It’s election day in America. I think I read that about four out of ten people eligible to vote will vote. I could make a logical argument that it means if you vote that your vote counts twice!
Some people vote ‘straight tickets’. This means that they hit one button and vote for every democrat or every republican on their ballot. Others will vote for some democrats, some republicans, and maybe even some independents. There is a guy in Kansas running for the US Senate who is running as an independent. Many, if not most people in Kansas and across the country believe he’s really a democrat pretending to be an independent. The democrat party candidate dropped out so that the democrats in Kansas would not split their vote and give the republican an easy victory. Most all of the democrats in Kansas are now voting for the independent candidate. I hope I haven’t lost you – stay with me. We usually vote for people or a party who represent our beliefs.
And the sad truth is most people do the same thing in church. We look for a church that shares our beliefs. We go to the Bible and love the verses we agree with and discount the verses that we do not agree with. We “vote on” which church to attend based on our own beliefs. If a preacher is proclaiming that Jesus is the only way to heaven, that’s going to attract some people who believe that and drive others away who disagree. If a preacher is proclaiming many ways to heaven, that’s going to attract some people and drive others away. We don’t usually go to church to hear and be convinced of our need to change. We don’t want to be “judged”. We go to have our beliefs reinforced and be told that we’re not just OK, but we are right. But none of us see it this way. We see it as ‘taking a stand for what’s right’. And I’m guilty of this myself.
I don’t know what the answer is in the church. I don’t know where this attitude is going to take the church. Were it not for Jesus, who can do anything, I would think the situation in the American church was hopeless. But it’s not. Jesus says in Matthew 16:18 that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. This is important to remember, even as it looks like hell is winning over the church in America.