Who Are We

Wayne, Hilary & Adelaide Denny. Preparing to Serve in Leadership Training in Senegal, Africa. God has called us to take advantage of a unique window of religious freedom in Muslim Senegal by equipping church leaders who have a heart for reaching their country and the Muslim world.

We should be jealous. . . for the honour of His name – troubled when it remains unknown, hurt when it is ignored, indignant when it is blasphemed. And all the time anxious and determined that it shall be given the honour and glory which are due to it.” John Stott

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Childhood, Romans 11, and some Election Reflection

I've already heard many Christians bemoaning the election results and the fact that God has now left us. I certainly disagree strongly with Obama on some points but am nowhere near the Chicken Little syndrome that appears to be sweeping through much of the evangelical church. I definitely agree that the U.S. has gone away from God on some important issues, but this election has proved that on one issue God has shown us tremendous mercy.

In Romans 11, Paul presents an extremely quick overview of the history of the world; past, present, and future. The chapter discusses how God in this present age is not working directly through the nation of Israel, but through the church. The warning that Paul gives to the church is this, "Do not become proud (Rom 11:20)." Paul knew that because the church contained a predominantly Gentile (non-Jewish) base, then Gentiles would be tempted to develop ethnic pride. Paul reminds the Gentiles that God will still work with the Jews (11:2). God has constructed the history of the world in order to crush ethnic pride. The predominant Gentile makeup of the church crushes Jewish pride and the mercy that will be shown to Jews in the future will crush Gentile pride. All this to say, the issue of ethnic pride or racism is a fundamental issue of Christianity. God is so concerned that no one forget to see Him as the the center because they're focused on their own ethnicity that He has constructed all of history in order to crush ethnic pride.

So, how has God in this election shown us mercy? For the first 200 years of U.S. history, America failed miserably on this issue of racism that is so central to God's heart. And this incredible failure placed America in a position that we could (should) have been judged. But God has shown mercy.

I remember growing up in North Carolina and hearing and even telling racist jokes. I remember hearing people say they would leave the country if a black man were ever elected president. Not that they would leave if someone pro-abortion got elected or an atheist that scorns God's wisdom, but a black man.

The fact that at the present moment my state of North Carolina is still too close to call means that a black man ran for president and white people cast ballots not based on the color of a man's skin, but on who he was as a candidate. Again, I'm not saying Obama is a perfect candidate or even that he should have been elected. But the fact that he had a fair shot shows me that on at least one issue, God has shown this country mercy. Yes, He has allowed our country to ignore His commands on many other issues and we should mourn that. But on one issue incredibly close to God's heart, we have received mercy for which I am incredibly thankful.


Rob said...

On the flip side, I've heard quite a bit of ethnic pride during this election from the other side. That's gotta be just as bad . . .

Wayne said...

yes and no. I'm not saying that racism is a thing of the past and we have nothing to work on. But when you think about the fact that Lyndon Johnson needed to pass the voting rights act in 1965 to ensure that black people in this country had one of the most basic rights of a democracy, the privilege to vote, and now they are able to not just vote, but to be voted into the highest office in our land. I call that mercy from God and significant progress.

Also, while there is still ethnic pride today. None of it by blacks or whites compares to the nature of it even just one generation ago. Our country has progressed enough that even if someone's ethnic pride led them to seek physical harm on someone else, our country would no longer stand by and do nothing.

Mike and Christie said...

Wayne I wrote a little about this on my own blog. I'm with you on this. I am thankful to see that FINALLY we have had an election with black and white and both candidates were treated according to party policy and not skin color.

I have hope that because of this election, the color issue in this country will be a thing of the past.

I was a little saddened the other day when President Elect Obama referred to himself as a "mutt" in regards to picking a family dog.

Truthfully, we are all mutts if we are Americans. I for one am all kinds of things including American Indian!
I almost hope they do pick a shelter dog, because if they do, that will mean shelter dogs might be adopted more readily.

I am concerned for our country in regards to life issues, and I do believe that we are close to judgment.

One thing about traveling overseas and meeting other Christians in other countries, it shows me very strongly that Christianity is alive and well in this world and Jesus is not limited to America. There are many places where Christians can worship freely who's societies are not necessarily "free".

A little shake up here is most likely a good thing for us. We need to be serious about our faith.

I didn't find EITHER candidate to be walking in truth.

I am also concerned about the evangelical religious right (wrong)
that insists on certain political things to go their way. BEWARE of what you wish for. I am reminded of the Puritans who punished those who didn't think like they did, or go to church or obey their laws. They wound up persecuting people in the same way they left persecution.
I sometimes see that modern day puritans are close to wanting a "Christian State", which in my humble opinion would be an "inoculation" AGAINST the True Gospel of Jesus Christ. Legislated morality is eternally lifeless.
(I've said too much) :)