When America was a fledgling collection of colonies contained to the east of the Appalachian mountains, frontiersman were trailblazing the forests of the Ohio River Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. If there was one bit of instruction that colonial frontiersman gained from the Native Americans, it was the lesson of simply sitting in stillness and silence in order to detect the natural rhythms and intricacies of the wilderness apart from anomalies that could present a threat.
In a bitter and blustering summer, we have witnessed episodic flashpoints in the form of the Orlando Nightclub Shooting, the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, and the murder of five Dallas policemen. Islamic terrorism, LGBT rights, gun control, race relations, racism, policing, and activism have all swelled into contentious talking points in the media and public conversation.
Amidst the foaming and frothing passions of the public exists the Church, and within the body of Christ, members are asking, “What do we do?”
Be Like Frontiersman in Spiritual Warfare
Rather than motoring into public debate with more hashtags and pithy one-liners, let us in the church act like the early frontiersman. In the lawless and senseless wilderness of America in 2016, we have the opportunity to discern the events around us through guidance from the Holy Spirit. However, one cannot hear the small, still voice of the Spirit over their own talking points.
This is the time to hit the prayer closest and ask the Holy Spirit three questions: 1) How should I pray during these unsteady times? 2) What should I pray for? 3) How can you use my gifts and I to bring redemption to the culture around me?
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” -Romans 8:26
Satan is scheming to bring unprecedented levels of dissension and division in this nation, and only a godly response will usher in concrete solutions. If there was ever a time for evangelical churches to give a platform for prophetic voices, it would be now.
The gift of prophecy is the earthly transcripts of God’s war room plans for His kingdom and those in the world. It takes the temperature of a given people or nation’s spiritual standing and the consequences of either continuing a deviant path or restoring a godly course. Our earthly wisdom just cannot stand tall to the unbridled godlessness that has cascaded across the nation.
God is speaking to his people, yet if we reject His mode of communication because of denominational distaste or theological pride, we will surely perish.
Check Your Passions and Wait for the Facts
It’s instinctive to draw conclusions from the tiniest morsel of information about an event, but not every morsel provides the nutrition found with a full set of facts. If mainstream media is where we run for comfort, hysteria will suffocate most of us.
Cling to what the Word declares and not only will there be spiritual ramifications but also practical solutions for the society we live in.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” -James 1:19
I encourage us all to search for trusted Christian news sources, for there are a plethora of them in service. They filter current events through a Biblical worldview, and are honest sources that provide the facts that we may not have access to.
Here are a few of my favorite sources: charismanews.com, stream.org, barbwire.com, trunews.com, and frc.org (Family Research Council).
The Golden Rule Staunches Much Bleeding
Most of us were not directly involved in the events of this summer, but fear travels cross-country with a mighty urgency. Because the majority of our nation has consciously turned from God, it has become even easier to depart from reality and enter into fear. Once a spirit of fear settles in, it become habit to see boogeymen where they may not be.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” -2 Timothy 1:7
What restores trust in a nation? The facts do an excellent job to begin with, but the populace seemingly does not want the facts. Instead, they want reparations, whether it be vengeance, blame, guilt upon someone else, or some other concoction that will bring them peace.
Since love covers a multitude of sins, I propose something so simple, you may think me silly. How about we get back to the Golden Rule? How does, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” sound? The antidote to splintered and crime-ridden communities, broken marriages, racial strife, manufactured headlines, and governmental abuses is a rule so Golden, we’ve stopped looking for it. Not only does it display love, but it binds all corners of society into a contract of integrity. It is a common grace available to all, yet we sacrifice it for counter-Biblical solutions.
Sometimes, the solution isn’t what is complex. The Golden Rule is not complicated: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. No, the complication with the Golden Rule is not found within the principle but rather, the vengeance stored up in our sin-stained hearts. Only the blood of Jesus can scrub away such a blemish. My prayer is that the American populace will abstain from acting like petulant children amidst these confusing times and embrace the concept of loving one’s neighbor.
Think loving your neighbor will never happen? Well, it sure won’t if you don’t. Forgive the past so that we don’t remind our pasts all the way into the present.
Kevin Cochrane is a nineteen year old writer with the distinct purpose of radically restoring everyone with exposed ears to the original testimony of Jesus Christ. Want to read more? Check him out at themajestysmen.com/author/kevincochrane, a friendship and mentoring community for Christian males. For updates on his latest blog posts here at restandrefuge.wordpress.com, you can follow him on Twitter @RunFree_KC or click the follow button at the bottom of the page to receive notifications by email. To contact, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.