s make a deal right now…If we are not prepared to pray about something and seek the will of GOD about something, let’s not talk about it…If we are not prepared to act on something, let’s not talk about it…If we are not prepared to adopt, foster, or give to help others then let’s not boycott an abortion clinic…If we are not prepared to seek after the will of GOD in regards to taxes, healthcare, immigration, or even how to fight terrorism then let’s step back and wait to open our mouths until we have gotten on our knees before a Holy GOD to find out what He wants us to believe and in turn what He wants us to do. I am not saying that we should not speak out on issues that we truly care about and change the world based on our passions and where GOD leads us because that is exactly what we should do! What I am saying is that, as followers of Christ, we have a responsibility to do something very novel, sometimes very difficult, and oftentimes very controversial…
We have a responsibility to actually follow Christ!
In the midst of this political divide that seems to be growing each and every year we have to go back to the Word of GOD and truly ask the question: how can we, as followers of Christ, follow Christ? Is it by talking and arguing a lot with those who don’t agree with us? Is it by listening to a lot more conservative talk radio or watching a lot more CNN? Should we go to Facebook and rant about things that we are not really passionate about (nor do we really know anything about the topic) just because it seems to be what everyone else is saying? Should we bury our heads in the sand and just blindly follow a particular leader or political party no matter what? We all know the answer to each of these questions is a resounding “no.” As followers of Christ it is our job to understand what the Bible says, what we are passionate about, and how we can change the world by pointing the world to Christ and then actually DOING something about it!