The Bible is God’s communication of truth to us. It was meant to be both reliable and readable. So, I should not have been surprised when reviewing some familiar passages of scripture in a newer translation—the New Century Version (NCV)—that this very readable translation communicated new “truth” to me.
In viewing Galatians 5:22-23, which shares about the “fruit of the Spirit,” I was prompted to review the context, as well, and found the preceding verses (19-21) stated the familiar “works of the flesh” as “the wrong things the sinful self does.” These verses categorized sexual sins, sins connected with pagan religion, sins of temper, and sins related to drunkenness.
Among the wrong things listed relating to temper were these: “…making people angry with each other, causing divisions among people…” I was reminded of all the negative advertising, tweeting, and debates we’ve endured this election year from political candidates and their surrogate speakers. Some seem intent on polarizing people for political gain by “making people angry with each other, causing divisions among people…”
Let’s see these “polarizing politics” for what they really are: “works of the flesh.” It is not something in which God’s people should be engaged. Verse 25 says “We get our new life from the Spirit, so we should follow the Spirit.” A new walk must match our new life and talk, all to please the Lord!
The real issues we face as a nation are not so much political or cultural, as they are spiritual. The soul of our great country was framed by committed Christians, who fled despotic rule to find freedom to practice their faith. Franklin Graham says, “Today we are facing a godless agenda, led by men and women who want nothing to do with God or His Word and who hate Christ and His followers.” Secularism and socialism threaten our traditional freedoms and way of life in this country. Religious opposition and even persecution are rising and the actual practice of our faith can no longer be taken for granted.
The Bible says we should “use every chance you have for doing good, because these are evil times” (Ephesians 5:16). The Apostle Paul told Timothy (1 Timothy 2:1-4) that if we want to “have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God …” we must first PRAY for “…rulers and for all who have authority.”
Secondly, we must “walk the talk” and become informed on and clearly articulate the real moral issues, so we can then vote our values. Registration deadlines are past, in most states. But there are millions of Christian believers who are registered to vote but who never do. Some think the elections are “rigged” or that their vote will not make a difference. They are wrong! They must join us in voting our values.
Values are shared moral viewpoints. They transcend political parties and even religious theologies. Shared values can motivate registered voters to help select candidates whose “walk” will match their “talk.” Unrestricted abortions, cronyism, and reckless ruling by “pen and phone” from the executive office must be stopped. No one is above the law or the “checks and balances” built into our Constitution.
By God’s grace, prayerful, committed and VOTING Christians can slow the slide of our nation toward immorality, impurity, and imprudence. Between now and November 8, please join me in prayerful repentance and spiritual renewal. May we live to see our nation “fundamentally transformed” for good and for God!