I am Compelled to Speak Out about the Election

election-2016During difficult times, strong people lead. I do not presume to have perspectives that have not already been shared by others, nor am I naïve enough to think I have all the answers. But in this post-election melee, someone should represent every Christian group in regard to sharing solutions to the mess we are in.

The venom being shared via social media and in coffee shops around the country are all the evidence we need to prove that the country is deeply divided, perhaps more than any time post Civil War. With chagrin, I have watched discussions unfold in the public view, which should never happen. Racial slurs, sweeping accusations, pandemic mistrust and emotional tirades have filled the air.

As a Christian leader, please allow me a moment. We did not arrive at our current dilemma overnight. This meltdown has been long-brewing. The entire political season was steeped in disrespect and poisonous interchange. The candidates gleefully debased one another and the pundits followed suit. Marketing was especially malicious and we became acclimated to rancorous and vicious verbal assaults. When the atmosphere is as toxic as we have seen over the last few months, we must expect that the septic barrage will continue.

In my opinion, some Believers in Christ are culpable for the current societal train wreck. When people of faith openly and blatantly place their political opinions (sometimes disguised as spiritual convictions) ahead of their commitment to fellow Believers, the foundations will be shaken. When we equate the rule of a politician with the rule of God, we alienate our spiritual siblings. If we marginalize those who hold to different political opinions, we must expect that we will be separated from them, sometimes permanently.

In my opinion, too many Christians got too passionate about this election. Bridges were burned, friendships were destroyed and churches were divided. And now, too many are gloating or bemoaning the results of the election in the face of those of a different persuasion.

If we think this chasm will just go away, we should think again.

If I am correct and if some Christians are guilty of making things worse, we must offer some corrective action.

It’s time for forgiveness. It’s time to repent. It’s time to humble down. It’s time to behave like the Body of Christ.

I implore each of you who read this – please end the divisive rhetoric. It doesn’t matter who is right. It doesn’t matter who won the election. What matters is eternity, godliness and souls.

Should we choose to remain on our current path – only one individual will win – the devil.

You are not first and foremost a Democrat or a Republican or Liberal or Conservative. You are a Christian. Let’s have the mind of Christ.

6 Great Reasons to Read Through the Bible in 2016

design[20]I am about to wrap up reading cover to cover through the Bible again this year. I don’t even know how many times I’ve been able to do this – every year for several years. I’ve heard some criticism of the idea of going all the way through the Bible. Ideas like religious rituals and mindless habits usually are mentioned. While different things work for different people, I have found a few things that make a commitment to read through the entire Bible in a year very beneficial. Maybe they will help you, too.

  1. You have to stay on track. Skip a couple of days of reading and you get really behind. On the days when the spiritual motivation is lacking, the thought of digging a hole is motivation enough for me to read daily. In my opinion, reading the Bible out of obligation is better than not reading the Bible at all.
  1. You visit unusual passages. Most of us have our favorite Scriptures and we like to hang out there. Reading through the entire Bible will push you into books that you rarely think about. And they are important! Greater Biblical knowledge balance will result from a cover-to-cover reading.
  1. Your get a picture of the “whole counsel of God.” This phrase was coined by Paul in Acts 20:27, and we utilize it to identify the entire doctrine of the Bible. If you don’t commit to reading the bizarre dreams of Ezekiel or the genealogies of Matthew, you could miss some important counsel from God. Yes, there is great value in and much to be learned from seemingly abstract or repetitive Bible verses.
  1. You can make notes this year that will be meaningful for you in the future. Dates and current events noted next to a verse might provide great encouragement next year when you are reading in the same place. The ability to measure spiritual growth and progress will be a result of reading through the Bible.
  1. Exercise spiritual discipline. Reading through the bible in a year will take you approximately 15-20minutes a day. You must read 3 or 4 chapters per day to stay on track. Avoiding the “just get it done” approach and treating your Bible reading time as communion with God will create a sense of closeness with Him. Overcoming a short attention span and disciplining yourself to sit down with Jesus for 20 minutes in the middle (or at the beginning or end) of a busy day will change your perspective on life.
  1. You can pass down a legacy. I’m reading my deceased father-in-law’s Bible this year. It feels great to have spent time reading his insights throughout the year – and I’m going to miss that time next year. But I plan to start a new Bible with my daily notes. I hope to hand that Bible down to my grandchildren one day. If they will read through it on a daily basis in a year, they will be able to spend time with me even though I am gone.

I am for whatever gets you into the Word of God. If you prefer a different approach, take it! But if you don’t have a plan, don’t criticize mine. Whatever you do, read the Bible. It is God’s Word and He wants to talk to you!