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What Now? Posted 11.11.2016

There is certainly a bright side to the news this week.  The 2016 election cycle is over.  No more robo-calls.  There’s room in my mailbox for Christmas catalogs.  The bashing and slashing is over (for now).  The goal is to heal the wounds and figure out how to move forward.  Together. I pray that can happen.  But I guess it must begin right here.  In us.

 

We certainly don’t all share common political persuasions.  Not a chance.  Conformity, though, is not the goal.  Unity is the goal.  And unity is a precious gift of the Spirit, a gift to be guarded at all costs.  When it is lost, it is hard to regain.  So my plea today is to repair any fissures that this election season may have brought. 

 

Too often we are like those two men who met on a plane.  One man asked the other, “Are you a Christian?” “Yes I am.” “Wonderful!” said the first man. After more conversation he asked, “Are you Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox?” “I’m a Protestant.” “That’s great. So am I.”

 

The questions continued. “Are you Calvinist or Arminian in your theology?” “I’m happy to say that I’m a staunch Calvinist.” “That’s fantastic. So am I.” “If you don’t mind my asking, Are you a Calvinistic Baptist or a Calvinistic Presbyterian?” “I’m a Calvinistic Baptist.” “What a coincidence. I’m a Calvinistic Baptist too.” “Are you a Northern Calvinistic Baptist or a Southern Calvinistic Baptist?” “By heritage and by choice I am a Northern Calvinistic Baptist.” “Unbelievable!” replied the first man. “So am I.”

 

“May I ask if you are a Northern Regular Calvinistic Baptist or a Northern Conservative Calvinistic Baptist?” “I’m a Northern Conservative Calvinistic Baptist.” “This is truly astounding. There are only 200 of us in the world—and two of us happened to meet on this plane.” “Tell me, sir, would you happen to be a Northern Conservative Calvinistic Baptist Convention of 1844 or a Northern Conservative Calvinistic Baptist Convention of 1868?” “I am a Northern Conservative Calvinistic Baptist Convention of 1844.” “This is a miracle!” the first man declared.

 

He had only one further question. “Are you a Northern Conservative Calvinistic Baptist Convention of 1844 King James Version or a Northern Conservative Calvinistic Baptist Convention of 1844 New International Version?” “I am a Northern Conservative Calvinistic Baptist of 1844 New International Version,” came the quick reply.

 

With that the first man ceased to smile. “Die, heretic!” he shouted. 

 

Fissures.  They are deadly.  So how do we preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace?  Especially with winners and losers after an election?  How do we do that?  We walk like Jesus.  No gloating.  No pouting.  We cannot look out for our own personal interests, but instead, we must look out for the interests of the other person.  Do nothing out of selfishness.  Submit to a sovereign God.  Don’t be proud.  Care about others (even those across “the aisle”) as much as you care about yourself.  Be like Jesus. Granted, His attitude and behavior cost Him His life.

 

Will I give my life away like that?  I must.  The unity of the church is too valuable an asset to do anything else.

 


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