Because I passionately believe in the Kingdom of God I am not an alarmist. I find great encouragement in the fact that King of the Kingdom is not panicked by world affairs. American politics will not thwart the Prince of Peace who has already made provision for the restoration of the entire cosmos.
But neither do I believe we can sit back and just “trust” everything will be sorted out in the end. (Or even worse… naively “hold on” until Jesus rescues us out of the mess!) If God’s people abandon wisdom, reason, and prayer, humanity will reap the consequences of added generations of brokenness and injustice. So I humbly submit a few guidelines that have helped me maintain a hopeful and responsible equilibrium in an maddening world:
- Daily press into the prayer we’ve been taught: “May thy Kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”
- Continually ask God for wisdom and insight to see things as they are, and not as they appear to be.
- Educate yourself about the world and the way it operates. Believers are called to understand the times, and it is impossible to do so without a basic understanding of economics, government, the causes of poverty, Marxism, Islam, Postmodernism, art, culture, and certainly a Biblical understanding of each of these concepts. “My people are destroyed because of lack of knowledge.” – Hosea 4:6
- Maintain objectivity: Truth has nothing to fear, and it is on the safest of grounds that we are commanded to “Test all things; Hold onto what is good.” – (1 Thes. 5:21) We must engage on the level of facts, and not just opinions. Very few people and ideas are one hundred percent good or evil, so with the greatest of reverence we ought to sift through every idea for the bare facts.
- Don’t be bullied by political correctness: Once the facts emerge we must present reality as it is, whether socialism, racism, greed, economic irresponsibility, or old-fashioned foolishness, it has a name. (I, for one, am quite tired of people acting as if the word “Socialism” is a slanderous invective coined by “right-wing nut-cases.” It is what it is – an objective, definable worldview – and we’ll never move on as long as it’s bad manners to call it by its name). When the whole aim of political correctness is to wrap the truth in harmless euphemisms it’s good to remember that God pronounces “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.” (Is. 5:20)
- Stand in love. We must never forget that those with whom we disagree are passionately loved by the Father of Jesus. All of our truth-telling, regardless of its accuracy, will be reduced to malignant judgment if it is not framed in the love of Christ.