Well, it starts with me listening to Alistair Beg on the way home today, and he explained a simple thought in a way I never heard it brought up before.
This is going to be a post where non-Christian followers can say, "Gee I guess this stuff can be harder to get than it looks", while the Christian ones will say, "Boy, have I been doing that wrong!" And it involves politics. The Preacher started in 1 Peter 2 and the subject of what we are supposed to do in dealing with the world and its politics. "Do we go out and demonstrate? Do we demand this or that?" he asked, then read from 1 Peter:
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.
Of course, there is a lot of FB talk about, "If you are a Christian, you MUST vote..." and Beg was really annoyed that the Church has brought this struggle into the sanctuary. What should we be doing? He pointed out Peter's example in Acts 12:
5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.
8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”
He then asked the question, "So what did the Church do to free Peter? Did they gather a crowd in the streets of Jerusalem, to protest the unfairness of Peter's jailing? Did they vote for the Conservative candidate from Bithynia? No, they used the one weapon that God gave for them to use- THEY PRAYED."
And he went on, expressing how it was NOT by doing things the way the world would have done it that got Peter freed, but by doing the one thing the others would have thought was the stupidest thing of all to do- they got down on their knees. And he also pointed out that this is NOT how the Church does things today. No, we do FB posts, sign petitions, go to demonstrations, share memes with "like" and "ignore" options (which I think is by FAR the stupidest thing that ever comes across my FB feed)- in short, we use the world's weapons. And as Beg said, (paraphrasing here), we cannot expect to be "nudged by the angel" if we are using the world's methods to do the Divine Will.
So here's a novel thought: if you are worried about where our country is going, have you been praying- really praying- about it? We did not get to the point of spending eight years under the man in the White House now, and we did not get to a point where the two choices we have actually look like choices a sane person would make, if we had spent as much time on our knees as we have eating chicken sandwiches, shopping at Hobby Lobby, and boycotting Target.
A Catholic FB friend just posted an article on why Catholics had to basically hold their noses and vote for Trump " to stop the great evil, Hillary." As much as I agree with that, the Bible would tell us that there is nothing intrinsically more evil about Hillary than the Donald- just the part about being pro-choice. And frankly, Catholics since 1952 have voted for the pro-choice party in every presidential election with the exceptions of Nixon's 2nd term and both Reagan campaigns, per Gallup. So even when we bring faith into it, it's not REALLY about faith. And it shouldn't be. Our "voting booth" should be our prayer closets, and our opinion should be expressed to God, more than on FB or a placard.
I know, nothing I haven't said before- some fights aren't the fight we need to be fighting. And if our battleground isn't on our knees, we're wasting our time.