Disclaimer - I feel like my seat is on fire, and I don't think it's because I've already read 10 chapters of the Bible, ate breakfast, spent 30 minutes on the treadmill, watched Sports Center, enjoyed a couple mini cinnamon rolls and sipped a cup of coffee (by 8am)... I think it's because I'm in the middle of the 2nd chapter of Forty Days of Seeking God "For Revival, Elections, and Key Leaders" by Gregory Reed Frizzell. AND MY SPIRIT IS DEEPLY UNRESTED. And it's going to be a good thing!
A couple weeks ago a few different friends posted and commented (on Facebook) on an article published by Relevant Magazine called 7 Things Christians Need to Remember About Politics. I've come to realize that some of what Relevant publishes has to be read and sifted and read and sifted. But in their defense I think that being "relevant" in today's culture as a Christian is a very thin line to walk on. That being said, it's my personal opinion that some of what they print is good and some is not.
This particular article rubbed me the wrong way, but at the same time I did find some truth in it.
Maybe I found the author's voice to be too general and condescending - but I reminded myself that I often find it hard to write my opinions and not put disclaimers and explanations after each sentence so as to remain "Politically Correct" and "less offensive."
I won't delve into each of the 7 things this article talks about (statistics and fact flinging have their place in research, but most of the time they just make me want to barf), you can go and read them yourselves (the headings actually are really good, I'm not fully in agreement on the "fillings"), but I wanted to touch on #7 because it MADE ME WANT TO SCREAM.
Stop saying "This is the most important election in the history of our nation." It's not.
Wow. Who says?
My biases could totally be misinterpreting the authors statement here.
I'm sure we could find numerous people both in agreement and not, to argue this case.
(While I enjoy History, it's hard for me to keep facts straight... But I don't think President Lincoln's Election Platform was to end slavery, it was not to extend it.)
Maybe the word "most" encapsulates too much and that is what renders point #7 incorrect to me.
To be honest, I'm just not sure how to unpack it, but every time I read it IT MAKES ME WANT TO SCREAM.
Alright, I'm taking a couple deep breaths, and redirecting my thoughts for a few minutes so as to tie this article and the book I started reading, together. =)
Three weeks ago the Pastor at Church began a sermon series on prayer so as to lead up to the 40 days of prayer devoted to the upcoming Election. Some of the members are coming together to go through Frizzell's book over the 40 days and so I got my copy yesterday after the service. I figured, as with most books, there was an introduction so yesterday I started there.
Turns out there are about 3 chapters of introduction so diving in yesterday was great - I'll be able to get a chapter done a day and be ready to start the 40 days on Wednesday.
I love how Frizzell writes. He is passionate, genuine, almost Old Testament in his word choices, and spot on.
"It is vital for believers to fully recognize the unprecedented severity of today's moral, political and social darkness... As America teeters on the edge of economic, social and moral collapse, we must remind ourselves that God turns societal tides of evil by one primary means - an utterly committed praying remnant." (Frizzell, page 2).
That's from page TWO! The more I read the more I want to stand up on my chair and pump my fist in the air (cutie-pie was still sleeping while I was reading this morning)! Frizzell challenges that the last 40 years of prayer focus have been general, surface deep and incomplete (maybe not for everyone, but in general, and we all can grow in the area of prayer) but if believers TRULY return to God, politics and national guidance will largely take care of itself (page xv).
There is so much more I could unpack from the first 2 chapters that I've read. Maybe you don't believe this is the most important election of our nation. Maybe you don't believe that our society is on the brink of collapse. Maybe you do.
All power and authority sure doesn't reside solely in the President's hands. But, they are the leader of the nation. In closing, jump back to the Old Testament. God placed in power good leaders and bad leaders to bring blessing and curses on the people of Israel and Judah (Job 12:20-25; Jeremiah 5:4-5, 30:31). We are commanded to fervently pray for our authorities (I Timothy 2:1) and to not do so during the process of who is elected is irresponsible. (page xv)
Committing to seek God in a deeper, more urgent way over the next 40 days may not get "the right person elected." It may not start a national revival. BUT I know it will change me.
And it needs to start somewhere.