Saturday, December 20, 2008

God's Sovereignty and our action

A While ago, before the Presidential election in the U.S.A Brannon Howse made the following comment about John MacArthur. "John MacArthur says he does not spend 5 seconds thinking about the fall 2008 election. John is not concerned at all about Obama winning. MacArthur has a view of the world that only involves the Church. I think John has forgotten that God created family government, civil government and church government and Christians are to care about all three and all three are to be in harmony."
Now I think that's not exactly true, listening to John's sermons and reading his books reveal John has a view of the world that does involve more than the Church. His view on end times and Israel show this as does his Biblical exposition on the end times.
While there are some in the world, and specifically in America who think this world will get better and better - namely post-millennialist's, that doesn't seem to be the clear teaching of the Bible, and John himself takes a firm stand against that teaching. Now we can be gracious a little and say that MacArthur may be saying his calling is to serve the Church, to teach and pastor and protect the church, and that is indeed true, yet Christians are to be salt on the earth whilst still able to be.
The issue that sprang to my mind is the balance between acknowledging the Sovereignty of God on the one hand, and our involvement in the world on the other. We are to trust the Lord God no matter what the circumstances around us, whether we have a good government or a bad one. We need to balance that - no matter what government we have. In a sense what government we do have is irrelevant in that we are to be faithful witnesses and salt in our culture, and if that means our persecution, or even death so be it. After all that's one of the beautiful lessons of the book of Daniel isn't it? Have we Christians forgotten that Christianity is truly radical, truly counter culture in that it is counter the world's culture? Our values and standards are God's standards, not those made up by rebellious mankind.
Yet balanced with that is to impact our society with the truth of the gospel, as Wilberforce did in England against slavery. Where we are with the influence we have we are to be God's faithful people, standing against injustice and caring for the abused and poor and so on.
That for some will mean being an "activist" against abortion, which may take the form of caring for those who have had an abortion, for others it may mean writing to government representatives against homosexuality, or supporting a group that ministers to those that have turned from homosexual behaviour and on it goes.
Does this mean I am proposing a social gospel? No way, doing "good works" in society does not convict people of sin or righteousness or judgment, rather it is our declaring the gospel message and the Holy Spirit taking that and His working that transforms people.

The Bible declares God as Sovereign, and we are to take heart in that, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, and it also calls us to pray, not to cop out and do nothing just because God is Sovereign. It's that balance we need in our world when declaring the Gospel and doing things that are clearly needing to be done in our tragically fallen world, all along being motivated by compassion for those who are made in the image of God.
In short the balance seems to me that Christians are so transformed by God and by His Love and Mercy that they reflect his character more and more in all that they do and say.
And this is what our team going to Kenya is doing, and we uphold them in prayer as they do that.
May God bless your endeavours.

In Christ,

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