God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne. - Psalm 47: 8 (ESV)
Sometimes I wonder if we understand who it is that we claim to serve. Almighty God. The creator of the entire universe by a single spoken sentence. The same God who stopped the sun still in its tracks. The same God who told the oceans they could go no further. The same God who divided the Red Sea and the Jordan River. Everything that happens on this earth is completely within His sovereign will. At the very least, within His permissive will. Nothing catches Him by surprise as things throw us off guard. Not sudden wars. Not natural disasters. Not overthrown governments. Not the death of a Supreme Court Justice.
It was revealed today that Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away at the age of 79. Such is the temporal fleeting nature of this fragile life on this mortal coil. We will all go the same way one day. On that day God will not be surprised just as He was not surprised today. Yet the hyper-chicken little reaction from the Christosphere has been very troubling. The sky is not falling beloved. I just checked with Scripture and as our key verse reminds us - God is still on the throne. He still reigns over all the nations. Yet the apoplectic reactions from Christians within minutes of the announcement of Scalia's passing reveals we may have some faith issues we need to resolve. There are reasons behind this reaction and the first is that we forget where our true citizenship is:
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. - Philippians 3: 20-21 (ESV)
The Bible actually says we are to be pilgrims and sojourners through this world we live in, not citizens. Yes, we have secular civic responsibilities but at the end of the day we rest in Christ. We rest in knowing that everything works together for the perfect will of God. In Genesis we see that when Abram and Lot separated that lot "pitched his tent toward Sodom." The next time we see Lot he is living in Sodom. Such are the dangers of wistfully gazing upon this world. Its sin and excess are enticing. Eventually our flesh gives in for remember that the flesh is always weak. The Bible teaches us that all leaders are chosen by God. Yes, even Barack Obama. Same goes for George Bush and Bill Clinton before him. God is always in control beloved. The second reason for our overreactions is that we have convinced ourselves that the lesser of two evils is somehow righteous:
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! - Isaiah 5: 20 (ESV)
Neither political party cares about the cause of Jesus Christ. Yet the church fancies itself as being able to pick "God's choice." In 2012 the church overwhelmingly convinced itself that a member of the Satanic Mormon Church was "God's choice." How absurd. The reality is neither was God's choice. Yet, He can work what He needs to work regardless of who is in control because He is always in control. Remember when Saul thought he was in control it only took God one swoop to knock him off his high horse and turn him into the Apostle Paul. So what we are usually left with in modern carnal politics is to try and discern the lesser of the two evil choices that are presented to us. That is fine as long as we do not lose sight of the fact that ultimately we are still voting for evil. That means it should not be celebrated when our lesser choice wins nor should we scream the sky is falling when they lose. Why? Because God is in control regardless of the outcome!
The final reason why we go crazy at times like this is we have been taught so poorly as to actually worship this country instead of the God we claim to serve. You cannot go a half mile in modern Christendom today without a sermon, message or article seeking revival in America. There are pastors who have built their entire ministries upon this false teaching. The New Apostolic Reformation, the Kansas City Prophets, IHOP, and Charisma News are just several examples of sections of Christianity that espouse seven mountain theology and dominionism. That the church must prepare the world for the second coming of Christ by taking over the seven mountains of influence, one of which is government. This is pure heresy as this world will pass away as promised in Revelation.
Besides this extreme teaching there is still the general notion that if we could only get the unbelievers to behave better than God would somehow stay His wrath. The problem of course is the emphasis is on the wrong syllable as the church needs to look at the church. If the people called by the name of God, namely Christians, would repent then there could be some chance for revival. This is the plan of God. That the church be salt and light to a dying world but in these end times we are merely pepper and glitter. Our light is a false reflection. Our speech does not preserve as salt does. Instead it adds a harsher taste. Already we are seeing this after the tragic death of Scalia. Sides are forming and the Christians are quick to draw the dividing lines even clearer. The future of this country is now in dire peril they say. Family values, conservatism and tradition are all in jeopardy is the early talking point. Who exactly is on the other side beloved?
The lost. The unsaved. The very people we are to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to. Only the devil could concoct such a brilliantly evil scheme. The get the church to hate and revile the very people they are supposed to reach. To get Christians to scream the sky is falling and draw a line separating themselves from the very people who need them the most. Beloved, I do not know what is going to happen as a result of the passing of Antonin Scalia. The good news is I do not have to know. The good news is a serve a God who already knows. I am not charged with saving this country and neither are you. Nor are we charged with bringing down the moral hammer upon the heads of people who think the things of God are utter foolishness. We are charged with one thing and one thing only. That is to represent Jesus Christ, His Word, and His unfailing Gospel to the corners of the earth while there is still time.
Leave the politicking and the squabbling over this world to someone else. It is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic anyway. Leave the Chicken Little theology behind and show the world that while we mourn for any loss, our faith is unmoved. This is not a time to panic beloved. It is a time to remember who it is we serve.
RIP Justice Scalia.