If you watch television, listen to talk radio, or read a newspaper, you will constantly hear the claim that “most people think,” followed by some assertion. Most people don’t like what is happening in our country. Most people want change. Most people are concerned about national direction, the economy, and the future. And, of course, most people are angry about the inaction and ineffectiveness of Congress and other leaders.
Well, I have a question to ask. When are most people going to stop just talking or complaining and decide to make the necessary difference by taking action, accepting responsibility, and helping to correct those things that deserve our attention? Let me make it clear, correction begins at home, first in each individual life and through actions affecting everything in our own circle of personal influence. Each one of us can make a positive difference when we assume personal responsibility and make the commitment necessary for correction. If most people don’t think we are headed in the right direction, it’s time for most people to make the commitment to do something about it!
Everyone must understand that the political process is not just moved and directed by those who deliver messages and share their concerns, but deliver votes! In our Constitutional Republic, national direction, laws, and policies are determined by the power and privilege of choosing representatives – those who pass legislation and establish laws. The democratic process grants us the freedom to influence our future by electing our representatives. Thank God for this great privilege and dear God help us to treasure and understand its value. May the Lord help those who care (whom I believe are most people) to stand up and make a difference!
Small special interest groups obviously wield more power and influence in our day than most people because most people simply complain, but do little, if anything, about the problems. Consider the small percentage of the population in groups who really impact national direction, legislation, and policies – the gay activists, environmentalists, labor unions, teachers unions, the NRA, pro-choice activists, pro-life supporters, big business and corporate lobbyists, atheists, the anti-God-and-faith-in-the-public-square crowd, as well as partisan activists. These people deliver with determination.
If we want meaningful, purposeful, positive, effective change to the benefit of all, where must the influence come from? Well, from most people! From those who should care the most about all people. I am referring to the community of faith – those who claim to love God and their neighbors. These are the ones who can and should deliver the influence to help determine local, state, and national direction as “salt and light” influencing every aspect of life. It comes first by personal example, then through action or activism, zeal and unwavering determination to change that which must be changed through wise counsel, reasonable considerations, and deep-principled convictions. We can and must choose the best-qualified leaders and insist they also deliver. Most people in America claim to believe in God, even though some obviously do not seem to know the God of the Bible because they have substituted religious association for true, personal relationship and cannot be counted on to take a stand. This is sad, but so. Still, even this crowd should recognize the best or the worst, because worst doesn’t work. Never has, never will. It is also a fact that this largest part of the U.S. population has often made the least impact on national direction because they are the least active and deliver the least effect.
But let’s cut to the chase. Everyone who professes to believe in Christ as Lord and Savior as the way to life can deliver. Let me be very specific about the faith community. The Jewish people believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Old Testament truth. Their numbers are small, but they can and do often deliver with great zeal in behalf of those things which they consider important. But the real high-impact delivery crowd that can have the greatest effect is made up of professing Christians who are Catholics and Protestants. This certainly includes the evangelicals who claim to have a zeal for God and deep concern for others, as well as the independents and mainline denominations, Pentecostals, Charismatics and all who profess Christ. In sheer numbers alone, they are the most people. They are capable of quickly changing everything from the bottom up if they will get serious about delivering what most people are capable of and accomplishing meaningful results.
I am watching the miracle Jesus prayed for begin to occur. “What miracle?” you may ask. The miracle of oneness with the Father and unity with one another. Believers are beginning to love God and each other which includes all who know Christ – both Catholics and Protestants. Beginning a few years ago with Billy Graham’s personal challenge for me to get to know the people that I had learned to criticize and avoid, I started watching this supernatural process. Thank you, Billy. Thank You, Jesus. Many times in the last year I have shared that as Christians we do not know Him (Jesus) as we should because we refuse to know them (other believers) at all. In fact, we often cut off beautiful expressions of Christ by avoiding one another and we fail to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord. Believers who are satisfied to just argue about theological differences and fail to stand against national practices which diminish the importance of faith, family, and freedom are contributing to the negative trends. Professing Christians share many common concerns which must be addressed.
One year ago this month I began a meaningful fellowship and exchange with church leaders from all parts of the Christian faith, both Protestant and Catholic. God showed up in power and glory in the manifestation of His love and the effect was transforming to all who joined together seeking common ground to address common concerns without compromising deep convictions. Both Protestant and Catholic representatives shared how positive it was to come together, not in a spirit of compromise, but in a spirit of harmony seeking to learn of Him from one another and learn how to be perfected in supernatural unity. Religious tradition has kept many churchgoers from coming to know Christ personally and from seeking to know God’s Word. There will always be theological differences and these do matter, but there is common ground upon which we should stand together.
This week I hosted Father Jonathan Morris, who is often seen on secular television programs including frequent appearances on FOXNews. He always magnifies our Father God and the Lord Jesus as effectively as any minister I have ever heard. On LIFE Today, which will be aired soon, he gave a clear testimony of the personal, transforming faith in Christ he experienced and which is needed for every person regardless of religious background. Every person, including Catholics and Protestants, heard clearly the heart of Jesus our Lord and Savior and the salvation that comes through Him alone. It was a powerful witness. Many Catholics were in the audience and Jesus was clearly manifested in their countenances as well as in the lives of the Protestants who gathered with them in the studio to also hear Dr. Tony Evans’ daughter, the wonderful Bible teacher Priscilla Shirer. It was a glorious time in the presence of the Lord. I am convinced the Father in Heaven rejoiced as the family of believers came together in unity. Satan and the forces of deception and darkness trembled at the sight of what was occurring. God’s people were behaving like family and expressing the influence necessary to address serious problems in an effective manner to help bring out of control lives and government under the power of divine influence.
The faith community can and must deliver not just messages, not just sermons, but become bold witnesses demonstrating the love and truth that makes a difference because faith has made a difference in each one of us. We have just finished a book entitled INDIVISIBLE co-authored with Jay Richards, who is a brilliant, totally-committed-to-Christ Catholic. In the book we address the major national issues which must be dealt with through both faith and reason. We have been working, writing, and seeking diligently to clearly present how we can begin to make necessary corrections wisely and in a timely fashion. We can witness government begin to fulfill its proper role serving the people effectively while addressing the serious issues that are of concern to every sensitive citizen.
Having received the manuscript from the publisher, Father Morris sent an endorsement of INDIVISIBLE which will be out early next year. He wrote:
I read this book from cover to cover, in one sitting, in awe of what God was up to in these pages. “Indivisible” builds a sure bridge of faith and reason over which our country can walk, from our present state of confusion and peril into a new era of peace and prosperity. My friends James Robison and Jay Richards have given the Christian community–indeed, all of us–an invaluable tool for hope.
He expresses the same response that I am hearing from other Catholic leaders, as well as respected evangelical Protestant church leaders, and we are grateful. It is our desire to provide an inspirational and reliable resource addressing how to best deal with our national problems. Every concerned Christian and American citizen can help effectively meet legitimate needs of the poor, the elderly, those facing health issues, and the economic challenges in our day. The stage is set for us to come together seeking the wisdom and counsel of God, reasoning together, taking a stand, and becoming those who make the necessary difference by our example and our actions. No more sitting on the sidelines! Most people – the too often silent majority – are about to speak loudly confirming that actions will always speak louder than words.
I enjoyed your article and wanted to share my own perspective on Christian unity crossing man-made denominational differences. I was born to a Catholic mom and a Congregational dad, baptized Catholic as an infant. By the time I was 7, when other Catholics are making their First Communion, we were attending full-time at my paternal grandparent’s Congregational church. When I was 9, my Dad was born-again and the children followed shortly afterward. In my Dad’s quest to locate a “doctrinally perfect” church, we changed churches again and again with periodic stops through Seventh Day Adventists, Assembly of God, a pentecostal home-church that met in someone’s living room and Alliance Churches. I also attended a Seventh Day Adventist church school for part of my 4th grade, and Roman Catholic high school for my first three years of High school. I met good people of faith in each one of the churches I attended. I also met people whom James has described as “Meaner than snakes”. Due to this church-hopping from 9 – 16, I can honestly say that I know people from a whole bunch of denominations who are radically saved by Christ in every one of those denominations, even though there are denominational, doctrinal differences that separate them – sometimes vehemently. But key people that God has put in my life during my lifetime have been used by Him to show me the meaning of a dearly held truth – Jesus saves regardless of denomination. We must be able to stand together as brothers and sisters in Christ, even though there are things that we have differences over. I am not talking about an ecumenical melting pot where we blindly accept the tenants of each others’ denominations without question. but, agree that we can be brothers and sisters in Christ and work together against the darkness regardless of these dividing lines. I get this from John 10:16 when Jesus Himself said He “has sheep in other sheepfolds and the He must impell them also, and they will listen to His Voice and heed His call and so we all will become one flock”. I am not saying that we should embrace every denominations’ tenants, but we need to realize that each denomination that teaches the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,is part of the family of God. ANd just like my own natural brothers and sisters have things we have decided to agree to disagree about, and still remain devoted to one another and are still brothers and sisters in my earthly family, it is completely possible for us to take this stance in our family of faith. We dearly need to understand these petty sibling rivalry fights we have weaken that spiritual family and make us ineffective against the Darkness we are supposed to be fighting against and saving others from. There are undoubtedly saved Catholics, and Protestants, and Jews – sheep of His in every “sheepfold” – who hear His Voice and follow Him. If we lock arms together, wading through the wilderness like a search-party in the back-woods, seeking the lost ones together,we will rescue them far more effectively than taking a “you take your side, I’ll take my side” approach, leaving gaps and unsought areas in the middle. We are the sheep of His pasture, when we hear His call to holiness through Grace and share that Glad News with others. 🙂