Regardless of one’s political persuasion, last week will stand in infamy within the pages of our nation’s treasured history. Personally, I am grieving deeply for the United States I have served and sacrificed for. As acrimony in the wake of the Capitol riots spreads like gangrene, I wonder if there can ever again be unity in our nation. Hatred is overwhelming rational thinking while all the world watches and while we citizens ponder our fate.
I have little time for any sanctimoniousness from those in leadership who have brought such division and injury. Today, there are no clear winners or losers, even as our grossly irresponsible media foment more catastrophe with deceptive and zero-sum reporting. As Christians, we should see and agree that last Wednesday's events have been brewing for a very long time in America because we wholesale rejected Judeo-Christian moral foundations long ago. And, that movement away from sanctified shared values has only accelerated. Indeed, there is more than plenty of failure and blame to spread all around regarding our present state of affairs. So, in terms of seeing any real hope in ongoing national power shifts, I am not optimistic. If anything, government institutions are doubling down on anti-Christ doctrines. But there is nothing new here. Great societies rise and fall in accordance with God’s sovereign will.
So, what happens now? How are we, as followers of Jesus Christ, to then live in our times as Paul commands in Philippians 2:15: “that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” In an uncomfortable text exchange with my two brothers this past week, both of whom are anxious and angry at unprecedented levels, I spoke from the heart and typed this: "For me, all of the catastrophes of late are driving me deeper into the transcendent truth I see every day in my faith. Christ is the object of my hope and trust. This is my witness as I'm sure you would expect."
What made me say that to them and not something else? Is it really that simple? Also, did I really mean what I said, or was I just parroting some easy faith platitude? I suppose it would be better to have not said anything at all than to offer up an insincere lifeline of hope. As I write now, I am challenged to ask myself, as a man looking in the mirror, is Christ really all I need? Perhaps more so than ever before, He may soon enough be all I have!
As I stare into the mirrored glass, I have come to realize that saying “Yes, Christ is all I need!” hinges on three things. First, I must have a correct understanding of my conversion. An unregenerate person cannot need Christ. Moreover, my salvation comes as a sovereign act of God alone. I did nothing except respond in the faith He produced in me. Such understanding drives me to a place of utter brokenness and contrition, which is where God must begin with us all. We must see clearly that our salvation is all about Him—His glory alone—even though we benefit beyond words.
I also need an accurate view of history in keeping with Scripture. Absent a big picture view of God’s overarching redemption plan playing out in human history, current events can take on far more importance in determining emotional and spiritual well-being than they should. We cannot allow present circumstances—no matter how dire—to instill debilitating anxiety about the good future God has ordained and will accomplish.
Finally, I need a correct view of God that would have me readily shout with passion—and live out with vigor—First Corinthians 10:31: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” This verse elegantly exhorts that we cease from looking to men for anything and look only to God for everything. How many Christians do you know that actually live this way in 21st century USA? Perhaps it is time we reconsider how to do so…
In the coming weeks, I plan to write more in-depth on these three areas. I want to do so with the utmost integrity because I want to say before God and men: “ALL I NEED IS CHRIST!”