monkey town read-along (week two)

Thanks so much for a great read-along discussion last week, friends! You guys rock!

I’m looking forward to this week. And can I just say I love humor in a book? Such as:

“Nothing thrilled me more than identifying fellow believers, especially famous ones.” (30)

“My strategy was to be effusively friendly to everyone I met, always looking for an opening in the conversation that would naturally lead to a discussion about substitutionary atonement.” (41)

“We imagined that there we would find likeminded friends, answers to all of our questions about God, and husbands who would whisk us away from Dayton to some exotic location, like the mission field or a megachurch.” (43)

Thoughts on Chapter 1:

For quite awhile now (and especially after reading Radical), I’ve been having serious second thoughts about our approach to salvation. You know, the whole “repeat a prayer after me and you go to heaven” thing.

On the first page of Chapter 1, Rachel talks about asking Jesus into her heart and “thinking it strange that someone as important as Jesus would need an invitation. Strange now is the fact that before I lost my first tooth or learned to ride a bike or graduated from kindergarten, I committed my life to a man who asked his followers to love their enemies, to give without expecting anything in return, and to face public execution if necessary.”

Holy cow. What do you say to that?

Add the ever-messing-things-up David Platt to the mix. From Radical, p. 37:

“Ask Jesus to come into your heart. Invite Jesus to come into your life. Pray this prayer, sign this card, walk down this aisle, and accept Jesus as your personal Savior. Our attempt to reduce this gospel to a shrink-wrapped presentation that persuades someone to say or pray the right things back to us no longer seems appropriate.”

“This is why none of these man-made catch phrases are in the Bible. You will not find a verse in Scripture where people are told to ‘bow your heads, close your eyes, and repeat after me.’ You will not find a place where a superstitious sinner’s prayer is even mentioned. And you will not find an emphasis on accepting Jesus. We have taken the infinitely glorious Son of God, who endured the infinitely terrible wrath of God and who now reigns as the infinitely worthy Lord of all, and we have reduced him to a poor, puny Savior who is just begging for us to accept him.”

“I invite you to consider with me a proper response to this gospel. Surely more than praying a prayer is involved… Surely this gospel evokes unconditional surrender of all that we are and all that we have to all that he is. You and I desperately need to consider whether we have ever truly, authentically trusted in Christ for our salvation.”

Holy. Cow.

There is so, so much more I could write, but I’ll just stop here with Question #1:

Question #1: What does it take to be saved?

Let’s move on to something a little less controversial: politics. (hahahahahaha!)

On page 30, Rachel shares something that hit a little too close to home. She talks about the culture wars of the 80’s and 90’s, leading up to the election of George W. Bush. “In this political environment, being a good Christian meant adopting a range of causes such as protecting the traditional family, keeping God in the Pledge of Allegiance, and supporting the right to bear arms. I know what abortion was before I knew where babies came from, and I learned how to effectively blame everything from crime rates to suicide rates on the removal of prayer from public schools.”

I feel like I’ve linked to my apology to democrats (and Jesus) a bajillion times, but it’s the easiest way I know to express how so many of my ideas about politics have radically shifted the past few years (without having to go into it all over again).

If you’re someone who prides yourself on forwarding Obama Is Evil Personified e-mails to everyone on your address list any chance you get, may I gently and humbly suggest that you might want to examine your view (and Jesus’s) on politics?

Remember, we’re citizens of the kingdom of God first and foremost. Above allegiance to any country, we serve Jesus.

Oh, I could go on. For a long time.

Question #2: How should our faith affect our politics?

Try to answer that one in a sentence or two if you can. (yeah, when pigs fly)

Thoughts on Chapter 2:

Okay, so was it just me, or did anyone else want to shake June the Ten Commandments Lady by the ever-loving shoulders and scream Bible verses at her (laced with obscenities) until her dentures fell out and then smack her upside the head until she showed remorse for her heinousness?

Such a Christ-like response, I know.

I about couldn’t take this chapter.

June the Ten Commandments Lady. Founder of Citizens for the Atomic Bomb. Prays for the untimely death of those opposed to America’s right to defend herself against her enemies. Puts “Nice Shot” on her marquee sign board on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Writes tributes to white supremacists. Terrorizes an innocent store owner for displaying a Mexican flag.

I want to punch something.

And then this: “She’s certainly not the only one who professes the name of Jesus Christ in one breath and then curses her neighbor in the next. Is that profession enough to save her? Is it worth more to God than the faith of a Buddhist or Hindu or Muslim who practices kindness and compassion?” (48)

Holy cow, that’s a good question.

Matthew 25:31-46 is a chilling account of the Son of Man coming in his glory, separating sheep (us!) from the goats (heathens!), except wait. Jesus says that anyone who saw someone who was hungry or thirsty and didn’t feed them or give them something to drink is OUT. Anyone who didn’t help the sick or visit the prisoner or give clothes to the needy is OUT.

Gulp.

Question #3: What does Jesus think about someone like June? Is professing to believe Jesus enough to excuse a life of hatred?

Of course you can feel free to ask/answer anything you wish. And/or link to your own post. Just remember to be kind and respectful to your fellow readers-along.

Here are the questions all in one place if that helps:

1. What does it take to be saved?

2. How should our faith affect our politics?

3. What does Jesus think about someone like June? Is professing to believe Jesus enough to excuse a life of hatred?

4. What else in these 2 chapters do you want to talk about?

Take it away, friends!

*Next Week’s Reading Assignment: Chapters 3, 4, & 5.

35 thoughts on “monkey town read-along (week two)

  1. Helen Conner

    Okay, I’ll humor you. Sorry if these seems so short.
    1. I have no idea. 2. No, Faith is personal. Policies require more people and objectivity. 3. I can hardly guess. But some people do that.

  2. Candy

    1. I don’t exactly what I believe the answer to this is….but I know it is NOT the legalistic version of the church. Sign this, say this, do this, don’t do this…. I do know that he works in ways that are higher than ours, so sometimes I just have to pray and have faith and ask for more understanding.

    2. A long time ago, I had a friend who was talking to me about who I was voting for…I told her that when it came down to it, I was voting for the guy who didn’t want to legalize abortion. I rationalized that was a good way to see how he basically believed, thought, made decisions. Many years later, I am not so sure that was the right way to do it. I despise what politics has turned in to from every side. The constant bashing of the other. (and the calling of my phone every five minutes isn’t helping either). Praying for wisdom is the only answer I know of….

  3. Sarah Farish

    I have been processing and processing…and praying and praying. After all of this “p” work, there’s one thing I know for sure: Jesus is the ONLY way. Jesus. If we want to be “saved,” Jesus is the only way. But, I do feel we often put Jesus and “the moment of salvation” in a box. Evidence of Jesus’ work in a heart does not equal walking forward in a church and professing Jesus’ as your savior to a pastor (although it certainly could be that:) We don’t know (can’t fathom!) how Jesus is at work in hearts. He appeared to John on an island in a dream. He’s God. He can reach people and work in hearts without us knowing. One quote from Rachel’s book that has bothered me a ton: “If only born-again Christians go to heaven, then the piles of suitcases and bags of human hair displayed at the Holocaust Museum represent thousands upon thousands of men, women, and children suffering eternal agony at the hands of an angry God. If salvation is available only to Christians, then the gospel…” (Sorry, not sure of the chapter, so I apologize if I’ve read ahead.) I keep thinking…surely not, Lord. Surely these people are in heaven with you. As harsh as it may sound to our culture, I know Jesus is the only way (for the Bible tells me so). So, they needed to “accept Jesus” or “have their hearts awakened to Jesus” – however you choose to describe salvation. And, maybe they did! The Creator of the universe could have been (and I think was) at work in the Holocaust in more ways than we know. We just cant’ know…don’t know…can’t fathom, but we can hold tight to Him and keep seeking His face:) That’s why I am so thankful for this read-a-long. It’s making my faith stronger. It’s making me REALLY think about what I believe and why.

  4. Ruth

    I’ve spent the day thinking a lot about June the Ten Commandment Lady. What a waroed sense of purpose she has! Its her and people like her who give Christianity a bad name and make us something to laugh at and make fun of.
    Do I believe June is born again? Well thats not up to me to decide, if she has accoeted Christ by faith, yes she is born again and we get to spend eternity in heaven with her. i cna’t help but think though she will have a lot to answer to God for,, for all the hate she has spread and she certainly won;t be receiving many rewards to lay at Jesus’ feet. Hope God will wipe out our past memories so if she does join us in heaven we won’t remember what she did here on earth.

    1. Denise

      Ruth, I’ve thought about this discussion & about June all day as well. While I don’t want to judge June, I do have to question her salvation. I wrote a blog post about it, which is linked above, so I won’t rehash everything here. But basically I think we are remiss if we only think of salvation in terms of belief & confession. “Born again” means starting over and becoming something new. If June (or anyone) believes in Jesus & confesses that belief in Him but doesn’t become a new creation, are they really saved? Furthermore, salvation is more than just being born again. That’s why Jesus invited His disciples (and us) to follow Him. We are to observe what He’s doing and then do the same. If June & others like her live a life completely opposite of what Jesus did, is she really saved?

  5. Cathy

    I just want to address #2…I think that we have no choice but to have faith affect our politics. If our faith is authentic, then it should affect all of our thought processes as we will take on the mind of Christ. What that means to me is that my responsibility is to take my vote seriously. I need to think through each issue and candidate and vote intentionally. My faith will affect that process naturally.
    It doesn’t bother me when people of my faith come to different conclusions than me; it greatly bothers me if they don’t take the time to think through their votes and they just follow a list that someone hands out.

  6. Mandy

    1. What does it take to be saved?
    These are things I think of:
    Being born of the spirit, bowing the heart’s knee to Jesus as Lord and master, becoming a slave of Christ, faith that manifests itself in obedience, relationship with Jesus that goes beyond belief to adoration, devotion, sincere heart worship, giving up of the self in a complete and living sacrifice, brokenness of a deeply repentant heart, tears of grief over our sin and deep gratitude for Jesus’ sacrifice, knowing that we need him desperately, knowing that we can’t live without him, chasing him without knowing where he will lead us, trusting him with our lives and our eternal destiny.

    2. How should our faith affect our politics?
    I stay away from politics as much as possible. For me, I try to obey the law, pray for world leaders (don’t do this nearly enough), and trust God to manage the whole placement and displacement of world leaders and “kingdoms.” Love God and love your neighbor trumps any temptation I may have to get caught up in politics, since what I do see of politics smacks of selfish ambition, judgmentalism, and favoritism. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to legislate morality, so I’m not pushing for that. I would love to see the church rise up, unite, and become a force for spreading the Gospel throughout our society and the world. When we fight over little things, we fail at that.

    3. What does Jesus think about someone like June? Is professing to believe Jesus enough to excuse a life of hatred?
    Jesus is the only one who knows June’s heart – where she is, where she’s been, where she’s going. He loves her as much as he loves me and you. Has she given her heart to Jesus? Only he knows. Her fruit doesn’t seem consistent with the fruit of the Spirit, though. I would say based on her fruit as described in Rachel’s book, June isn’t attached to the vine (at least she doesn’t seem to be abiding in Jesus). That doesn’t mean that she won’t get there, though, and that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been used of God. God isn’t stopped by a person like June (or even a multitude of people like June).

    4. What else in these 2 chapters do you want to talk about?
    I have more to write – will hopefully be back later…

    1. Mandy

      I didn’t have time to finish my responses before:

      to add to #2, I think what I wrote isn’t quite accurate. I do think it’s important to vote, but I have trouble finding the time to keep track of all the political goings on in our country. I just don’t find it worth my time. But I’m sure there are Christians out there who are called by God to be involved in politics, who are gifted in that area even. So my response was just from my point of view, but it came off as judgmental against people who are involved in politics and it does have an undercurrent of frustration, because I can’t seem to find the time to do all the things I’m “supposed” to be doing like reading up on politics. And reading up on politics, when I do do it, leaves me feeling hopeless and discouraged. It seems like the problems in the world are just too big for politics. But they’re not too big for God, so I cling to him and kind of ignore politics. I know I need to do better about praying for our country’s and the world’s leaders and I need to do my part and try to learn enough to at least vote responsibly.

      4. I was raised in a legalistic and “there’s an answer for everything” kind of setting and I’m thankful that I didn’t stay in that environment through my college years. But I can identify with a lot of the things Rachel writes about experiencing as a kid.

  7. Marla Taviano

    Friends, I am DYING to read/reply to all of your comments. Trying to be a good mama though and helping my 3 girls and 2 friends make 150 cupcakes for Ava’s b-day tomorrow at our neighborhood sports camp. And tutoring from 3-5. So… will catch up with you soon!!

  8. Kim

    My post is up over on my blog.

    How should our faith affect our politics? Big sigh. Oh, how I have struggled with this very issue. I didn’t even vote a couple of times because I couldn’t figure out what to do and choosing the “lesser of two evils” didn’t seem right. Now I question even that decision.

    Big area that I need to think through and pray about. Looking forward to the discussion. Maybe someone here has my answer!

  9. Danielle

    1. What does it take to be saved?
    I cringe when I hear “ask Jesus into your heart” and I grew up in a church where this was common language. I think western evangelical Christianity has taken Romans 10:8-10 so far out of context that is has become a magical spell that can easily delude us into missing the gospel. I don’t put my right arm in, left foot out, do the hokey pokey, stand up sit down fight, fight, fight my way into the kingdom of God. I am adopted, my heart is changed from stone to flesh, Christ’s blood washes me clean, the Holy Spirit dwells in me, the Father places his love upon me. How do I know if other people are saved? By the same evidence. It is heart change, leading to life change (fruit,) that is proof of salvation, not a careful incantation of the correct words to make it all right. Or maybe the incantation is a proper chest beating, heart rending cry similar to, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!”

    2. How should our faith affect our politics?
    Repeatedly, throughout the whole Bible, God talks about caring for the poor, defending the oppressed, loving the orphan, protecting the widow. It’s such a prevalent theme that you literally have to ignore it in order to live a comfortable life. While Christians debate who to vote for in this election season there are millions dying of starvation, abuse, genocide, neglect, disease. The question should not be who should I vote for based on their stance on any number of controversial topics. The question should be, when will the church start accurately reflecting God’s heart for social justice and stop abdicating that responsibility to governments and organizations that are not bringing justice with the goal of bringing glory to God. My allegiance is to the King and my vote (heart, money, ballot choice or lack thereof) should be made according the values of that kingdom.

    3. What does Jesus think about someone like June? Is professing to believe Jesus enough to excuse a life of hatred?
    I often think that God shakes his head at my blatant misrepresentation of the truth. I know I am his, but I more than once I have been anything other than honoring him in my words and deeds. I am June sometimes, probably more often than I would like to admit. Maybe not in the same ways, but June nonetheless. This goes back much farther to what does Jesus think about pharisees? They professed Yahweh but killed Jesus. And Jesus prayed for them. Maybe I need to pray for the Junes in my life, myself included.

    1. Denise

      I love your answer to #1. True salvation is evidenced by heart change leading to life change. Which makes me wonder about June & her salvation. Your thoughts on her, by the way, convicted me. There are many ways, at different times, that I’m more like June that I’d like to admit.

  10. Rachelle

    1. Repent(acknowledge and turn from sin) and believe. I grew up in a church with…funky fundamentals and God graciously undid me and gave me children to point me to him. When my now 18 yo son was about 8 I was worried we weren’t leading him in the proper spiritual way because he hadn’t “walked the isle”. Blake quickly informed me that he HAD accepted Jesus one day while walking outside in a field talking to God. I totally understand when Paul calls himself “chief among sinners”(1 Tim 1:15). That day changed me.

    2. Oh, not politics…I heard a great quote recently, that essentailly said, “the leaders of a nation are not the cause of a nations’s problems they are simply a reflection of what is already taking place”. I think this is true and that our faith should cause us to pray for our country and those around the world. We should also be bold in protecting those who cannot help themsleves.

    3. Refer to 1 Cor. 13. We had this wonderful elderly woman in our church for years that would get up every few Sundays and give words of wisdom. One of my favorites from her: “We require that everyone else live under The Law, while we live under Grace”.

  11. Lesley

    1) This question has been weighing on my mind for the last year or so. My answer is to LOVE Jesus. If we honestly love Jesus we would repent, we would follow his commands, we would do what we could to make him happy…right? And when we failed we would truly be sorry and try to do better.

    2) Sigh, politics. Such a frustrating subject. I think we should remember to love everyone and to pray. We are to pray for our leaders and to love even our enemies…or people to do things we thing are “non-Christian”. As far as who to vote for, no political party has a platform that is completely based on the guidelines Jesus presented…so I don’t know.

    3) Jesus loves June but is sad that she isn’t exuding love. Too many of us have June-like tendencies (me included at times). I guess it is that whole plank in the eye thing 🙂

  12. Jennifer

    I’m at the Southern Baptist Convention right now, and David Platt was one of the speakers yesterday. He spoke on this very thing – how we’ve dumbed down God’s redeeming work to just saying a prayer and how our churches are stagnant because they’re filled with lost people who have been told they’re redeemed because they prayed a prayer. He said truly saved people, truly saved churches, shouldn’t have to be coerced or convinced to live out the Great Commission. That’s just the natural outflow of someone who has been saved and changed by Christ. He had everyone standing and applauding. This shouldn’t be new to any of us, but it is, for lack of a better word, radical to our denomination on particular. So thankful for churches and people who are clearly teaching Scripture!

    1. Jennifer

      That should be “in” particular. And I’ve got to add that lots of people think badly of Southern Baptists (and sometimes for good reason), but God is doing big things with us right now. Would appreciate prayers as we make some historic changes this week!

    2. Jen Hanson

      “churches are stagnant because they’re filled with lost people who have been told they’re redeemed because they prayed a prayer”

      I’ve thought this very thing for years (especially after a number of years working in youth ministry). I have been so overwhelmed with what to do with this truth and have struggled to find a church that doesn’t fall into this category.

    3. Rachelle

      I look forward to hearing more about what’s going on! It’s time for God to do some “house shaking”.

      I get discouraged by the “say this prayer” mentality. I see faith and taking the step of repentance as an outworking of something that has already taken root in a person’s heart. I think we have some things backwards!

      1. Jennifer

        I think you’re absolutely right. That makes grace God’s doing and not a work (ie, saying a prayer) on our part. I’m ALL for us getting back to that biblical view of salvation, but we’ve done such a “good” job of connecting God’s work to our work of prayer that I think it’s going to take some deprogramming in our churches before we all get to the same page. And not just my church or my denomination but the Church, the body of all believers.

        Oh, and the biggest change this year coming to the SBC isn’t a theological one. It’s that we’re electing the first African American SBC president this week. A long overdue move, but I think God has set apart this man for this particular time. Super excited to be a part of what God will do in our convention and our churches!

  13. Jennifer Ekstrand

    Tough questions to answer briefly, but I’ll try.

    1. Repent & Believe (Mark 1:15, Acts 26:12-23 esp vs 18… I think we should look at more than two texts, but this is a blog comment, not a book), that is turn from our sin and idolatry to faith in Christ.

    2. Faith should cause politics, like all areas of our lives, to be completely surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ. Practically, this means we should use politics as an opportunity and means of loving God and others, whether being kind to those with whom we disagree or working toward policies which are good for people, especially the vulnerable and marginalized (whether the unborn, the poor, the immigrant, the disabled, orphaned children, single moms, widows on social security, etc.) in a way that preserves our ultimate hope and allegiance for our King.

    3. Jesus thinks about June, and people like her, in a perfectly just way, looking at the heart, discerning the depth of her sin and the reality (or lack of reality) or her faith. I don’t think “professing” faith is “enough to excuse a life of hatred”, but neither do I think a short description in a book (written by someone who is not familiar with the whole of her life) is enough for us to evaluate the entirety of someone’s life. 1 Cor 6:9-11 makes it clear that those who persist in unrighteousness will not inherit the kingdom of God, but we should be most concerned about our own besetting sins, and those of the Christians with whom we have a relationship from which we encourage them to pursue righteousness. The things described in the book are certainly horrible, but each individual and culture has blindspots regarding its own horrible sin. It is easy for us to condemn those who thought Jim Crow laws were good, but what will our grandchildren think of our blindspots?

  14. Liz

    I LOVED these two chapters. In fact, I read them last Tuesday and then had to force myself not to read the rest of the book right there.

    1. I’ve got a Christian friend, T. She is a former Catholic but she still likes me. In that I mean, she respects my beliefs and how I live them. She actually said once, as a compliment, “You’re one of the few Catholics I know who is Christian.” Wowzers. And that’s a compliment from a lovely woman! So, yeah, am I saved? Depends on who you ask. Many would say I am not. I never said that prayer, I never signed a piece of paper. My almost 8 year old… Is she saved? Also depends on who you ask. I know that I was raised in the Catholic church, that I feverently believed in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, that I saw Communion as a literal miracle, that I believed the Holy Spirit anointed me at Confirmation. I know that I had a personal relationship with Him. I know that I picked a husband based, in part, on our shared faith. I know that I have gone away from the church and let my relationship with God suffer and I know He has called me back more than once and I have returned. I know all the moments in which I felt His presence or heard His voice in my head, or saw His power in my life. So you tell me. Is that equivalent to a specific prayer or a signed piece of paper?

    2. I was raised in a post-Dorothy Day church. (She is worth reading about if you don’t know about her). So the concept of social justice was a huge part of my growing up. I was just accepted into a Master’s in social work program and on registration day, we got an intro in the program, work, etc. They must have talked for at least an hour about social justice, human rights, and the concept that all humans have worth and dignity. I sat there, terrified of this leap I am taking and the work I’ll have to do, yet so excited I was interally pumping my fist. Yes yes yes, this is what I believe. This is what I was taught – take care of the sick, the poor, the ones no one wants – there is the kindgom of God. So I feel this degree, this path, allows me to do God’s work the way I feel in my soul is so important. And yes, I vote based on these principles too. Which means it is probably radically different from most of you, and that’s okay. I pray for ALL leaders, especially the ones I don’t agree with.

    3. June. Oh, I can’t speak for Jesus – I mean June is already doing that already – but I know Jesus has more love and grace than we can imagine.

    June herself was just typical to me, just another example of why people don’t like evangelical Christians. Unfortunately, these noisy wheels get all the attention. I’d love to see a group, a person, that stands out so much for their love instead of hate. I defend evangelicals to my friends, and husband – because all they see is this sort of stuff. It’s really sad that there is such a divide to begin with.

    I just loved how she described her growing up and what she believed – because it is so different from mine. It was fascinating!

  15. Donna P

    Like you, my politics have changed so much. Many of the people around me have not. It actually pushed me to leave my old church. I think many throughout history use religion and warp it to fit what they want to believe, what’s best for them. What’s comfortable. Hence June, she’s twisted God’s Word to fit her hate and narrow-mindedness. I’ve told many doubters and people “on the fringe” that religion gives Christianity a bad name. Religion is run by men and therefore doomed to be tainted.

    I was at a funereal for a friend that was never a religious man. Because he didn’t have a pastor, one was provided to perform the service. Instead of taking this man’s life into account, the pastor chose to use the funereal as an opportunity to perform an alter call. Instead of having people come to the front he asked that all that wanted to invite Jesus into their lives so they could go to heaven to look up at him (during prayer). I was so shocked that I immediately looked up at him. I heard later that they were so thrilled to have saved so many people that day.

    This morning I read Matthew 6 where Jesus talks about prayer and service and fasting and says we should do these with an honest heart for God knows our true intentions. We can say the right things and do all sorts of alter calls. If your heart’s not right, men may be fooled but God isn’t.

  16. Krysten

    I wrote my own post on this and could only get through a couple of things I wanted to say about Chapter 1. I can’t even deal with chapter two and Miss June right now. She’ll have to be her own post, maybe even more than one!
    Oy Vey.

    A whole other thing is that scariest-verse-in-the-bible: You know, the one where Jesus says “depart from me, I never knew you.” Um. yeah. that one. And all this about “you didn’t give clothes to someone who was naked, etc…” and the whole thing about the narrow gate and how it’s easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle, and on and on and on. All these qualifiers (or disqualifiers) can drive us mad. And how does this all work into the “not by works, but by grace alone” thing? I don’t think the other end of the spectrum, with the “pray the prayer and hold onto your ticket to heaven” is all there is either. And what makes me think I’m all “sheeply” anyway? And PS: thanks a lot, David Platt, for giving us even MORE to think about.

    My head is spinning….I have such a love/hate relationship with these questions!

  17. Ali

    In regards to #2 . . . and speaking of Platt . . . I recently listened to a sermon of his on 1 Timothy 2. Specifically 1 Tim 2:1-2, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”

    Platt asks the question, “What if we spent as much time lifting our leaders in prayer as we spend watching Fox News commenting on all the policies that we don’t agree with?”

    Are we praying for our politicians, regardless of their politics? Do we spend time with God interceding for them? Or are we so caught up in what our leaders aren’t doing that we’ve failed to obey God’s command to pray for them? And not just a flippant, “yeah, I pray for Obama.” But on our hands-and-knees, crying out to the Lord for our leaders.

    I love that the Scripture encourages prayer for all people (including our leaders – specifically our leaders) that we might lead peaceful and dignified lives. Sadly, I don’t see much peace or dignity being portrayed when I watch shows with political agendas. Sadly the majority of what I hear and see (on facebook, for instance) in regards to our leaders is negative and often ungodly.

    I confess, I do not pray for my leaders as I should – nowhere near as often as I should. And I’m realizing that maybe the best if not only thing I can do in regards to politics is to pray, pray, pray.

      1. Jen Hanson

        Because “voting our beliefs” doesn’t seem to be working. It’s caused so much strife and I don’t know how much difference any of it has actually made because everyone voting has such different beliefs and each time a new President gets elected so much of what was voted for during the last presidency gets voted back the other way. Back and forth, round and round we go. Doesn’t seem to be doing a whole lot of good.

    1. brooke

      Lord,

      I ask you to be with us today. Give us clarity of thought and word. Guide this discussion so that we would bring You glory and honor and that we might lift up others who are walking this journey with us.

      I love you.

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