Sorrowful, yet Rejoicing

2 Corinthians 6:2-4, 10a 2 For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.“  Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 3 We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: … 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing…

As I watch and listen to the followers of Christ, I sense that many share the inner struggle that repeatedly pulls at me as I think about election day and the future of the U.S.  I admit that I have moments that border on despair as I ponder on what looks like a dead end road.  Other times my heart fills with great hope.  I have searched the Scripture for answers as to how to respond and walk in faithfulness.  2 Corinthians 6 continues to encourage my heart and give light for what lies ahead.  As I observe the now and consider the future, I find my heart both sorrowful and rejoicing.  

  • I am sorrowful that the two main presidential candidates represent impropriety, situational ethics, and a vindictive spirit.  My heart grieves that the nation has to choose between people who obviously lack character.  As a result, one can only conclude that character does not matter for most Americans…disheartening.
  • I am sorrowful that North Carolina has become the battleground for what appears to be a win/lose situation for the transgender bathroom issue.  How has a state in the heart of what was once the Bible Belt become a tipping point on the issue of whether we are male and female?  With a grieving heart, I confess that we are clearly exchanging the Truth of God for a lie.  (I hope that the presidential confusion does not overshadow this important issue on election day.)
  • I am sorrowful that the people of God have attacked one another over the issues surrounding this election.  Brothers and sisters, we of all people should be able to show a divided nation how to disagree and have civil debate without turning on one another and giving into name calling.  

However… [Read more…]

Christian Call to Citizenship

God’s call on the Christian certainly includes a call to citizenship. A government of representation is a blessing, and the Bible makes clear that with blessing comes responsibility (Luke 12:48). The responsibility of citizenship applies therefore to the Christian who must be a faithful steward in every area of life, in his finances, in his time, and no less in his citizenship. Faithful stewardship of citizenship is a significant aspect of the Christian’s life because our Creator God has established government and for his good purpose (Romans 13). The same God and our Heavenly Father has righteously and sovereignly placed the Christian in the society and under the government in which he lives. Political faithfulness that is rendered in the public square is thereby rendered first to God. The Christian’s faithful stewardship of citizenship is also a gospel issue, as he is given the mandate to seek the peace of the city for the sake of the gospel and the salvation of leaders and fellow citizens. (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Citizenship, then, is not a responsibility that we may lightly set aside, for God calls us to faithful stewardship. Why would this stewardship apply any less in the public square?

In light of this calling to faithful citizenship, Parkwood’s Culture Impact Team has drafted the following statement:

Are You Registered to Vote? The deadline for 2016 Primary Elections Voter Registration is February 19. 

There are 90 million Christians in America and 39 million of them don’t vote or are not even registered to vote. Imagine the impact that Christians could have on the future of our nation if we made our voices heard by exercising our right to vote. By bringing our biblical view into the voting booth, we can exert overwhelming influence on issues like right to life, traditional marriage, religious freedom, ethics and morality, and public prayer. Who you vote for makes a difference! Are you registered to vote? Have you registered again if you changed your name or legal residence? Will you be 18 by November 8? Then plan to vote in the Primary Election on March 15.

Questions? Contact the Gaston County Board of Elections (410 W. Franklin Avenue, Gastonia NC 28052) at 704-852-6005 or http://www.gastongov.com/departments/elections, or any member of the Parkwood Culture Impact Team: Henry Hall, Sarah Falls, John Howren, Chris Edwards, and Nancy Brandon. If you are outside of the Parkwood faith family and have questions, this team has made themselves available for assistance and may be contacted through the church office: 704-864-3681 or info@parkwoodonline.org.

If you are confused about or oppose the reasons for political stewardship stated in short above, then I would commend two resources for consumption and consideration: an article from The Gospel Coalition, and a second article from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.