Personal Choice – Accept the Consequences

A house divided against itself will fall. So Jesus said of Satan’s attempts to overthrow God through this World.

I’ll be honest, I’ve been debating internally whether to write this post for some time as it may cause offense to some, but it’s something that needs to be said and has been burning a hole in my Spirit for some time.

Here goes…

I’m sort of following the impending apocalypse the Americans are referring to as the Party Debates and National Primary Elections. The elections in 2016 effectively make the choice of who is going to be arguably the most powerful individual in the world for the following 5 years.

Inevitably what America does affects the rest of the world and what American “Christians” say tends to colour how Christianity is portrayed in the media.

We are faced with the horrific choices of very few men or women of good moral judgement running for the office. From what I’ve been able to glean each potential candidate has a personal agenda as to why they want to be President – and realistically none of them really have the interests of anyone other than themselves at heart. Listen or read what they say – not just Trump or Clinton, but all of them.

They all at some point have been quoted as stating they are active Christians in various churches.

We are not allowed to judge the person, but we can be inspectors of their fruit, the words of their mouth are the overflow of their hearts.

Every reported speech has been rooted in fear and designed to incite fear. Even the poll results seem to be designed to terrorise the electorate.

And the majority of the World gets no say in who will be the de-facto leader of the West.

The elected dictators in Africa have no real power outside the continent. Mugabe may not live to see another election because of his advanced age or the possibility that eventually someone will get so worked up at his human rights abuses that he’ll be killed – probably by his personal bodyguard. The same could be said for Jacob Zuma and many other “elected” leaders. Their rule is one of fear. They keep education at a minimum because an educated electorate will see through the lies. They limit access to basic health services to the poor majority and drive the best and brightest to leave for countries overseas. I’ve lost track of how many of my classmates from university left South Africa within a year of graduation. I probably would have myself had God not closed that door repeatedly.

Blame is placed on old regimes (in South Africa’s case Apartheid, colonialism in Zimbabwe) yet these regimes fell decades ago. Change has not happened and the countries have simply exchanged poverty driven by the greed of the descendants of immigrant settlers for the greed of indigenous elitists. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Nepotism and corruption are rife and unchecked in many of these countries.

Recently I took a drive from Cape Town to Johannesburg with my wife for a job interview. I was running behind schedule so I put my foot down on a clear, straight stretch of road with no traffic visible for over a mile in front or behind me. I broke the law. Suddenly in my rear view mirror I saw a police car   pull out from behind a bridge support. The inevitable lights flashing and pulled over in the Free State near Bloemfontein. The speed limit is 120kph and I’d been recorded doing 161kph (just over 100mph – 80kph = 50mph). The cop asked me to step out of the car and accompany him to his vehicle where he showed me the readings. Concrete evidence.

Then he gave me a choice: accompany him in handcuffs back to Bloemfontein and wait for a fine of several thousand Rand to be imposed or give him R300 to “take care of the problem”. So I bribed him. I’m not proud of it, but I remembered the parable of the unjust steward and hoped the principle applied in this case!

I have a friend who often misses work because gangs control the streets round her house and she can’t leave because her road is on the border between two territories so there are often shootings. The police won’t enter the area until the shooting stops. I’ve seen them sitting in their vehicles waiting for things to calm down just up the road from her home but out of gang territory. They do nothing.

All it takes for evil to triumph is for men and women of good conscience to do nothing.

Which is where the American issue becomes relevant.

There is one particular front runner in the Republican party who claims he is a christian, yet what comes from his mouth is pure hate. Women, immigrants, Muslims, Mexicans, basically everyone who isn’t a stereotypical redneck is responsible for the problems in America. He’s been endorsed this week by a woman who says the reason her son is a deadbeat woman-beater is the Obama administration. I’m sure she’d be Trump’s running mate, but she has ovaries so it’s unlikely based on his misogynistic and sexist statements.

Truly terrifying.

Actually what is truly scary is that the opposition for his candidacy can’t see that he could easily be ousted. Recent polls show Trump has 30% or thereabouts of the popular vote in the party. That means 70% don’t want him to be leader.

The Democrats are no better. Hillary Clinton’s use of unsecure email channels to send classified reports and documents is beyond irresponsible yet she’s a viable candidate – and she also goes to church.

Look at the fruit of the candidates. Look at the substance not the rhetoric.

Look at it how Jesus would have looked at it.

These men and women basically say you’re not a christian if you vote for someone else. They can’t both be right. In fact they can both be wrong – very wrong.

This isn’t a political blog. And despite it’s content to this point it’s not even a political post.

God designed man to have free will and choice. Adam chose the path of Sin and we suffer the consequences of that thousands of years later. Jesus took the path of Righteousness and we become co-heirs with Him as a result of accepting His sacrifice in our place. It’s a choice.

Note: it’s our choice.

Guns, abortion, crime rates, foreign wars. All used to distract a confused electorate into a state of fear. But we don’t have fear as an inheritance, we have Love. And Faith. And Hope.

Fear is a cancer in society. The “leaders” of society use it to keep hold of their power and money. The vast majority worship mammon not Jesus. They’ll sell out the most vulnerable members of their own society to protect their own fortunes.

There’s still time for men of conscience to make a difference. For men of God (and women of God!) to rise up and say “Enough is Enough” and take a stand for Peace, Hope Faith and Love in the place of fear.

This world gets darker by the day, not just America but the whole world. I have had contact with readers in Burkina Faso before the recent attacks. I pray, and ask you to join me as you read this, that their churches and leaders in those churches are safe and have the strength and courage to stand fast holding the Gospel as a beacon as the darkness closes in. I read of attacks in Kenya – a country I hope to be visiting later this year when God provides the funding for travel – aimed specifically at churches. I’m not afraid to go to these places. None of us should be.

I’ll be straight now: I’m more concerned at the thought of going to parts of America than I am Syria, Myanmar (Burma), Kenya, Pakistan or many other countries where the Gospel has been asking for EWM to visit from the local churches. America is different. Yes, there are parts where the Gospel flourishes in fullness, but the reported statements of those claiming christianity bear so little resemblance to the Gospel of Jesus that they are unrecognisable – yet many of these people genuinely think their belief is right and all the demons are over here in Africa!

Come election day, whoever the candidates are and whatever the result, hold the winner of the election accountable for their actions. Make them live up to their promises that line up with God’s Word.

And not only in America – anywhere where there is a choice to make. Your country, your workplace, your church.

Make your choice.

You have to live with the consequences.

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