I’d Like To Gloat About The Vote

n-gortz-haus-gay-wedding-lawsuit-628x314The evidence of ideological punishment for Christians is obvious, as they have faced years of attacks on their faith. Suffering the heavy hand of liberal activist courts, Christians were fined and driven out of business because they wouldn’t participate in “gay weddings”. Christian colleges have been forced to alter their codes of conduct to Preacher 6enforce non-Christian values (CA SB1146). Pastors have been commanded by the state not to preach anything that would make “transgender” individuals uncomfortable (Iowa Civil Rights Commission). Religious liberty in the U.S. was skidding out of control and religious liberty was just about knocked out of the First Ammendment.

Members of the clergy lay hands and pray over Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights
Clergy lay hands and pray over Republican Donald Trump  in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, on 9-21-16. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Thousands, maybe millions, prayed mightily for God’s protection. Much to their joy, the American Christian community appears to have had prayers answered. They have been given a tremendous gift from God with the election of Donald Trump as president, along with a republican controlled legislature. Meaningful RFRA laws, strict constructionist nominations to the federal bench, and the reigning in of out of control government agencies are all apparently on the way. Time for Christians to celebrate, right?

Actually, no. Solomon writes :

Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble. Proverbs 24:17

So we shouldn’t gloat, as Christians. The next logical question is “Why not?” The simple answer is that we, too, have been enemies of God at times:

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8

Another answer is that in gloating, we foul all hopes we may have of being a living witness for Jesus Christ.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

But He gives a greater grace Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” James 4:6 (referring to Proverbs 3:34)

I guess one of the hardest things that a Christian has to learn to do is to love their enemies. It is important to look at the idea in context of how Jesus commanded us in the Sermon on the Mount:005-lumo-jesus-disciples

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 5:43-48

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Christians are powerless, save for the power that is loaned to us by God. As vessells of His power, He gives us an abundance of grace, love and forgiveness. Gloating is the opposite of showing grace, love and forgiveness to the just and unjust alike. If we aren’t actively doing the work of loving our enemies, we are acting as if Jesus Christ hasn’t taken up residence in our hearts and changed us.

f8a07ce55d76c3080a0f6a706700be16-resize-380x300Just because we love our enemies doesn’t mean we don’t fight against the injustice they would impose on others. God gives us the power to do His will, and that very well could be to fight in courts, school boards and the halls of government. Christians are certainly encouraged to fight evil at the ballot box. And, win or lose, we give glory to God and move on to the next thing He has for us.

So, as Christians see anger and sadness from those who would have punished and persecuted us, God has given us an opportunity to be Jesus to them. The rewards of doing what God tells us bring us so much more joy than gloating ever could.

“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” Matthew 5:11-12

So, blessings to you.  I hope you’ll pray for me as I struggle with my flesh wanting to gloat, but my spirit wanting to do God’s will.  I look forward to reading your comments.  Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

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7 comments

  1. Your post might have more credibility and reach if it cited true facts. No one in Iowa is trying to make pastors do anything with regard to the rights of transgender individuals to be free from discrimination. Churches and pastors are free to spread discriminatory messages all they want. But it is irresponsible and dishonest to continue to spread lies. I would expect more from a Christian.

    • I’m glad you commented, Mr.Smith. Your comment falls outside of my stated purpose, but it does help me share with the audience of this blog. Thanks, and I hope you will read the rest of my answer, which is addressed to those who follow the blog.

      Applied Faith followers know this is a discipleship site, not a place we debate talking points with the alt-left. But it looks like God has convicted an individual who is lost and spiritually struggling to comment on this blog post. For regular readers, there are some parts of this comment that help inform us on applying our faith. Let’s look at what appears to be a routine alt-left attack and we can consider how to respond and not injure a lost and struggling image-bearer of God.

      This commenter leads with an insult attempting to throw one who shares an opposing view off center. Don’t react to insults – lost people act like lost people. Next, when you make an assertion, back it up with easily Googled facts. Cite your sources. Your attacker’s claim is moot before they make it. This attacker also attacks God’s Word through His under-shepherds. God’s Word is what the alt-left really hates; here it is God’s unambiguous injunction against sodomy. The rest of the comment is ad hominem attack that needs no response.

      I perceive this as an opportunity to teach, not as malice. As Christians we can get distracted by attacks. We’re commanded to love neighbors and enemies alike. From the lost, attacks should be expected as the rule, not the exception. We’re only responsible to God and His will expressed in His Word. The rest of the work will be done by His Spirit.

      “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

  2. So glad your post went the way it did. Nor can we afford to sit back and neglect our prayerful intervention for the days/years ahead. Thanks for this call to love and sacrifice.

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