2012 is still new. There is still plenty of shine on it. It has all kinds of potential for good. As long as the election cycle doesn’t overshadow our opportunity.
Elections are important. They are also a necessary evil. We have a chance to participate in the process, so vote. We also get to live with the consequences of our decisions, so vote wisely.
Here’s the deal, though. Government will not fix a single real problem facing our country or our world. Their size, their needs, their divisions will forever mire them and keep us frustrated with them. Government is in the business of Government.
Inflation, unemployment, the ongoing real estate crisis, escalating divorce rates, poverty, hunger, rising costs of medical care; these are just a few of the mountains Americans are facing. We mistakenly think that somehow Washington is going to put their partisan differences aside and solve them. How foolish are we? The Republicans and Democrats have become so polarized that the party out of power will forever see their role as obstructionist. We may have lost the art of compromise forever. Wisdom has left the building.
The fact is, Washington never was, or never should have been, the answer. For people like me, the Church is much better positioned to help find solutions to our communities’ crippling economic, social and moral problems.
As individual congregations, we have agility and mobility to focus on the needs inside our fellowships, that the red tape of Govt. Bureaucracies could never allow.
Think about it for a moment. If each Family of Faith would concentrate efforts on finding creative solutions to the hunger, financial and health issues just within our own groups, we could reduce the load on Government, exponentially.
Now, let’s take that thought to the next level. If the Churches in any given community were to work together to solve mutual problems, our size, influence and wealth of our combined efforts would be a virtually irresistible force.
Let me cite just a couple of examples: 1. Let’s suppose all the Christian gardeners and farmers in a congregation united to create community gardens to help provide food security for the members of our congregations who were in need. Or, what if we tithed the produce from our gardens to our Church food pantry. What if we tithed our eggs, our chickens, our milk, our beef, our lamb, our pork; how much food could we provide?
What if we held classes in our Church buildings that taught people how to cook and prepare nutritious, whole foods and reduce the need the need for fast or highly processed foods in family diets. Now what if we taught them how to grow some of this food themselves. We could dramatically reduce poverty and health costs at the same time.
Sure, there is a certain percentage of the population who is not willing to help themselves. We have to live with that, but there is also a percentage who is more than willing, even desirous of being a part of our own solutions. We don’t stop offering a cure because some people want to stay sick.
Speaking of sick, imagine with me that all the Christian medical professionals in a given community, tithed their time to provide pro bono medical care for people in their congregations who could not afford it. How much medicaid and medicare money could be saved? Heck, how much fraud could be reduced?
Ok, one more; What if all the mechanics in a Church would devote time each week to do oil changes and basic maintenance on vehicles for the unemployed, single mothers, senior citizens and other financially challenged in the Church. How much money could be saved in the long run?
We can’t let the risk of abuse be our excuse for not following the Scriptural command to look after ‘the least of these’. A very large percentage of people Jesus himself served, apparently rejected Him or took their bread and fish for granted. In one example, Jesus healed 10 men of leprosy and only one even thanked Him. And that dude wasn’t even a Jew. It didn’t stop Him from healing or feeding though. How very radical.
Most of what I’ve described has been at a congregational level. Imagine for a moment, if Christians united to serve together. The force for change would dwarf a Tsunami. Our enemy knows that. He works overtime making sure the Church stays divided, because if we ever come together, the gates of Hell are toast.
Which brings me to a final point. The world needs Jesus much more than we need a conservative (or liberal, if that’s your orientation) Government. I don’t believe that the Republicans OR the Democrats will help us find Revival. And neither will prevent one, once it gets started. I’m just sayin’, vote, it’s an American privilege, but if you consider yourself a Christian, pray like the future depends on God and work like the future depends on you.
If you’re not a Christian, I dare you to give Jesus a fresh look. You might be surprised by what you discover.