This was posted here several years ago, in light of recent posts I thought it might be helpful to review it again;
ARE WE BEING DISTRACTED From THE REAL FIGHT?
-by Andrew Strom.
Years ago a friend of mine, Robert Holmes, saw a vision of Christians leaving the Harvest field to go and join in with a "Civil War". They were leaving their primary mission (the gospel) to go and make war against their own countrymen. What does it mean and why would they do such a thing? -This was unclear.
Like a lot of you, every day I get bombarded with the latest emails against Obama - and what he is up to. I can truly understand this. Unlike a lot of overseas Christians who can't comprehend this kind of American political partisanship, I truly get it. I lived in America for four years, and one of the things I saw clearly while living there is that America is at WAR with itself. And it is getting worse. Right against left, liberal against conservative. And there is no doubt that as an evangelical Christian, I am truly a "conservative" myself. But there is a lot that troubles me about what is going on.
When the US conservatives elected Bush, a lot of the world could not understand it. I understood it completely. America is at war with itself and Bush seemed like the most robust campaigner against the liberal agenda. It did not matter that he was not the "smartest" guy. He was strongly on "our side" in the culture war - and that is what mattered: Homosexuality, abortion, taxes, health care, and so-on. To a lot of US Christians, politics has become THE main arena where they fight and take a stand. So if I am a conservative myself, why am I so troubled by a lot of this?
Well, let me ask you some questions and hopefully you will see why:
-Is "Politics" the arena that Christians are supposed to be putting so much time and energy into fighting? Is that what the early church did?
-Aren't we supposed to be more passionate about prayer and the gospel than we are about pulling the "liberals" down?
-Couldn't this be a total distraction from our real mission?
-Doesn't a lot of it amount to a giant "smear" campaign of rumor-mongering that should be beneath Christians to participate in?
-In other words, isn't the way we are speaking often gossipy, slanderous,
mocking and ungodly?
-Why are prayer and the gospel taking a backseat to Obama-baiting?
-Is the Christian community in any country supposed to become a "voting bloc" for one particular party?
I think those are pretty important questions. And I think a lot of Christians may have trouble answering them.
The fact is, I get more "political" anti-Obama emails from US Christians every day than 'spiritual' emails. What does this say about conservative Christians? It says they care more about politics than the gospel. That is the conclusion I have to come to. And I believe this is Idolatry - pure and simple. Politics has replaced the pure milk of the word for a lot of Christians. They are on a "campaign" alright, but it is not a campaign for Jesus. And they devote hours and hours to it. They are feverishly checking out the "latest dirt" on Obama every night and hungrily devouring Fox News (which makes more and more ratings dollars as it drives every fresh controversy). They love it! There is only one problem: It is not Jesus, it is not the gospel, and a lot of it is simply not godly at all. In fact, it is replacing Jesus and replacing the gospel.
If I was the Republican Party or Fox News or Talk Radio (each hungry for more ratings and dollars - these are not Christian organizations at all) then I would absolutely LOVE the fact that the Christians are so easy to whip up into a frenzy of Obama-rumors and Obama-trash-talk. But none of this is godly, is it? It is not remotely Christian. The early church would have renounced it utterly. They took no interest in politics. They only cared about Jesus and His simple gospel. And that is still the only thing that can save America today. We are being sidetracked. But the frenzy continues. "Did you hear the one about Obama being likened to Hitler?" 'Did you hear the one about Obama's birth certificate?' 'Did you hear the one about Obama's "death panels"? 'Did you hear that there are really demons in the Swine Flu vaccine?' (canned laughter please).
A lot of this amounts to a kind-of Christian "smear" campaign. In politics much of it would be considered in the 'dirty tricks' category - the kind of thing you do when trying to ruin someone's reputation with sick rumors and innuendo. No matter if it's true or not. As long as it does the job of "smearing" the person. Is that the kind of thing Jesus would want us involved in?
Here is the truly major thing that I believe the devil is trying to do in America today:-He is trying to create division so bitter and so extreme that both sides literally start to fight one another with guns drawn. He is
trying to tear America apart. -He is trying to sidetrack the one group that truly has the answer. He is trying to wrap them up in fighting politics, so they will forget that the pure GOSPEL is the only real hope for America today.
I believe the devil is truly succeeding in both of the above aims. To conclude this article, I would like to ask some questions of the Christians who spend so much time on this "Obama War": -Do you spend as much time spreading the pure gospel as you spend spreading stuff about Obama? Why not? -Is your mind and your energy and your passion more focused on getting the true gospel out - or defeating Obama and the liberals in politics?
-If you were asked to turn off Fox News and delete the "Obama" emails and turn off Talk Radio, etc, could you bear it? Or are you more-or-less an "addict"?
-Do you really think it is right for this to be the big focus of your life?
I truly believe these are huge issues and huge problems in the American church today. But I guess I can expect a wave of angry disagreement in response!
God bless you all.