Underwhelmed is the word.

Ben is underwhelmed.

I can’t say that I disagree. I feel discouraged and disillusioned about this whole mess that our country is in. What will it really take to bring us back to the principles that made us so great in the first place? Can anyone even answer that question? How can we expect presidential hopefuls to solve a problem that we, ourselves, don’t know the answer to?

And I suppose that–to some extent–it has always been this way, but it seems like the Church is splitting in more and more directions. We are being defined now by our cultural and societal convictions, rather than being unified as the Body of Christ. That scares me.

It scares me a lot.

It scares me, not because I think there is anything terrifying about being defined, but because I know my own propensity to be mistaken. And because I know how prone Christians are (in general) to believing we are exempt from error. Oh, we say that we know no one has it all right–but we behave and speak as though we believe we are infallible.

Help us, Jesus–me and all Your fallible, feeble, brainless sheep. Help us to follow hard after You. Teach us again the sound of Your voice and the comfort of Your staff.

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15 thoughts on “Underwhelmed is the word.

  1. I think you might see the pendulum swing back the other way. Where division comes a remnant can form to refocus on the important things. In the muck of the media, it can certainly look more daunting.

  2. Hey, Sarah,

    Your concerns reflect those of any clear thinking individual
    who has a grasp of history. The problems are legion, and
    correctable thru three earth shaking changes.

    1. Term limits for all government offices – max 2

    2. Tort reform for all law suits.

    3. Every Bible based Judeo-Christian church in the civilized
    world must regain the absolutes stated in their historical
    source of authority , live them out and teach them to others -
    especially their progeny. This is “the way it used to be.”

    The fact remains that “…there is no power but of God: the
    powers that be are ordained of God. – Jesus is God – Jesus
    Christ is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
    (Romans 13:1 B & Hebrews 13:8) Only He can save America

    Plain and simple truths from the world’s best selling book.

    Dave Wade

    • Hi Dave,
      So…is there anyone running (or that you would like to see run) who would agree with you on these things?

      I’m with you on the first two, in terms of government.

      The third is directed at the Church, and…I’m not hopeful that I’ll see this happen in my lifetime. I think we’re far more apt to see the Church continue to shift along with culture, and see a breaking away from structured church that results in something of a…well…an “underground church,” for lack of a better description.

      Blessings, Dave.

      • Sarah,

        Blessings, indeed – and many to you as well.

        I initiated an “underground church” – “emerging church,” if you will, in 1994 with 4 Amish/Mennonite families. We all were under-whelmed with our collective “religious” experience. We watched the Anabaptists become more Pharisaical (a reaction to infectious liberality) while the mainline organizations adopted non-Biblical green and alternate life style doctrines along with rock ‘n roll. Those with large families were concerned for their progeny while Christine and I needed a lot more holiness in our aging lives.

        A truly Christ – centered congregation which eschews a clergy – laity separation and adopts an early New Testament structure has an excellent opportunity for spiritual achievement as described by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. (Mat 5,6,&7) Our Lord’s teachings there and elsewhere are not only possible, but attainable, as we have conclusively proven. The Apostle Paul puts the icing on the cake with his Pastoral letters.

        The absence of TV coupled with home schooling produces obedient, respectful children – mature way beyond their years. Yes, they universally adopt well to modern society!

        All in all, Sarah, the last 18 years of our lives have been a revelation as to the possibility of a shift closer to God that is sustainable and growing. It require sacrifice and prayer including submission “to one another in the fear of God” (Eph 5:21) – probably the most difficult goal, given a society of malignant overachievers – in and out of His “church.”

  3. “…is there anyone running (or that you would like to see run) who would agree with you on these things?”

    Absolutely not ! The political mindset cannot truly submit to God due to “over” – whelming ego and a passion for control (to say nothing of $). That is the truth of the political animal. In fact, a truly committed Christian can never survive in any such environment – too much compromise is required of them.

    Most everyone will be astonished by my take on the political arena. I take great comfort in Romans 13:1b and do not worry about the future of this messed up world. This is not escapism, it is reality, and trust in the God of my salvation. If Holy Writ is true, then Genesis 1:1, John 3:16 and Romans 13:1b are equally reliable. Any doubt in this matter will be settled in eternity – now that’s trust.

      • “So…do you plan to vote in the Presidential Election?”

        No, Sarah, I do not. However, The Romans quote I made does privilege me to vote on my knees – a very comfortable position.

        Our national budget complexities astound me. When the O-Bomber took office our national debt amounted to $30,000 per man, woman and child in the USA. It now stands at $200,000 per man, woman and child. It seems the President is giving tacit approval to every man, woman and child to indulge themselves with careless spending by setting the worst possible example. I suspect our next Precedential election may involve the Chinese Government after they call in our dept. That is a precedent we will never recover from…

        • You know, with all the problems our nation has, we still boast many liberties that other peoples can only hope to one day see. Voting is one of those liberties. If Christians aren’t involved in fixing the problem, I’m not sure I can accept the idea that we ask GOD to fix the problem.

          • “…we ask GOD to fix the problem”

            As with all discussions regarding “the Kingdom of Heaven/God,” which I pray we are both members of, the issue of God’s authority and responsibilities comes to the fore. What don’t you understand about Romans 13:1 b? It seems plain to me that it all lies in our Lord’s more than capable hands. It is not His to fix, per se – it is all part of His plan for mankind, which we all have little to do with. Godless America always gets what it deserves. He is in charge and always been. There are far greater issues at hand. “Then do not let your good be spoken evil of, for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
            For he who serves Christ in these things is well-pleasing to God, and approved by men. So then let us pursue the things of peace, and the things for building up one another.” Rom 14:16-19 This is the big picture. Paul always points the WAY.

            • Dave,

              I think my tone has been respectful. I would ask you to keep your tone respectful, as well. Asking me “what I don’t understand about Romans 13″ is a bit condescending–and it’s a tone I really don’t want on my blog. My blog has always existed for discussion and debate, but it needs to be respectful. Just because I disagree with you or challenge you does not mean I don’t understand Romans 13. There are plenty of things I don’t understand–and when we discuss those things, I am happy to admit my lack of understanding.

              But the question of whether you should vote has nothing to do with the question of whether God places kings, rules, authorities, presidents, congressmen, etc, in position. In fact, nobody–in any of the comments made here–has suggested otherwise.

              The question is–what is your responsibility as an American? As a child of God? As a creature with the responsibilities and culpabilities that come along with freedom? Or do you have none?

              Again, you’re welcome to disagree with me; and you’re welcome to not vote. As a Christian, as an American, I would strongly encourage you to vote anyway. Our freedoms are precious gifts. However, I do expect your answers to remain respectful.

              Pax!
              Sarah

  4. Hi Sarah,

    It seems to me that all we’ve been offered over the last few elections were opportunities to choose between the lesser of evils. Oddly enough, I’ve become totally disinterested in the outcome of the presidential election, because, either way, Christ is coming soon. The research that I’ve been doing has led me to the conclusion that God will allow whoever “the People” will select to lead them into the next four years. And, “even the very elect” will be fooled again into voting for he who tickles the ears to satisfy their hedonistic desires.

    I may sound like a pessimist, but I’m actually optimistic that the worse things get, the closer is the time of His return. Come, Lord Jesus!

    Shalom!!!

    • Hi Steve–it’s good to hear from you, friend. Do you mind if I reply to a few things, specifically?

      “all we’ve been offered over the last few elections were opportunities to choose between the lesser of evils”
      I entirely agree. The trap that many Evangelicals are falling into is this idea that by electing “anyone but Obama,” we’ll see our country restored. Well, there’s no doubt the country would *change* drastically; there’s always a backlash, there’s always a pendulum that swings back and forth between two extremes. I believe what we’re seeing now is that the extremes are coming closer together–thus, the pendulum isn’t swinging so far. So you’ve got Big Govt Democrats running on social idealogies, and you’ve got Big Govt Republicans running on moral idealogies. They’re both Big Govt. So if we choose one or the other, we play into the game; we force the extremes closer and closer. Til what? Til we have no choice?

      But does it stand to reason that this election must be the same? Or that it necessarily will? I am starting to think we have a great opportunity with Ron Paul. Not that I put my hope in a man, but I think he may be cut from a different cloth (so to speak) than other candidates. He seems (from what I understand so far) to believe in the freedom and principles that our great nation was founded upon. If we would be restored to our former freedom and greatness, perhaps we need to look to someone like Paul who actual believes in the Constitution.

      “God will allow whoever “the People” will select to lead them into the next four years”
      This is an interesting idea, and I just want to point out that if we talk about this statement, it could–very well–lead to an unintentional debate of free will and foreknowledge. :)

      ““even the very elect” will be fooled again into voting for he who tickles the ears to satisfy their hedonistic desires.”
      While I can appreciate the sentiment here (really), I think we have to be careful not to create a false dichotomy. If an individual gets behind a candidate that you and I don’t agree with, it doesn’t mean they are deceived or hedonists (though I would argue that much of our current culture IS hedonist in nature, that’s a different topic altogether). And I don’t think it stands to reason that the way to avoid being deceived is to be uninvolved.

      But I’m assuming, now. Perhaps I could just ask you plainly: Steve, do you plan to vote in the upcoming Presidential Election?

      I’d really like to hear more of your thoughts, Steve. I enjoy bantering with you and prodding you a little bit, because I know you always THINK more than you SAY. :)

      Pax, brother!

      • Hi Sarah,

        I do intend to vote, but I may have to flip a coin a few times. Since the coming of the present administration, I have been more politically active- signing petitions and giving support- than at any other time in my life. You have to really get off the bench this time around, just to let others know where you stand. And if they don’t like where I stand, I hope that they can just leave it at that instead of insulting my intelligence, question my integrity, or call me a bigot because I simply don’t agree with certain policies. I joined the TEA Party when it was just “Taxed-Enough-Already” and before Pelosi started calling it “Astro-Turf”. Now it’s becoming more like a true political party and not just a grass-roots movement, which tends to bother me for some reason. It could be that I’m TOO conservative, if that is possible.

        And so, here I am…holding on to the Promise with a death grip- or life grip, if you prefer.

        Revelation 22:20-21 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
        Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
        The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

        • Steve,

          I think Christians have always believed that Christ would return “soon.” And perhaps He always is–it’s sooner than we think, right? And right now in history, we are closer than ever to that fulfillment of “soon.”

          I hear you regarding the Tea Party. Isn’t it amazing how quickly things change? I hear that Newt is trying to gather the lost Tea Partiers under his wing–which I find laughable. I like Newt for a lot of reasons, but…is he any different than any other Washington politician? Nope. He’s not.

          I’m glad you plan on voting. I am certainly undecided as to how I will vote–though there is one name I can definitely rule out. I guess it’ll depend on how the nomination goes, and what comes to light (and what I learn about the candidates) in the next several months.

          Maranatha, Lord! Amen.

          Blessings, Steve.

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