In 1995, I was walking around my apartment in Ames, Iowa, praying to the Lord when the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart: “You don’t love America.”
I stopped, shocked by His words. “What?” I replied.
The Holy Spirit showed me my words and attitudes from the previous thirty years. Then, He showed me the origination of my dislike, which sprang out of the anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s. I agreed with the movement’s antiwar messages and allowed their hatred and bitterness to pour its venom into my heart.
Who can argue with His facts? Not me. I fell to my knees and wept.
The Holy Spirit spoke again to my heart: “You can’t minister to a nation and its people unless you love the nation and its people like I do.”
When the Lord finished His ministry to me, I stood up with a renewed love for America and its people.
Now, let’s fast forward to today’s America.
I have not voted in any election since 2008 nor will I vote in the upcoming election.
Now, if you read my friends’ posts on Facebook or blogs, you would think a Christian who doesn’t vote has committed an almost treasonous sin against God. Some even extrapolate verses to make their points, which is tough to do because there are no “Thou shalt vote” commandments or directives in the whole Bible.
My reason for not voting is based on scripture:
For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. (1 Corinthians 9:19-22)
You see, I don’t think America is going to make it out of its present trials, but believe the nation is like a train on a track heading full speed toward the edge of a cliff. Whether the chief engineer at the throttle is a Democrat or a Republican doesn’t matter much because the train’s speed is set with the end fast approaching.
When America goes over the edge and hits the bottom after its long fall, I want to hit the ground running, doing my best to save as many as possible. I don’t want labels, such as Conservative, Liberal, Democrat, or Republican to hinder my effectiveness nor do I want to spend my time pointing fingers at others. It’s my desire to help build the kingdom of God out of the chaos which will most likely be all around me at that time.
If you disagree and believe you can vote America out of its present death spiral, go ahead and do your best, but let’s be honest with each other: one of us will end up being wrong. If I’m wrong, I will gladly help you. But if you’re wrong, will you then lay your identity labels down and help me?
Did you know that Jeremiah faced a situation much like this in his day?
(Continued in Part 14…if you’re interested, the full series to date may be seen here.)