As expected, I received some “comments” regarding my support of Gov. Haslam’s veto of the Bible bill. However, the one that caught my eye the most was a suggestion that our nation needs to stand together and lift up the name of Jesus. This is a common theme I hear from extreme right-wing Republicans and Tea Partiers whenever something mildly faith-related comes into public policy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Our nation does not need to stand together to lift up the name of Jesus. The church does.
Jesus didn’t come to establish an earthly kingdom. This is what had the Hebrew people so confused when they read Old Testament prophecy about the coming kingdom. They were expecting a king set to their own standards and Jesus was so much more than that.
Similar to the Hebrew people, American Christians are expecting the wrong thing. We expect our country to honor Jesus when, in fact, the church has done a lousy job itself. Instead of sitting around complaining that our country is going to hell in a handbasket, why don’t we get up off our blessed assurances and make a difference for the kingdom? What’s wrong with providing a meal/haircut/toiletries/clothes for those in need right outside our church doors? Why can’t we show the love of Jesus to the LGBT community without compromising our biblical convictions (it’s difficult, but not impossible)? When will we realize that we aren’t supposed to be electing pastors-in-chief to the White House, but rather leaders who will not abandon their own spiritual convictions?
It honestly shouldn’t surprise us that the USA is in the mess it’s in when we’ve done a terrible job of representing Christ in our own churches (AND OUTSIDE THE SANCTUARY). It’s high time we quit expecting the nation to turn to Jesus and turn back to Him ourselves. Remember what Jesus said in the gospel of John:
By this, all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.
–John 13:35 (ESV)