Disunity in American Christianity

Woke you up with this picture didn’t I? I can assure you I do not wear this hat or own one. I only have it shown here to grab your attention and get either your heart beating faster or get your blood pressure up. If that is the case, you definitely need to read this article and see where I am going with it.

This article is not an endorsement for any political group or candidate in any way, shape, or form. This article is simply a reality check. What the shame of the matter is that this hat has driven people to violence, even so-called Christians have been driven to rage. I am simply an American who cares for his country and at the same time is a committed Christian who loves the Lord Jesus Christ with all of his heart.

Many Americans forget that the President is also Commander-in-Chief of the US Military. Political correctness is not as prevalent in the military as it is in civilian life considering the fact that defending the United States by killing and destroying the enemy, if necessary, is what its purpose is. I was called maggot, worm, and lowlife as part of the breakdown and rebuild process when I became a US Marine. As another note, when you drain a swamp, you can’t help but stir up the stench. These are not excuses for bad behavior; only realities of the fallen world we live in. A President and Commander-in-Chief is not under the auspices of the church, regardless of his religious affiliation. Not only is the Constitution clear on that, but the Bible is also clear on that:

It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside.” (1 Corinthians 5:12‭-‬13a NLT)

We are getting ready to enter the new year 2020. It is also a presidential election year. My heart is heavy when I see what is going on with the disunity I see in American Christianity. And not just in Christianity, but in America as a whole. The main thrust of that disunity is our opinions about the President of the United States. Disrepect for our President has become the norm for many Christians. Finger pointing is everywhere and lines are being drawn in the sand. Hate is raging between one Christian and another because of where one stands politically. My main purpose is not to take a political view. My purpose is to go to Scripture and see what God has to say and hopefully make us come to our senses. I want to go step-by-step. First, to look at the ultimate authority of God’s Word. Second, the fact that God demands Christian unity. Third, Scripture forbids disrespect of human authority. Forth, how God even uses ungodly rulers and nations as His divine instruments.

Let’s start off by seeing what the Bible has to say about the ultimate authority of the Scriptures it contains:

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16‭-‬17 NLT)

Now let’s move on and see that Christian unity and the preaching of the Gospel are of the utmost importance. Political beliefs are moot:

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.” (John 17:20‭-‬22 ESV)

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:10 ESV)

Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. (Philippians 1:27 NKJV)

There is no reason or example given in the New Testament to ever disrespect human authority. It wasn’t disrespected by Jesus. It wasn’t disrespected by Paul. It wasn’t disrespected by any of the Apostles. Keep in mind that Jesus, Peter, and Paul were all respectful to the rulers that executed them:

All bondservants should show full respect for their masters so they will not bring shame on the name of God and his teaching. If the masters are believers, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. Those bondservants should work all the harder because their efforts are helping other believers who are well loved. Teach these things, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. Some people may contradict our teaching, but these are the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings promote a godly life. Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions. These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. (1 Timothy 6:1‭-‬5a NLT)

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority. (Romans 13:1‭-‬7 NLT)

Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. (Titus 3:1‭-‬2 NLT)

For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right. It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king. (1 Peter 2:13‭-‬17 NLT)

The ONLY reasons to disobey human authority were if the Gospel was suppressed or for sin against the moral law:

Then they brought the apostles before the high council, where the high priest confronted them. “We gave you strict orders never again to teach in this man’s name!” he said. “Instead, you have filled all Jerusalem with your teaching about him, and you want to make us responsible for his death!” But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead after you killed him by hanging him on a cross. (Acts 5:27‭-‬30 NLT)

Now I want to take you to the story of Jehu, who was anointed by the prophet Elisha to be king of Israel. He was not a godly man in any sense of the word, but because he was a driven man, God was able to use him to be His instrument to destroy Baalism during his reign. Click on the following PDF to read further:

Jehu, God’s Instrument.PDF

President Trump is far from being a godly man just like King Jehu was. Read Franklin Graham’s response to the impeachment and you will see that even though President Trump may not act like a godly man, the Lord is using him as His instrument to accomplish godly purposes:

Franklin Graham Response to Impeachment.PDF

Just like God can use ungodly men to carry out His purposes, God will also use ungodly nations and empires to carry out His purposes. Look at the Assyrian empire. There are two books in the Bible that are dedicated to the Assyrian empire, which are ‘Jonah’ and ‘Nahum’. They were written 150 years apart. One is a message of mercy while the other is a message of destruction. Jonah was called of God to prolong the life of the enemy nation which was already in the process of exterminating his own nation. He was called to deliver a message of mercy to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, when he fled in the opposite direction until God turned him around under quite dramatic conditions. Jonah could not comprehend how God could send him to do this, very similar to many Christians today who cannot comprehend President Trump. But that is not our duty to comprehend. Our duty is to preach the Gospel, making disciples of all men. The exchange between Jonah and God should shake us to the very core and put all of American Christianity back on track:

Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?” “Yes,” Jonah retorted, “even angry enough to die!” Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?” (Jonah 4:9‭-‬11 NLT)

I will close with God’s commands to each and every one of us, leaving none of us with excuse:

Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority. (Romans 13:1‭-‬7 NLT)

Because if you don’t:

Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions. (1 Timothy 6:4 NLT)

I wonder if ‘Twitter’ was around when King Jehu reigned, if his comments would be offensive?

About annointing

Defender of the Christian Faith
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