Some random thoughts, from the past few days: reading, football and elections …
1 “Why don’t people read their Bible?” my wife asked.
My mouth went into action before my brain was in gear.
“Laziness, I suppose.”
“You know you’re talking about me, right?” She freely admits she has not read all of the Bible. She has been baptized, has no problem praising Jesus in church and out, and puts me to shame when it comes to reading a situation and praying over it.
My point had been that when people read their Bible and get to know the Word of God, they’re less likely to get sucked-in by cults or get led down a garden path to spiritual and sometimes financial disaster.
But why don’t people read it? As I thought about it, everyone of my responses to that came out judgmental. Except for one.
“We all have our reasons.”
True. So the best I can do is reiterate my reasons for reading the Bible. God has given us His Word so that each of us can know Him, can get a glimpse of “the edge of His garment” and see the extent to which He loves us. He doesn’t keep things a secret or pop any nasty surprises on us, and we wants us to be protected against dangerous things other human beings might say in His name. We’ll know the difference between the Word of God and words of men; and between what God says and what we think He might say.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.— Hebrews 4:12
2 In last week’s piece about football and the walk with God, there’s at least one more observation, from the tale of “Wrong-Way” Riegels. When he grabbed the fumbled football and ran towards his own end-zone, his “enemies” — the Georgia Tech players — kept their mouths shut. It was his teammates and fans who were screaming at him. Roy thought they were cheering him on, it was his own captain who finally caught up with him and turned him around.
Need I elaborate? When we’re going the wrong way in life, people who don’t really care for us will let us go our merry way, heading towards destruction. The ones who love us will be screaming at us to turn around, and sometimes, we might mistake that for encouragement, as Riegels did. A good leader, though — a team captain in his case, a pastor or teacher for us — will be the one who chases us down and physically get us going in the right direction.
And part of the Riegels story is that he tried to shake off that captain, accusing him of trying to take away his moment of glory. So it is with us: we might accuse a pastor, teacher or really good friend of “hating” us because they’re trying to stop us from doing what we think is right.
3 In Canada, we are in the midst of an election campaign, and for the first time in my voting-age life, I have no idea whom to vote for. I take my vote very seriously, as if my single “X” will determine the direction of the government, and frankly, I think we all should do that. Vote for the person or party, not against. I don’t dig the idea of “strategic voting”, because that’s a very negative approach: it usually means you’re voting for someone to keep someone you don’t like out of office.
We have five political parties in Canada (well, 4.5, really), and I don’t cotton to any of them. I won’t go into particulars, and don’t say, “Well, you’re a Christian: vote for the party that espouses Christian values.”
Two things wrong with that. One, is that we’ve had governments in the past that have been led by professing, church-going Christians, and if anyone was expecting the “state of righteousness” to improve in the country, they’d have been sorely disappointed. Besides, as Rev. Billy Sunday said, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car.”
Besides, many of the “Christians” in politics — on either side of the border — have not exactly followed what Jesus calls us to do, have they?
Second, one thing that became crystal clear by the election of you-know-who Stateside is that you can’t legislate social mores. Suddenly, fifty years of lobbying, marching and fighting for certain social changes went out the window with the realization that nearly half the voting public of America had not gone through the enlightenment that the activists had expected.
That “enlightenment” can only come in the heart — not through the democratic process. It may take longer than some people would wish, but it’s complete and true.
One of the questions I ask myself about politicians is, “What directs their moral compass?”