It's been interesting to speak with friends from other parts of the USA the past couple of weeks. Bet you can guess what they're asking ... "So what's the deal with Roy Moore and the church's obsession with supporting him?" I never really know how to answer that. Is Roy Moore guilty? ... I have no idea. Obviously the timing of these accusations raises some suspicion of political motivations. But also the responses from both him and those he's allowed to speak on his behalf are completely unsatisfactory, especially those voices from within the evangelical Christian community. But this article isn't about Roy Moore ... rather it's about those of us who profess to believe in and follow Jesus Christ.
The Scripture says "the righteous shall live by faith." We see this in Habakkuk, Romans, and Galatians. It's the truth that was foundational for Martin Luther as he wrestled with things that ultimately helped lead to the Protestant Reformation. It's a truth that we profess to accept and live by. Yet my concern is that we use faith to "accept Christ as Savior" but then rather quickly move away from faith as we live out our daily lives. I'll attempt to briefly explain.
This fallen world we live in is a very scary and uncertain place. We live in fear that things may not go the way we want them to go. We don't like that feeling and will do what we can to address it. We feel somewhat responsible to make sure things turn out to be okay - with our country, with our children, with our marriage, with our finances, for our retirement, with our church, etc. With this commitment to do whatever it takes to make things turn out okay we often find ourselves willing to compromise, even in areas where we swore we never would. Holiness gives way to pragmatism. We put so much hope in the worldly system that we're willing to bypass trust in a sovereign God. Our commitment is no longer really to Christ, but rather to a certain way of life that we feel we deserve ... Jesus merely becomes a means to get the things we really want.
Whether you're Republican or Democrat, is one seat in the Senate worth moral compromise?(think Roy Moore, Al Franken - again, I have no idea of their guilt or innocence; and this isn't about them but rather those who speak blindly in support of them) Is my particular lifestyle or retirement plan worth the failure to give generously and sacrificially to the Lord's church? Is my own level of personal comfort worth breaking or just not pursuing certain relationships within the body of Christ? Does my obsession with raising perfect children get in the way of my treating them with dignity and respect? Does my desire for the ideal church prevent me from welcoming a diversity of people and ideas?
If you're at all like me, you much prefer to trust in yourself and in the things we can see. This living by faith deal is sketchy at best. However, the Word of God speaks loudly to me and reminds me that when things get rough I am to rely on God.
Consider Isaiah 31 - With the threat of an Assyrian invasion, God's people are being advised to go down to Egypt for help. Surely assistance from this military and economic super-power will provide the needed help. But the Lord says, "Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!" (Isa 31:1)
This truth is still applicable to us today. While it's tempting to put our trust in the powerful things we can see, we're called to live by faith in the Holy One, our Almighty and eternal God, who has already conquered sin and death by the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus, who is coming again to literally make all things right.