The Problem is You and Me | BENHAM Companies
My brother and I read a book last year titled, The Integrated Life, by Ken Eldred. We were so impressed with what he wrote about integrating your faith into culture that we flew to Colorado to visit him. That visit started a relationship between the three of us that has been a tremendous blessing.
After the 2012 election I emailed him for his opinion on the outcome. I believe his response is worthy of posting to our blog so below is what he wrote to me:
"At one point in history, the London Times asked readers to write in and explain what the problem in Great Britain was and how to fix it. The country was in moral, spiritual and financial decline. There were many letters sent to the editor extolling how the country might solve its problems. It was in this atmosphere that GK Chesterton wrote his own reply to the editor. It was very brief and to the point. He said, “ The problem is me…” signed GK Chesterton.
The problem is me. But the problem is also us the Church, starting with me and going out to all the Church in America. We have worked had this election cycle and felt we should win. But, how can we expect it to turn around in a couple of years when we have been asleep as a church for over 50? As yet we have not awakened. We are still not united as a body which our Lord commanded us to be. We have cooled in our first love. We have substituted God for programs in the church and our worship has become entertainment to the point that our worship leaders look like rock stars and we applaud at the end of the song with appreciation for the singers and lose the adoration and worship of God in the process. We “do” church rather than “be” the Church. We have failed to take our faith into the public square and be the witness God has called us to be: Witness by our word, witness by our deeds and witness by our sacrifice of the service to others.
The populous looks at the Church and then looks at government and asks itself who will take care of us or is concerned about us? Government or God? They do not see much evidence of his hands and feet (Us) that God is at work in the nation. So they vote and their vote goes to what they think they see as their help and support. We have not been the help or the solution. We have not been seen as the presence of God in the culture. With the help of secular news media we are seen as critical but not particularly helpful in providing for the poor or the needy.
Christians have been generous with their money. It was the outpouring of the church that provided most of the real needs when Katrina left much of the South decimated. It is the Church that will provide for much of the local service and support after the devastating Hurricane Sandy. But most of the nation has not experienced or seen the work such as it is provided by the “hands and feet” of the Lord.
"The Church Needs to Wake Up and Be Active in the Public Square and in Love and Unity Be Committed to Truth" - Ken Eldred
I believe, the Lord has allowed President Obama another term so that two things can happen:
One, the Church needs to wake up and begin to get active again in the public square. It must learn to be the hands and feet every day for people we run into on the street. It must learn to be more involved and vocal. The secular world will resist this because Satan knows that the Church is powerful and the Word of God when it goes out as voice, hands and feet; it will not return void but will accomplish the very thing for which it was sent (Isaiah 55:10). We will bring truth and light to the world around us and people will see the greatness of Our God. They will respond to our commitment and service to others. It will be transformative.
Two, we must come not as the compromised Church but a Church in unity committed to the truth in love. We must not consider love to be some mushy feeling but the true meaning of love: following the commandments of the Lord teaching the truth no matter where it leads. We have bought into the idea that abortion is bad except in cases involving the health of the mother, incest or rape. Rarely if ever is the mother’s life in danger, if it is the doctor must decide how to attempt to save one life or both. In the case of rape or incest which in and of themselves are wrong, sinful and evil, what should be done? Should we kill the child because of the wrong done the mother? Heaven forbid. With respect to marriage, do we vacillate on gay marriage because the two love each other? Never. Marriage is the sacred institution of God. It is so sacred we should not as Christians accept divorce except in the cases the Scriptures mention. I could go on with respect to big government and socialism, responsibility, accountability, and other matters where we have compromised including our failure to walk with our first love, Jesus. Instead, we operate as if others in the Church who do not follow our doctrine are the enemy, rather than follow the command of Jesus to be in unity.
Fortunately God in his mercy has made a decision to allow us to be sharpened and prepared for the battle which is ahead. Our issues of persecution are real but mild compared with other areas of the world. The question is will we stand and be counted for him as we pick ourselves up from the shock we find ourselves in and be the hands and feet of the Lord or will walk away because this is hard work and does not at this point appear to be rewarding?
We are his children, he chastens those he loves. There will be a time of mourning but then, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, put on our armor and reenter the fray while singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to our Lord, thanking him that we have another chance to be the people he has called his Church to be.
Churchill, once gave a speech at the commencement exercises at Eton. His speech was short, only 11 words but it captured the point: “Never give up, never, never give up, no never give up.” The battle is only beginning. Paul exhorts us not to give up but to finish the race. Wilberforce and his small band worked hard to end slavery in Great Britain. He experienced many setbacks but never gave up. At the end of his life, he saw his dream realized. We too must not give up. I will not give up. I encourage you to stand with me.
Together we can see the transformation of our Lord in the nation. I am starting today by thanking and praising God. I know you will join me. Let’s start singing…..