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A Christian Response in Times of Turmoil

These are tumultuous times in which we live. Since March of 2020 we have witnessed two sitting Justices of The Supreme Court threatened in a speech on the steps of the Supreme Court, The President of the United States rushed to the Safe Room in the basement of the White House because of protests outside, and just recently, members of the House and Senate were evacuated as we viewed the Capitol Building of the United States being occupied by protesters. All three branches of our Federal Government have come under verbal and/or physical attack in the past ten months. How should we as Christians respond?

One passage of Scripture that comes to mind is Romans 12:18. “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (RSV). First, Christians must speak out against all violence and violent rhetoric with the temerity to condemn inappropriate and dangerous actions and speech, whether we support or disagree with the politics of the people perpetrating the violence or spouting the rhetoric. This passage of scripture serves as a reminder that our concerns, in our call as Christians, reside on a higher plane than political opinions, causes and agendas. It bids us to refrain from erecting unnecessary barriers between us and other people, many of whom we are trying to engage with the Gospel and Christian Discipleship.

Another passage of Scripture that comes to mind is Philippians 4:6-7. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (NASB). Fear is a powerful seducer of people. When we see tumult in our nation, or in our personal lives, it is first and foremost a call to prayer. This act of faith will guard us from making statements or taking actions that do not reflect the character of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This submission to the one, true God will give us confidence and peace which will help us see beyond the immediate circumstances of current events to move us to renew our faith in God’s will and purpose for His Church and Her people.

The final passage of Scripture I will mention is Matthew 28:18-20. “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’” (NASB). Jesus was reminding His followers that he possesses all authority over everything in the universe. I imagine if I had been in the company of His followers that day, I would have expected something different to be said after the phrase “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” I can imagine a pregnant pause after this phrase and then the astounding words Jesus shared with those gathered with Him. He gave His followers, and by extension us, the appropriate use and implementation of His authority – to make disciples through going, proclaiming, and teaching others to follow the commands of Jesus.

There are many good causes that can be found in this world. But divorced from The Great Commission and its call to discipleship, they have no hope of changing the hearts and minds of men and women, transforming them, and us, into new creatures in Christ Jesus. This is the cause worthy of our energy. This is the cause worthy of our lives. This is the cause that sets us apart from the tumult of world events, not to enjoy a passive existence, but to bring the hope of the Gospel to fruition in the lives of God’s cherished creation – People.

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