Early last week I felt myself slipping into a mild depression. After some prayer I attributed it to the state of affairs in our government. Before I go any further, let me say I am not for a particular side—I don’t know enough about the issues to pick a side. If I followed my husband’s lead, I’d say both sides have good points and each contributes to the overall problem.
What saddens me (and ultimately depresses me) are the division, the dishonesty, and the selfishness of both parties. It’s an indication of the direction our country is headed.
I recently began reading Bill O’Reilly’s latest book Killing Jesus. During Jesus’ life, the Israelites were ruled by Caesar Augustus and then Tiberius. These tyrants were cruel, and ruthless, stopping at nothing to gain control and power and wealth. Their sole purpose for existence was self-centered (I won’t go into their private bedroom lives, which reading about left my mouth gaping open). Throughout the kingdom, their subjects were taxed so heavily they were barely able to feed themselves, and anyone showing signs of rebellion was beaten or killed. O’Reilly states, “The promise of God’s deliverance is the one shaft of daylight that comforts the oppressed people of Galilee.”
When I compare our government to that of Roman rule during the first century, I must admit that we’ve got it easy. Basically, there is no comparison. What do I have to complain about (or be depressed about)? We enjoy many freedoms in this country, and I believe it is the best country in which to reside.
However a problem still exists. Maybe C.J. Mahaney has captured it. He says, “Today, the greatest challenge facing American evangelicals is not persecution from the world, but seduction by the world.” We (Christians) are not being oppressed by an outside aggressor as in Jesus’ day, but instead are allowing the seductions of the world (food, sex, power, wealth, etc.) to infiltrate our ranks. In other words, Jesus isn’t being killed by an oppressing outside governmental force. We are slowly killing Him from within by ignoring Him and His teachings.*
Ultimately, though, in the midst of our rocky governmental issues, the answer is the same as it was for the Israelites so many years ago: Jesus.
He offered them hope.
He offers us hope.
The “promise of God’s deliverance” still stands.
That promise makes me want to sing with Adie:
Hallelujah, love is come
Hallelujah, God with us
Hope restored and death undone
Beautiful redemption song
*Let me clarify one point: I do not believe that being a Christian equals belonging to a particular party within the political system. Instead, I think if we want our government officials to act with Christian principles we must demonstrate them and hold fast to our beliefs. It is not a top -down effect, but rather a bottom-up effect.