I was photographing Prairie Dogs in South Dakota when they suddenly all ran into their dens.  They had heard a warning call from this fellow who perceived what he thought was danger (me) in the area.  But he was wrong about viewing me as a real danger.  Believers are also called to warn others, but we must discern where the real danger lies.

Christians often work themselves into a frenzy warning of the danger of electing one person over another to political office.  But what can an elected official do to endanger the Christian faith?  The Neros and Stalins of history have all tried and failed.  In fact, it is during political oppression that the Christian faith seems to flourish.  Governments can only exercise authority externally through law.  They can force external compliance, but can never change the heart.  That is the role of faith.  You may prefer the methodology or world view of one candidate over another, but the real danger to our faith does not lie in what government does or does not do.

The real danger lies within.  For it is within our own hearts that greed, hatred, envy, lust, and pride are born.  It is this danger, the internal one, that we need to warn ourselves about.  Christians can, and have, done quite well under the most oppressive political systems.  And Christians have wandered from the faith under well-meant theocracies.  Your faith and mine are not dependent on who might be in a political office.  God is still sovereign over history and He can still use evil for good.

So, call out a warning cry, but warn against the real enemy, the one that grows within.  During times of political elections, I am deeply saddened when Christians show more passion for their particular candidate than they do for our Lord, when we judge spirituality by who we vote for rather than the condition of our own hearts.  Politics has its place as does religion.  But the real danger comes when we equate one with the other.  The One who will judge us all will examine our hearts, not our bumper stickers.  Fear Him.

                                                                                                                                      By John Miller

                                                                                                                                      via 36th St. church bulletin

                                                                                                   Vienna, WV


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