“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8b, NIV 2011).
Only twice in my career as a doctor have I taken two full weeks away from work for a vacation, probably because of a false sense of my importance at work. This month was one of those times. I was recently blessed with the opportunity to explore the Italian peninsula where much of our modern Western civilization was founded: the early Greek settlers with their ideas of democracy and mighty gods back home on Olympus, and then the mighty Romans who ran the world with a very bloody sword, moments of great nobility swallowed up in decades of depravity. And then came Constantine with the Christianization of the Roman Empire, finally God’s kingdom on earth.
The last day of our trip was spent walking through the beautiful city of Amsterdam, once a part of the Holy Roman Empire, now crowded with happy young faces, a home for legal prostitution, liberal access to addictive drugs and physician-assisted suicide.
Mankind has played out his best chance of establishing God’s kingdom on earth and mankind has failed. We now live in a world and in a country where political aspirations for a world-like-God-intended are dying, no matter which political party, no matter who the president.
The fact that Christians are losing control of power is especially difficult for us in the United States—for we were a “Christian nation,” a nation in which Christians ruled with biblical principles. Though it never was true, we are still claiming the name.
It’s time to focus more intensely on Jesus’ way.
God’s kingdom never desired a political throne in our country, just the hearts of those who follow Christ and seek His will for their lives.
One of the dangers in watching our political Christian nation dissolve is that we may look upon the lost as our adversaries in a battle we are losing. We dislike them because their goals in life are different from ours and their goals are becoming the norm.
It’s as if we have come to care for the sick in a homeless shelter. We were happy to be here as long as there were more of us than them. But now, the homeless outnumber us and we have come to dislike the people we have been sent to serve.
Let me not dislike the broken because of their brokenness. Where would I be if you had done the same with me?