Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Better Country


“But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:16

Dear Congregation,
      I have seen so much division amongst Christians this past year and a half over mere politics that I have become quite frustrated with the daily chatter of events. It would seem that in the last week the division has intensified even more. When I make an argument for something, or take a stand, I want to make sure I have a firm foundation to stand on. I want to be sure I am right. To preach God’s Word is to have an authority beyond myself to point to. With politics, so much is unknown and untested. So much is distorted, neglected, or glossed over that I never can quite discern where the truth is or where the right is. I like to think that moral issues are clear if they come directly from the Word of God but even here politics has a way of tainting them with worldly distortion.
            In my frustration I turn to the Scriptures for direction and answers with politics. In them I find precious little instruction. I see Apostles concerned with individuals rather than nations and empires. I see people going out to teach, disciple, and baptize one soul at a time. I never see Paul, James, Timothy, John, or Peter lobbying the Roman Senate. I never see the Church of Corinth or Ephesus organizing political marches or passing around petitions for new laws. In fact I see a church so separate from the state that they truly are only rendering unto Ceasar what is his and focusing on God and His power to rule and transform. I see a church that appreciates the power in its own political weakness. It may sound like I am advocating a separatist withdrawal, but I am not. I am merely stating that Christianity was never meant to be a political force. It never has and never will work well as one. It became that when it was adopted by Rome in the 4th century and we have seen the trouble that caused. We desire a better country, an heavenly. That country does not allow for political division as we understand that politics will not solve problems, Christ will!
            He has prepared for us a city. With knowledge of that, how can we get so bogged down in minute by minute talking heads? How can we become frustrated with our brothers and sisters who disagree over money matters? We are called to better and bigger things. We are called to a heavenly purpose with heavenly work and otherworldly goals. The church does not influence through law making and petition, the church influences one individual or family at a time. We are salt and light by acting differently from the world; loving our neighbor, leading, discipling, and teaching all nations in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For governments pass away, but Christ is with us even unto the end of the world, Amen.
In Christ,

Pastor Basile