I continually have well-meaning believers who want me to get more involved in the political debates of religion and culture. And sometimes I do. There are certainly battles to fight. Big battles. Human slavery. For one example. Ridiculous. Let’s end it now.
For the fights I choose I vote. I speak to representatives in government when I can. I’ve written letters… even letters to the editor in years past. I’m actually friends with quite a few people in government. Numerous people. And I’m not afraid to use my influence where I feel it is most effective.
Plus, I realize some people have a specific calling to fight the battle on “Capitol Hill.” I admire and support them in their calling. I actually know of few of those “called” elected servants personally. In fact, I once served in an elected office. I firmly believe followers of Christ need to take active roles in civil affairs… in the world.
Most of the time, however, I feel like I have a higher calling these days. Higher for me. And I’ve got to live out my calling, as you do yours.
Sometimes as believers, though, I think we need to learn the battles to fight and the ones to let go. It seems to me that many believers (people) are always looking for a fight. Some, it seems to me… if I’m completely honest… are especially looking for the fight about the issue they care about most.
I wonder, however, if we should choose our battles more carefully, knowing that ultimately the outcome of the war has already been decided. Our mission now is the Great Commission. We are to make disciples. That begins with telling our story. It seems to me it is harder to get people to listen if we are always fighting with them. Sometimes it seems our argument is louder than our message… our ultimate message.
Getting people to hear about Jesus seems more important than making sure everyone complies with our view of morality. Yes, our Biblical view of morality. If they knew Jesus… He does a pretty good (really good) job of making people more holy. (I realize that’s the simplistic view. But I’m a pretty simple guy.)
It’s a consistent battle for me… an internal battle… whether to get involved publicly or sit this one out and pray.
Recently the words of Paul from 2 Timothy encouraged me in this realm.
Keep your attention on Jesus Christ as risen from the dead… according to my gospel. 2 Timothy 2:8
But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they breed quarrels. 2 Timothy 2:23
“instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 2:25
I realize I won’t please everyone when I don’t fight the battle of their preference. I even realize some who read this will assume I’m refusing to speak on “their” issue. That’s okay. Being misunderstood sometimes isn’t that bad.
Because, I’m picking battles carefully…
And, celebrating the winning of the war!
What do you think?
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Ron Edmondson serves as the senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, and has an impressive history of church planting and church growth. A nationally known Christian leader, he was raised in a Christian home and active in his home church, First Baptist Church of Clarksville, Tennessee, serving as a lay leader, deacon, Sunday School director, and teacher. After twenty years in business, including time owning an insurance agency and a small manufacturing company, Ron heard God’s call to ministry.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Ron’s strong theological background guides him to teach faithfully from Scripture. Ron identifies himself as a wisdom seeker and a teacher.
Find out more at: http://www.ronedmondson.com/about