Day: November 9, 2016

Christians: What do we do Now?

By Jonathan David Faulkner

When I went to bed at around 10:00 last night I honestly Hilary Clinton would be our next president. I was not a Clinton Supporter, nor was I a Trump supporter, but I hoped that it would not come to this; I long wished that we could avoid having them both run, but that was not the case. So I hoped for better options and voted for someone I thought was a better choice for America than the two put forward by the two major parties. As I Christian, I just could not consciously vote for either of them and have peace about it.

I have watched as our country has become more and more divided. I have watched as hate and fear have become the norm. I have seen friends, out of fear, block and unfollow and intimidate and mistreat. I have seen misogyny justified and racism legitimized through a presidential candidate, now president-elect. I watched his apposition create further divides by insulting and then demonizing those who support her apposition. I have seen fear and hate and anger in quantities I hoped I would never see in my life. I have seen Vitriol and I have watched fear take hold of the very soul of man. It is okay to be angry, what we do with that anger will define us.

So how does the Church respond now? What do we do now that we are a divided people living in a divided nation? It seems to me that we should do three things: 1. Pray 2. Begin the work of Healing the divide 3. Work to Benefit the Nation God has planted us.

First I want to add a brief note on what we should not do. Let us not participate in trash talk on either side. Let us not further the divide between the two sides. Let us not do any more harm than has already been done. Let us not complain or be hateful. Let us not turn our backs on the hurting and afraid. Let us not, not be the Church.

Let me expand on those things that we can do:

  1. PRAY

Brothers and Sisters, regardless of what we may think of Donald Trump, whether you voted for him or not, we must pray for him. That is, pray for him, not against him and pray that he would truly respond to the Gospel and find true and genuine repentance. This has been true in every presidency, but it is especially true now as Trump’s presidency very well could shake the foundations of our society. That means, more than ever, we need to be in prayer for the office of the president. It also means that now more than ever, we need to pray for unity amongst the congregations of the Saints. To lay down the divides of Denominational differences and in our denominations come together as the Church to pray for one another and to encourage one another in the come challenges that are sure to face the Church.

We need to pray for unity and for peace among all parties. Through prayer we have a ministry of peace that comes directly from God the father. We can be, because of the Power of the Spirit indwelling within us, be peacemakers in this new presidential series. So let us pray for our president and for his advisors, but also for unity within the Church in this time and for grace and peace to spread like a wildfire where once hate and fear, were burning. (See Jesus prayer in John 17).

  1. WORK TOWARDS HEALING:

Brothers and Sisters we have now seen how much and how deep the hurt runs here in America. Throughout this entire election we have seen how those are powerful driving factors in our political system. Now, we as the Church must begin working to heal those divides. We must work to reach both across the aisle and out to our own family members who we argued against and work to reconcile those relationships. Again, to step even across denominational and political lines, in the spirit of the Ecumenicist and unite in mourning so that healing can begin. We must set aside any distrust of other races or other ideologies. Denying our tribes and right to an opinion for the sake of our fellow man who is hurt, afraid and disenfranchised.

We must be the Church, we must follow what St. James says is true and pure religion: “To look after widows and orphans.” Not stopping there but caring for the widow, the orphan, the refugee, the LGBTQ, the Disabled, the Marginalized, the Disenfranchised, the Immigrant, Communities in Pain like the African American Community and other minority groups. We must speak peace and live out the Gospel of truth, being a light to the nations and truly letting them know that we are Christ’s by the love that we show for all people. Especially those whom we disagree with in lifestyle or ideology, we must be the Church and not just that, be the Gospel. Through that love we know from God we can be a voice of peace and healing and love in a nation that now so desperately needs it.

  1. WORK FOR THE BENEFIT OF YOU COMMUNITY:

Dear friends, just like God spoke through Jeremiah the Prophet 2500 years ago, we must now work for the betterment of our communities and nation. Whether that be through the work of Social Righteousness and Justice or through literally:  “Planting gardens and building houses.” That is, through working to better our communities we bless our nation and show care for those who would normally not receive it. We must throw off stereotypes and fear of another and work together to accomplish this goal. It is time for the church to truly be a blessing, not through political power-mongering, but through the action of caring for those we are called to care for and loving all whom are put before us to love. We must work for the benefit of those places where we live regardless of who that requires us to serve. As my Fiance so boldly said this morning: “I was a teacher yesterday with people in front of me to love and today I still am.”

CLOSING: THE CALL

Christians, with this I call you to prayer, I call you to peace, I call you to love and I call you to live out the Gospel in its truest firm. I charge you to be men and women of true and genuine faith in Christ. To seek His face and to receive from Him the healing and peace that you need so that you can go and be that healing voice. Do the work of a minister of grace and maker of disicples of Christ. As Paul tells Timothy; “For you were not given a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love.” So go Church and live in that Spirit from this day forth and forevermore.

 

 Jonathan D12973040_10154269785339245_3845786340930956602_oavid Faulkner is a student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a Pastor, Musician and Writer. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Education & Administration with a concentration in Urban Ministry

The Sun Still Rose: A Gentle Word of Peace from the God’s Heart Staff.

By God’s Heart Staff

Today the sun rose, we were told it would not. We were told that one of these two candidates would most assuredly bring about the end of the world merely by being elected. We were told that Hilary was the greatest evil and that Donald was the greatest hope…or was it the other way around. We were told that a vote for one was a vote for another and if we voted for one we were obvious racist or misogynist or if we voted for the other we were liars and criminals. We listened to rhetoric and hate-speech come from both sides of the isle. For those like me who voted third party we were told that our vote did not count, that we were throwing it away. We were told to expect trouble, we were told to expect pain and suffering and we may, but the sun still came up.

Oh Church, why are we so afraid, why do we fear that which is in the control of God? Why do we fear at all when we are told expressly to “fear not” in Scripture. Oh dear and precious people of God, where is your peace, where is your hope. Do you not remember the words that God has spoken to you, the words of the special revelation of God When he said through the words of The Apostle Paul: “Be anxious about nothing, but in all things with prayer and supplications make your requests known to God (Ph 4:6). Oh Church, do not despair, for the today the sun rose just as 2,000 years ago The Son rose. From its resting place below the horizon, He has arisen and has risen to the right hand of God the Father. He is the Son, the “Image of the Invisible God” (Col 1:15). He Is with us, walking with us, guiding and protecting us. We are the sheep of the pasture and He is the good shepherd watching out for His sheep.

Oh dearly loved Body of Christ, let peace rule in your hearts, be not afraid of suffering for in suffering you experience the blessed Joy of communion with our heavenly Father. God has not abandoned you, He has not left you alone in this election cycle, you are not left to the wolves. Indeed, this is your call back to the loving arms of His peace and righteousness. The Teacher is wise when he states with confidence “The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to Him and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10). Do not fear, your refuge is strong and unwavering, the grace you have been given is greater than any harmful arrow of any enemy. It is true that no weapon that the enemy can form against will prosper. We are the people of God, we are the sheep of His pasture, we are His and no matter who is president our identity as Saints cannot be taken away in the Heavenly places.

Dearly Beloved, you are so deeply cared for, indeed the Psalms says that “I have never seen the children of the Righteous go hungry” How recently have you considered the sparrow in this time of Political discord, how often have you thought on that which is good and Holy? Have you allowed peace to rule in your hearts? Have you allowed the God of peace to Dwell in you? Oh dear people of God, we are not children of fear, we were not given a spirit of fear, but through the Holy Spirit we were given a spirit of power.

Do you hear the Word of God in this post? Do you hear the savior calling out to you to “Be Still and Know that I am GOD.” Oh Holy people do not be afraid, please dear brothers and sisters, rest in the comfort of the God who has always sustained the world, from its very beginnings He formed its foundations, divided its waters, created land, sun, moon, stars, animals, you. Please little flock be at peace. You serve the God who makes the rain fall and the wind blow and the trees bloom. Who has seen and contains the storehouses of snow. He is stronger than Leviathan, above all the rulers and authorities and principalities.

Dear Church you are loved, be in peace, for today the Son is risen and the sun rose.

 

More to come from God’s Heart Later Today!