Sadly, this is how many of my friends have felt after participating in early voting here in NC.
While you may have a strong opinion on the churches’ involvement in politics, we are going to tackle some political questions and issues head on this Sunday.
I encourage you to come and be open minded. I have no intention of trying to “sway your vote” one way or another, but I have every intention of challenging our church to engage over the next several days with a heart that will put people first… and politics second.
See you Sunday.
By Matt Dawson
This weekend, we will kick of a brand new series entitled “Questions Without Answers.”
If you’re anything like my wife Tracie, the series already bothers you.
Because you LOVE answers. The idea that something does not have a clear answer is frustrating and you can only imagine 3 weeks of me frustrating you every Sunday with questions that only produce more questions.
Well, I promise not to do that. Or at least, I promise that it’s not my intention to do that.
This series is going to tackle 3 current cultural issues that have tons of questions without answers. The racial issues in country, the LGTBQ community, and the state of politics in our country. All of these issues have questions surrounding them that many people struggle to answer with any sort of absolute truth. People struggle to find any objective answers to these questions and instead we debate our subjective truths (my truth vs your truth) until we’ve lost sight of the original question.
King David in the Psalms writes…
Psalm 86:11 – “Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your Truth!”
In our post-modern culture, many have rejected the ideology of a single standard of absolute truth. David didn’t seem to have any problem with absolute truth. He even requested to KNOW God’s ways so that he could live out his life according to HIS Truth.
I believe that many of our culture’s questions that are surrounded with subjective answers can help us find our way back to the possibility that there IS an absolute truth in all things. His name was Jesus. His ways are available to us and we can choose to live according to His truth even in today’s unsettling times.
Join us over the next 3 weeks as we seek out God’s truth together and recognize how it can impact our lives!
By Don Gentry
We are living in one of, if not the most blessed and free nations in the world. Our freedoms come from an incredible document called the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. When I listen to many political conversations by those that call themselves Christians, I often hear the phrase “God-given rights.”
I love my country and I would die for the freedoms that many trample upon. I love our constitution and I believe it is the greatest political document ever written; penned by men who sacrificed more than we can imagine, and in a time when most modern Americans would have run for the hills. With that being said, it does not take the place of the word of God, and it DOES NOT define God-given rights.
By Don Gentry
On March 3rd, the Charlotte City Council voted on what will likely become a landmark decision. Here is a link in case you don’t know what I am talking about. You can also Google “Charlotte City Council” and you’ll find that the LGBT controversy is in the top five results.
Regardless of your level of awareness, the fact is that our city had to vote on an ordinance that would have mandated that transgender individuals would be allowed to use any public restroom.
This case has created quite a stir in the political community. There has been some strong language used in opposition to and also in support of the proposal. As followers of Christ we have to ask ourselves, how should we respond?
The Bible gives us clear directives as followers of Christ in response to the government:
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
1 Peter 2:13-17
What does this passage look like in your life and in your speech?
I did a little research of my own for this particular issue. I am a numbers guy. For fifty years the CDC, Center for Disease Control, has been conducting a survey of the American public. It is called the National Health Interview Survey. It is comprised of 33,000 Americans between the ages of 18-64 and is considered one of the most accurate surveys conducted. You can read about the CDC results here.
The Washington Post writes, “The National Health Interview Survey, which is the government’s premier tool for annually assessing Americans’ health and behaviors, found that 1.6 percent of adults self-identify as gay or lesbian, and 0.7 percent consider themselves bisexual.”
I also read several articles on the percentage of men who are rapists. The statistics are anywhere between 4.5%-10% of the male population are considered rapists. There are 350,000 men that live in the city of Charlotte (not necessarily Charlotte Metro), and if only 4.5% is accurate that leaves roughly 16,000 potential rapists capable of capitalizing on this current proposal.
America has adopted a form of Government that is by the people and for the people, and each one of us has to decide what we think is the primary role of government. As I look at this current issue, I personally don’t think the ruling was aimed at the LGBT community.
I see how it has become an issue for this community of individuals, but this community reflects a very small percentage of our population. According to these statistics, we’re talking about creating a law that mandates 99% of the population be put at risk of safety issues for the sake of the comfort of 1% or less of the population.
As a husband and the father of three girls, I am far more concerned about the voyeurs and criminals that could easily use this ordinance as an opportunity for perpetrating crimes against the vulnerable and innocent. Public safety, in my opinion, is a much more important government issue than satisfying a small minority’s desire. Concern for 99% of the population exceeds that of the 1%.
But that is my opinion.
When you adopt your own political views and stances on government issues, I cannot and would not tell you what to believe. I do ask that you try to be as objective and loving as possible. Politics can get us fired up (believe me I know), but let’s not use our politics to throw around hateful and hurtful words.
Our politics and beliefs often stand in opposition to another person’s convictions and beliefs. It is important that when that happens, we use words that reflect our political stance while still communicating love and respect to our fellow citizens. 1 Peter 2 was written to a people group without much influence in their form of government. As we look to our involvement, if we want to point people to Christ, then our speech and politics better not incite hate and hurt.