How should Christians respond to political turmoil?

How do you respond to images of our political leaders cowering under their desks while protestors freely roam the halls of our most historic buildings? Let’s talk about that today.
If you’ve watched the news over the last few days, what you’ve seen is what is being called, “an insurrection.” That is, the takeover of the United States Capital by protestors on January the 6th. We’ve heard a lot of screaming and yelling and complaining and crying and talking about those events. But what I want to approach today is this sense of heaviness that I can sense. I sense it among the people of God but I sense in the culture at large. Current events are moving at a pace that leaves most of us with just a heavy spirit because we think that things that are dear to us are crashing and burning right before our eyes.

Well, let me do what we do here and try and frame these events with a Biblical mindset so that we can know how to approach our thinking process for the things that are happening right now.
We’ve seen shocking images in recent days. And those images that we’ve looked at are shocking for several reasons. They’re shocking because of their location. The United States Capital building is not typically a place where we see broken windows and security guards under assault. They’re shocking because of the results of the activities on that day. The death of a police officer, the death of a protestor. It’s shocking because of the political fallout that has happened because of those events. Charges of treason thrown back and forth in both political directions. The impeachment for the second time of a President whose term is now within hours of coming to a close.

It seems that there are real problems that we face in this nation. And yet, is seems that the response to those problems among our political leadership class is mostly limited to political theater.

Let me give you some steps that I think will help as we process what’s happening around us. First of all, and I’ve told you this before, do not trust the narrative of the main stream media. We find out much later after the headlines have been promoted, after the video has been shown, after the commentary has been all put out, much later we typically find out that what we were told by the main stream media is not in fact correct. It’s not simply a rush to judgment. It’s not that they jumped to conclusions before all the facts are out. It’s that they have a narrative in place that they promote regardless of what the facts turn out to be.

I have people occasionally say, “Well Pastor, you tell me to turn off the television but I feel like I need to know what’s going on. I need to stay connected to current events.” I completely understand that, so here’s my advice. I am going to tell you, “Quit listening to main stream media.” But if you feel a need to be connected in a way that you can know what’s happening, here’s my suggestion, “At the top of every hour, no matter which news network you choose, you can probably go on to that channel and catch all the headlines for the day.” For the basic summary of events you can watch fifteen or twenty minutes of news a day and you can be up to date on current events.

The problem is when we have main stream media and we give them access to our minds ten, twenty, thirty times more a day than the times we spend in the Word of God. Listen, whatever time you’re spending in front of your television, if you want peace of mind, if you want to be relieved of stress, turn off your television. At the very least make a commitment as a follower of Jesus to find time alone with God and His Word at least equal to the number of minutes that you spend watching television. Television is poisonous these days, particularly the news. So, limit your exposure and be discerning. Go on to hear the events, to hear what happened. But do not listen to the narrative of the experts who are telling you what to think. They’re not telling you the truth.
Secondly, if you limit your exposure to the main stream media, let me suggest that you also do not trust political types who have something personal to gain from the events that have been happening. It’s interesting that we’ve been lied to so often and so long by our media and our politicians that even when something happens that seems to be breaking news, we have to be careful not to let down our intellectual guard and swallow whatever we’re told.

I’ve seen politicians in the last few days on camera weeping and telling elaborate stories about this or that. I’m telling you folks, I’m skeptical. I don’t believe most of what they tell me. I need you to be skeptical, to be discerning because we are by-in-large being lied to.

This week the President of the United States was impeached by the House of Representatives for a second time this year. Think about that. We had two impeachments in 250 years of national history. And we’ve doubled the total number of impeachments by having two this year. In fact, a freshman Republican Congressman has already announced Articles of Impeachment that she plans to file against Joe Biden on his first day in office. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican of a Democrat, the very process of impeachment has ceased to have meaning and has become political theater.

What will happen, and you heard it here first, from this day forward any President with a House controlled by the opposite party will be impeached. Impeachment has become no longer a serious matter. It has become theater. It is a way for Congress to insult the President without much in the way of actual impact. In other words, don’t get caught up in the drama because it doesn’t amount to anything.

Well what do we do instead? If you disconnect from the main stream media, except for just grasping the basic events that are happening in our day, and if you’re skeptical, if you’re discerning, if you refuse to buy into what we’re being told by our political leaders, what do we do instead?

Well, let’s limit television. Let’s limit our exposure to people that we know are lying to us. Instead, what I want you to do is make your way into God’s presence and find peace as you spend time in His Word.

I know there are people who say, “This is a typical Christian approach a sticking your head in the sand and hiding from the real world.” You know, when the world says that to me, I understand that they don’t know what I know. When other Christians say that to me, what I want to say is, “You have a misunderstanding of what the real world is, of where real power and influence happens.”
You see, we’ve been taught that spending time in the presence of God is precisely how we make a difference. This sense of heaviness that we have in our nation right now, this sense of hopelessness among the regular people, this is the moment that we need to find refuge in the Lord.

Let me read you some verses from a Psalm that really is one of the more obscure Psalms, not often noticed or spoken about. And I would suggest that go to this Psalm and spend some time with it. It’s Psalm 62. Psalm 62 has been called the “Only Psalm.” This is because the Hebrew word that’s translated “only” has an emphasis in this Psalm. It’s written in Hebrew in a way that this word shows up over and over and over again. And every time it’s the main emphasis in the sentence. “Only! Only! Only!”

Well, let me read it to show you what the “Only Psalm” has to say to us. Psalm 62 was written by King David during the period of his reign that we call Absalom’s rebellion. Absalom was his son. He rebelled against his father, tried to commit a coup, tried to take over the throne. David was taken by surprise. He was on the run. He was trying to maintain his position. He was trusting in the Lord for his defense for his protection and for the state of his spirit in this political crisis. Now when I read this, don’t associate David with President Trump. That’s not the point I’m trying to make. Associate David with you, yourself, with every believer who lives in a time of political crisis when the nation seems to be unsteady and without direction.

But I want you to notice the “onlys.” I’m going to emphasize this as I read Psalm 62. This is what the Psalmist wrote.
My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.
How long will you assail a man, That you may murder him, all of you,
This is David talking to the people who are trying to overthrow him.
How long will you assail a man, That you may murder him, all of you,
Like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence?
They have counseled only to thrust him down from his high position;
They delight in falsehood;
They bless with their mouth, But inwardly they curse.
In other words, they don’t speak truth. Verse 5.
My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
 Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie;
In the balances they go up; They are together lighter than breath.
Do not trust in oppression, And do not vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.
Once God has spoken; Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God;
And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, For You recompense a man according to his work.
Listen, study this Psalm in this way. Twelve verses. Verses 1-4 he expresses confidence in God alone, God only. And that confidence is held even when enemies plot evil things, even when those responsible to lead us lie to us.

In verses 5-8. He re-states his confidence but this time he states it publicly to help strengthen the spirits of other believers. Listen, once you’ve spent time in the Word of God, once you’ve found your refuge in the Lord, then you speak that confidence because there are other believers who need to be built up, who need to know what you know. They need to be encouraged that God has not fallen off His throne and that the events of our day are not happening apart from the God who rules the universe.

The last four verses, 9-12. He says of all the options considered: wealth, power, influence; we have confidence to move forward in life only when we come back and find our way into the presence of God.

Let me remind you. Put television on the back burner. Put news reports on the back burner. Put the Word of God central and upfront in your mind. Find your way to the Lord. He’s our refuge, our stronghold, our protection in uncertain days.

That heaviness that you feel in your spirit? Turn off the television. Open up your Bible and I promise you this, the heaviness melts away as confidence surges again through a people who are called by the name of Jesus.

This is TruthCurrents.
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