We speak our words of praise in a world that is hellish; we sing our songs of victory in a world where things get messy; we live our joy among people who neither understand nor encourage us. But the content of our lives is God, not humanity. We are not scavenging in the dark alleys of the world, poking in its garbage cans for a bare subsistence. We are traveling in the light, toward God who is rich in mercy and strong to save. It is Christ, not culture, that defines our lives. It is the help we experience, not the hazards we risk, that shapes our days. Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience In The Same Direction

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:11-12 NKJV

On this day in 2001 my wife, of not yet 4 months, and I discovered that she was pregnant. He would be born the second week of September 2001…

Early in the morning of September 11 I left work excited… Today could be the day! Within a few moments of getting into my car and turning on the radio my prayers went from “please God let it be today” to “please God not today”. The peaceful safe world we had won at the cost of all those lives lost in the “Cold” War was a lie. It was gone.

My son is now 19 years old, his younger sister a teenager. The peaceful safe world that was meant for them has continued to decay and this last week we were all witness to our nation coming under attack one again but not this time from a foreign enemy or a foreign ideology but a domestic one. “Patriots…”

The events leading up to and including the assault and insurrection on the nation’s capital were not an act of patriotism. They lay somewhere on the scale of hubris to treason. They were acts of terrorism. And I believe that justice will be served.

In my mind however, the greater sin is that of the Christian Church in America’s complacency and encouragement of a culture that condones these actions. Even encourages it.

I lament my own sin when I put country ahead of single minded devotion to God. My own sin of arrogance that I was in control. My own sin of not standing up for the weak, the poor, the immigrant and the resident alien, of not loving my neighbor as myself… My own sin of not living as an ambassador but rather a citizen of this world. But I can let my lament drive me to repentance.

“I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.” Deuteronomy 5:6-7 CSB

The American church has intermarried and taken brides from the world and they have been led astray. It is time for it to be the church. To love the LORD with all their heart, soul, mind and strength  AND love their neighbors as themselves. It is time for the church to not only stop seeking political power but to work to usher in God’s Kingdom and let the United States bow the knee. Stop playing lip service to “God is in Control” and let God be in control.

But if it doesn’t please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today: Which will you worship—Political ideology, power, money, social media platforms, conspiracies, ignorance, nationalism, injustice, arrogance… As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.






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