God’s Purposes Continue

If one of these men was your hope for America’s future, then your hope was sorely misplaced. And you’re actually in more trouble if your guy won than if he lost. Our hope is never in the ways of or abilities of humanity, but in the unfolding purpose of a gracious Father.

This morning I got this comment on my last blog about the election, and it reflects a lot of anguish I’ve also seen in my emails and in social media from many conservatives.

Wayne, now that the election is over I am in a rough place as I was putting some hope in the goodness of what good is still left in our beautiful America, but now I think I was wrong. l know that my hope is in Father and not men, but I find myself completely cynical about my neighbor. Evil will prevail in this life and I have spent far too much time in hoping I would not witness it consume our country-obviously we are going to watch it happen. I struggle with finding my footing in knowing that Father is in control, having to take the injustice of it all, and knowing that my job is to just continue doing as I have been doing for the past couple of years since Father opened my heart to his will of living loved each day and loving others in that love. I also know that many others have watched injustice happen all around them for a lifetime, and had somehow been able to live a life of joy in the midst of it. I am in need of perspective.

It appears someone is watching too much cable news, or even network news for that matter. The candidates and pundits pitted this election as good versus evil as a way to ramp up votes and ratings by ramping up fear regardless of what side they were on. No one I saw or read gave an honest analysis of what was really going on while treating both sides with respect and honor for their differing views. The tragic result now is that citizens view those who did not vote like them as evil people, not simply people with different perspectives and priorities. Our country is today the poorer for it.

If you want to find rest in God’s unfolding purpose in history, you have to stop watching the news and believing the pundits. You won’t believe how much more clearly you can see when you’re not filling your head with the news channel rhetoric which is destroying the fabric of our culture. God is bigger than Obama or Romney. If your God can’t work his purpose through Obama as much as through Romney, then your God is too small–way too small. Ny goodness, he had his way with Egypt and Pharaoh and Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar, Rome and Herod, even with Pilate.

Maybe the question is do we really want God’s purpose? Because his purpose isn’t always to make life easy and prosperous for us. Sometimes God’s purpose includes hard times for our nations, which would include us as well. No wonder we look for someone to blame. We’re afraid of our own suffering. But the world is doing just what the world does——serving itself, even to its own ruin. And our God is doing what he does, working in that brokenness to offer his light and life to anyone who will listen.

So if you take this election as a reason to fear your neighbor or regard them as evil, then you’ve become a pawn of the political parties and the mass media. That’s what they want you to think so you’ll keep tuning in hoping someone will give your side hope for the future.

If you want hope to grow in your heart, regardless of what America goes through in the next decade you’ve got to tune your heart to a different frequency and listen to Father more than the hostile political rhetoric of a broken age. You’ll want to remember that his purposes are never thwarted, that he works through both triumph and tragedy as he draws people to himself and moves our world toward its ultimate culmination in him. His purpose is to draw all things to himself and the best way to participate with him is to learn to live in his love for those around us–including our neighbors. You can’t love what you fear or what you hold in contempt.

People who disagree politically with you are not stupid or evil and they are not your enemy. This last election proved to me just how out of step I am with my culture, especially in the candidates and propositions in California. I tire of throwing more money at a government system that is corrupt, especially in California where the public-employee unions continue to manipulate the legislature to line their own pockets. But until my fellow-citizens wake up, we’re just going to have more of the same. But are they less lovable because I consider them misguided? Of course not. The consequences of their actions will soon catch up to all of us, and then we’ll see where we go from there.

I don’t mind being out of step with my culture because I consider my participation in God’s kingdom goes way beyond my American citizenship. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot about this country to love, even as we lament that which is wrong with it. And wouldn’t it be best if we spent less time complaining, and spent more doing what we can do to make this world a better place. I hope the current economic crisis in America eventually forces our leaders to work together for real solutions, but whether they do or not, Father is still my provider and his purposes will unfold in the earth regardless of what humanity does.

And so I embrace this day with the joy that I get to be part of a a bigger purpose than our political system could ever touch. I get to live inside God today and see what he puts before me. And I get to love people who come near me today and have no idea what the loving might accomplish in others. And I will lay my head down on a pillow tonight grateful to be living in such a time with such an amazing Father.

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38 Comments
  1. DaRon Maughon November 9, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Great words, Wayne! I’d also add, we need to quit putting our hope in the “pundits behind the pulpits” as well. 🙂

  2. David Foreman November 9, 2012 at 11:42 am

    “People who disagree politically with you are not stupid or evil and they are not your enemy.”
    I would to God that people, especially those who call themselves “Christian,” would understand this.
    The religious right does not own God, Jesus, truth or morality. There are millions of Christians who have differing perspectives. Heck, there are supposedly over 400,000 denominations that declare themselves “Christian.”
    As a “left-leaning” follower of Christ, I grow very, very weary of being painted as “godless, immoral, selfish, and demonic.” I know those on the other side of the isle are voting their conscience. They need to realize that we, too, vote our values, morals and principles because of, and not in spite of, our faith in Christ.
    Thanks for the article.
    Blessings.

  3. Wayne November 9, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Thanks, David, for adding your input. I don’t like when the right demonizes the left, or when the left demonizes the right, and I do believe it runs both ways. It’s the nature of politics, regretfully. I wish we hadn’t been divided this way by the parties, because there are some things I like from the left, and there are some things I like from the right. I think our policies are more nuanced than our punditry admits. We’ve been divided into left and right by those parties who are trying to find enough policy issues to draw 51% onto their side, so they can really advance their own political power. It’s a horrible system and doesn’t allow us to see policy decisions with lots of layers of inputs and possibilities because we’ve allowed ourselves to be sucked into a my-way-or-the-highway view of a wide assortment of issues that isn’t fair to reality. I regularly hang out with ultra-right and ultra-left kind of folks, but don’t believe for a minute that there isn’t more common ground than we are admitting.

  4. David William Edwards November 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    This is making the rounds on the internet:

    Here is something I do not understand. Prior to the election, religious people were all praying to God to intervene in the election so that His choice would be President. Now that the person they believe to be the wrong choice was elected, they are freaking out like it’s the end of the world. Here is my point: if your God is all powerful, then then person who is President is His choice. So either stop complaining about it, or stop claiming your God is in control.

  5. Ken November 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I heard this same sort of gloom-n-doom when:

    Reagan won re-election
    Clinton won re-election
    George W. Bush won re-election
    And now Obama.

    We survived, and will survive. Four years is a drop in the bucket of eternity.

    What made it worse this year was that social media made it so much easier for people to get into squabbles. Ironically, a system designed to connect people can have the opposite effect sometimes…

  6. DaRon Maughon November 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Great words, Wayne! I’d also add, we need to quit putting our hope in the “pundits behind the pulpits” as well. 🙂

  7. Mia November 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Dear Wayne
    I am a South Adrican lady and have so much sympathy with the guy you have mentioned in your post. After “apartheid” was abolished in our beautiful country, my fellow South African’s thought heaven has arrived. Actually the opposite has happened for we have just another structure of power hungry politicians. Men of Mr Nelson Mandela’s calibre and integrity are few and far between and my heart cries to see all that he has sacrificed so much for lying scattered amongst the reality of political unrest, violent crime and strikes, corruption on a grand scale especially in government, murder,rape, domestic violence etc. The poor are still poor and becoming poorer and the rich becoming richer. That monster of apartheid is still alive and well in our country, only the roles have changed. But, as my husband always says, we should not frett, for our Pappa God told us all these things would happen before our Lord Jesus comes to fetch us. So, I am not disturbed; actually I am surprised that things are not much worse when we keep in mind who is the prince of this world. But not for long anymore. Hallelujah!
    Kind regards to you and all the readers.
    Mia

  8. David Foreman November 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    “People who disagree politically with you are not stupid or evil and they are not your enemy.”
    I would to God that people, especially those who call themselves “Christian,” would understand this.
    The religious right does not own God, Jesus, truth or morality. There are millions of Christians who have differing perspectives. Heck, there are supposedly over 400,000 denominations that declare themselves “Christian.”
    As a “left-leaning” follower of Christ, I grow very, very weary of being painted as “godless, immoral, selfish, and demonic.” I know those on the other side of the isle are voting their conscience. They need to realize that we, too, vote our values, morals and principles because of, and not in spite of, our faith in Christ.
    Thanks for the article.
    Blessings.

  9. Wayne November 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Thanks, David, for adding your input. I don’t like when the right demonizes the left, or when the left demonizes the right, and I do believe it runs both ways. It’s the nature of politics, regretfully. I wish we hadn’t been divided this way by the parties, because there are some things I like from the left, and there are some things I like from the right. I think our policies are more nuanced than our punditry admits. We’ve been divided into left and right by those parties who are trying to find enough policy issues to draw 51% onto their side, so they can really advance their own political power. It’s a horrible system and doesn’t allow us to see policy decisions with lots of layers of inputs and possibilities because we’ve allowed ourselves to be sucked into a my-way-or-the-highway view of a wide assortment of issues that isn’t fair to reality. I regularly hang out with ultra-right and ultra-left kind of folks, but don’t believe for a minute that there isn’t more common ground than we are admitting.

  10. PattiP November 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Amen!

  11. David William Edwards November 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    This is making the rounds on the internet:

    Here is something I do not understand. Prior to the election, religious people were all praying to God to intervene in the election so that His choice would be President. Now that the person they believe to be the wrong choice was elected, they are freaking out like it’s the end of the world. Here is my point: if your God is all powerful, then then person who is President is His choice. So either stop complaining about it, or stop claiming your God is in control.

  12. michele November 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Amen and Amen!

  13. Ken November 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I heard this same sort of gloom-n-doom when:

    Reagan won re-election
    Clinton won re-election
    George W. Bush won re-election
    And now Obama.

    We survived, and will survive. Four years is a drop in the bucket of eternity.

    What made it worse this year was that social media made it so much easier for people to get into squabbles. Ironically, a system designed to connect people can have the opposite effect sometimes…

  14. Mia November 9, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Dear Wayne
    I am a South Adrican lady and have so much sympathy with the guy you have mentioned in your post. After “apartheid” was abolished in our beautiful country, my fellow South African’s thought heaven has arrived. Actually the opposite has happened for we have just another structure of power hungry politicians. Men of Mr Nelson Mandela’s calibre and integrity are few and far between and my heart cries to see all that he has sacrificed so much for lying scattered amongst the reality of political unrest, violent crime and strikes, corruption on a grand scale especially in government, murder,rape, domestic violence etc. The poor are still poor and becoming poorer and the rich becoming richer. That monster of apartheid is still alive and well in our country, only the roles have changed. But, as my husband always says, we should not frett, for our Pappa God told us all these things would happen before our Lord Jesus comes to fetch us. So, I am not disturbed; actually I am surprised that things are not much worse when we keep in mind who is the prince of this world. But not for long anymore. Hallelujah!
    Kind regards to you and all the readers.
    Mia

  15. PattiP November 9, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Amen!

  16. Linda Spangler November 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    I am humbled and wasn’t fully expecting the sting that your reply brought to me. My husband has been communicating the same sentiments to me over the past 3 days. Don’t get me wrong,I do not think my neighbors are evil, just more like sheep-all the while I realize now I have been part of the flock/herd also. Thank-you for true words. It is just what I needed to spur me on to tuning everything else out except Father. Blessings to you and your family.

  17. michele November 9, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Amen and Amen!

  18. Linda Spangler November 9, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I am humbled and wasn’t fully expecting the sting that your reply brought to me. My husband has been communicating the same sentiments to me over the past 3 days. Don’t get me wrong,I do not think my neighbors are evil, just more like sheep-all the while I realize now I have been part of the flock/herd also. Thank-you for true words. It is just what I needed to spur me on to tuning everything else out except Father. Blessings to you and your family.

  19. Judy Gale (Chapel Hill, NC) November 10, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Here are two post-election perspectives that I found helpful:

    “My thoughts before and after the election . . .”  Kevin Tupper

    My preferred candidate did not run. It is very likely my preferred candidate will never run. I do not believe God made humanity to rule over humanity. Yet, our lack of love at the individual level necessitates collective social contracts (government and law.) 

    Given this reality, I believe it is best to share, decentralize, and distribute power to the most local level best suited to accomplish a given objective. The larger the collective, the more difficult it is to govern because of our uniqueness as individuals. Rulers end up marginalizing someone or some group in the name of pragmatism, thus we have a fragmented nation.

    We do not lack resources; we lack love. Love does not function on a theoretical level for a collective. It functions on an experiential level for an individual. So, regardless of who is in power over me, I ask for the grace to be governed by love. Help me to love the person who is right in front of me, whether or not they are like me or see the world the way I do. Moreover, where I have power and authority over another, give me the wisdom and ability to lay it down if it would be to the ultimate benefit of the other, even if it means I have to suffer temporarily. 

    To members of the family who disagree with me, those who believe we must take action, grab power, and exercise it righteously in the name of the King, I pray the same for you – to be like the King.

    =======

    Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

    (Philippians 2:3-8 ESV)

    http://www.facebook.com/kevin.tupper

    ********************************************
    “The Reason Obama Won,” Dr. Richard Beck, Department of Psychology, Abilene Christian University

    …was because of immigration and Latino/Hispanic voters. America is getting darker, not whiter. 

    I’m from Texas and we get this. George W. Bush understood this with his “compassionate conservatism.” And so did Rick Perry, our current governor.  You may have noticed that Rick Perry, while being a Tea Party favorite, articulated a moderate stance on immigration during the GOP primaries. Because he’s from Texas and knows the score. And yet, Perry was blasted from his right by Mitt Romney.

    I think at that moment the election was sealed, demographically speaking. George W. Bush won 54% of the Hispanic vote in 2004. Mitt Romney? He won 27%. The lowest for a GOP nominee in a generation. This despite the growth of the Hispanic electorate between 2004 and 2012. I get the Tea Party stance on small government. I dig their libertarian sensibilities. But their antipathy toward people of color cost them this election.

    I think Mike Huckabee nailed it last night on Fox News. GOP efforts at reaching out to people of color have been “pathetic.” And why is that? As I’ve written about before, I think the GOP has an ethnocentrism problem. It is a party that struggles with “generalized prejudice” toward outgroup members. Case in point: Bill O’Reilly on Fox News last night effectively called all people of color lazy slackers and moochers, people who want handouts and “stuff.”

    No wonder Obama won. 

    That, in my opinion, is what needs to get fixed in the GOP. The moderate “compassionate conservatism” needs to make a comeback.

    http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-reason-obama-won.html?m=1

  20. Penny Dugan November 10, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Amen wayne, great prospective. Thanks again!

  21. Wayne November 10, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Linda, I’m sorry there was a sting in my words. Though I used your comments to spring off of, my posting was not directed at you personally. It was simply commenting to a lot of the angst I’ve heard since the election. I’m sorry if you felt put on the spot. But I do appreciate your gracious spirit in responding to God’s light in all of this. Much blessing to you and your husband….

  22. Judy Gale (Chapel Hill, NC) November 10, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Here are two post-election perspectives that I found helpful:

    “My thoughts before and after the election . . .”  Kevin Tupper

    My preferred candidate did not run. It is very likely my preferred candidate will never run. I do not believe God made humanity to rule over humanity. Yet, our lack of love at the individual level necessitates collective social contracts (government and law.) 

    Given this reality, I believe it is best to share, decentralize, and distribute power to the most local level best suited to accomplish a given objective. The larger the collective, the more difficult it is to govern because of our uniqueness as individuals. Rulers end up marginalizing someone or some group in the name of pragmatism, thus we have a fragmented nation.

    We do not lack resources; we lack love. Love does not function on a theoretical level for a collective. It functions on an experiential level for an individual. So, regardless of who is in power over me, I ask for the grace to be governed by love. Help me to love the person who is right in front of me, whether or not they are like me or see the world the way I do. Moreover, where I have power and authority over another, give me the wisdom and ability to lay it down if it would be to the ultimate benefit of the other, even if it means I have to suffer temporarily. 

    To members of the family who disagree with me, those who believe we must take action, grab power, and exercise it righteously in the name of the King, I pray the same for you – to be like the King.

    =======

    Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

    (Philippians 2:3-8 ESV)

    http://www.facebook.com/kevin.tupper

    ********************************************
    “The Reason Obama Won,” Dr. Richard Beck, Department of Psychology, Abilene Christian University

    …was because of immigration and Latino/Hispanic voters. America is getting darker, not whiter. 

    I’m from Texas and we get this. George W. Bush understood this with his “compassionate conservatism.” And so did Rick Perry, our current governor.  You may have noticed that Rick Perry, while being a Tea Party favorite, articulated a moderate stance on immigration during the GOP primaries. Because he’s from Texas and knows the score. And yet, Perry was blasted from his right by Mitt Romney.

    I think at that moment the election was sealed, demographically speaking. George W. Bush won 54% of the Hispanic vote in 2004. Mitt Romney? He won 27%. The lowest for a GOP nominee in a generation. This despite the growth of the Hispanic electorate between 2004 and 2012. I get the Tea Party stance on small government. I dig their libertarian sensibilities. But their antipathy toward people of color cost them this election.

    I think Mike Huckabee nailed it last night on Fox News. GOP efforts at reaching out to people of color have been “pathetic.” And why is that? As I’ve written about before, I think the GOP has an ethnocentrism problem. It is a party that struggles with “generalized prejudice” toward outgroup members. Case in point: Bill O’Reilly on Fox News last night effectively called all people of color lazy slackers and moochers, people who want handouts and “stuff.”

    No wonder Obama won. 

    That, in my opinion, is what needs to get fixed in the GOP. The moderate “compassionate conservatism” needs to make a comeback.

    http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-reason-obama-won.html?m=1

  23. Penny Dugan November 10, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Amen wayne, great prospective. Thanks again!

  24. Wayne November 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Linda, I’m sorry there was a sting in my words. Though I used your comments to spring off of, my posting was not directed at you personally. It was simply commenting to a lot of the angst I’ve heard since the election. I’m sorry if you felt put on the spot. But I do appreciate your gracious spirit in responding to God’s light in all of this. Much blessing to you and your husband….

  25. Nelson Lunsford November 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    I agree with blogger Steve Hackman who, speaking of the recent US elections, said, “I am an Ambassador of the Kingdom of God. [and] because of my government position, I don’t lose sleep over small town politics.” Thanks for writing this article. God bless you.

  26. Nelson Lunsford November 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I agree with blogger Steve Hackman who, speaking of the recent US elections, said, “I am an Ambassador of the Kingdom of God. [and] because of my government position, I don’t lose sleep over small town politics.” Thanks for writing this article. God bless you.

  27. Rick bandy November 10, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Correction received. Joy restored. I think I fell into the very thinking you described even though I knew better. Thanks Wayne.

  28. Rick bandy November 10, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Correction received. Joy restored. I think I fell into the very thinking you described even though I knew better. Thanks Wayne.

  29. Jeane November 14, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Your words are good and they are true.
    After getting caught up in the pre-election hysteria (inside my head, not so much externally), this is my little two-cents on what I think happened:

    I have spent 35 years in a cocoon of vast proportion. Gratefully, for me, it was a happy place and the intentions of those who maintained it were good. Not everyone who shared the cocoon could say the same, but we all shared a common purpose and due to our size, a daunting majority.

    During the early years, framed pictures of “The Gipper” and Just-Say-No Nancy were posted proudly in my grandpa’s study, I wore my “I’m Worth Waiting For Pin” proudly and as all good Christians did, we learned how to witness on the streets and write checks in black ink made to private for organizations that commissioned “called” believers to do the dirty work of the Kingdom. We were not aware, not most of us, that there were cracks in our tightly spun world. There was enough prosperity at the time, that we were able to build more cocoons within the coccoon and we thought this was God’s hand of blessing upon our numbers.

    It was, for most, a secure place. For others, it was not, but when we caught wind of the ones who tarnished our collective “testimony”, we rushed to oust the fallen ones and their families and pretend it never happened, quickly patching up the cocoon’s hole from which they were deposited so no one from the outside could tell. We would sometimes call out and implore others to clean up their act and join the bustling, monochromatic masses inside our walls. We were {mostly} sincere and so were {most} of the converts. Joining a majority is quite easy and there is comfort in a sense of fitting in the most popular club in the country.

    Over time, we threw our money into politicians and their party’s policies that supported what we supported, we built big organizations that did big things on behalf of our big colony. We gathered together, several times a week to pray for those who served, and those who were lost, that they might come to the saving knowledge of Jesus during our well-publicized “outreaches” so that they could keep us comfortable in the lifestyle we had become accustomed to without having to get our hearts dirty actually developing relationships outside of the cocoon. This was not every body, but most bodies. Mine included. Our walls were thick and we carried weight.

    This is what made the sixth of November of this year so jarring for so many. We did not realize just how thin our walls had become. New converts and new members weren’t great in recent years, but still, we thought if we fought hard enough and stood our ground loudly enough, that there was hope for our comfortable Christian lifestyle country yet. It was a disconcerting loss of majority power

    and yet,

    what is perhaps the most startling is this:

    Cocoons were never meant to be constructed for long-term occupation.

    We were never instructed to crowd inside and depend on Presidents, policies or

    padded bank accounts to carry out our individual and collective mission which is:

    Love your God with all your heart,

    all your soul,

    and all your mind

    and to also

    Love your neighbor as yourself.

    And yet, here we stand, the tattered walls of our cocoon exposed to the world, shivering in the cold air of reality. Our numbers no longer have the upper hand, our well-funded programs no longer sway policy.There are those who will go back to laboriously trying to salvage what there is left and make it look presentable to a “watching world”. Good for them. At one time, I would have joined their pupose-driven efforts.

    I have decided reconstruction of the cocoon that served me well for many years is not where I am going to put my efforts. In the past weeks, it has become clear, the crystal kind, the reality of God’s desire for us to break through the walls of what formed us and to go and love, and love and love some more, not from our own source, not to those we consider possibly worthy, but to anyone our Creator brings into our life at any given moment of any given day. We break free, not to live isolated lives, but to inspire life-transforming change by the passing on of the Truth that each of us are deeply loved.

    We can–and should– encourage each other in the carrying out of a lifestyle that gets our hearts dirty as we learn to let His Love wash over those we live with and around.

    Do not get me wrong. Times are tough, and they will probably get a whole lot tougher. Yet for those that spent years in the dim lighting that a cocoon affords, this exposure to the light could spark the most genuine movement of Jesus-followers this generation has ever seen.

  30. Timothy Buchser November 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Thank you so much for this post brother. I had been so frustrated with the vitriol from both sides against other brothers and sisters in the Lord. I had shared some of your same concerns, but it did not go over well. They were just too emotional and connected to their cause I suppose.
    It is great to hear another voice of reason! Tremendous life and truth, as always!

    Thanks again

  31. Jeane November 14, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Your words are good and they are true.
    After getting caught up in the pre-election hysteria (inside my head, not so much externally), this is my little two-cents on what I think happened:

    I have spent 35 years in a cocoon of vast proportion. Gratefully, for me, it was a happy place and the intentions of those who maintained it were good. Not everyone who shared the cocoon could say the same, but we all shared a common purpose and due to our size, a daunting majority.

    During the early years, framed pictures of “The Gipper” and Just-Say-No Nancy were posted proudly in my grandpa’s study, I wore my “I’m Worth Waiting For Pin” proudly and as all good Christians did, we learned how to witness on the streets and write checks in black ink made to private for organizations that commissioned “called” believers to do the dirty work of the Kingdom. We were not aware, not most of us, that there were cracks in our tightly spun world. There was enough prosperity at the time, that we were able to build more cocoons within the coccoon and we thought this was God’s hand of blessing upon our numbers.

    It was, for most, a secure place. For others, it was not, but when we caught wind of the ones who tarnished our collective “testimony”, we rushed to oust the fallen ones and their families and pretend it never happened, quickly patching up the cocoon’s hole from which they were deposited so no one from the outside could tell. We would sometimes call out and implore others to clean up their act and join the bustling, monochromatic masses inside our walls. We were {mostly} sincere and so were {most} of the converts. Joining a majority is quite easy and there is comfort in a sense of fitting in the most popular club in the country.

    Over time, we threw our money into politicians and their party’s policies that supported what we supported, we built big organizations that did big things on behalf of our big colony. We gathered together, several times a week to pray for those who served, and those who were lost, that they might come to the saving knowledge of Jesus during our well-publicized “outreaches” so that they could keep us comfortable in the lifestyle we had become accustomed to without having to get our hearts dirty actually developing relationships outside of the cocoon. This was not every body, but most bodies. Mine included. Our walls were thick and we carried weight.

    This is what made the sixth of November of this year so jarring for so many. We did not realize just how thin our walls had become. New converts and new members weren’t great in recent years, but still, we thought if we fought hard enough and stood our ground loudly enough, that there was hope for our comfortable Christian lifestyle country yet. It was a disconcerting loss of majority power

    and yet,

    what is perhaps the most startling is this:

    Cocoons were never meant to be constructed for long-term occupation.

    We were never instructed to crowd inside and depend on Presidents, policies or

    padded bank accounts to carry out our individual and collective mission which is:

    Love your God with all your heart,

    all your soul,

    and all your mind

    and to also

    Love your neighbor as yourself.

    And yet, here we stand, the tattered walls of our cocoon exposed to the world, shivering in the cold air of reality. Our numbers no longer have the upper hand, our well-funded programs no longer sway policy.There are those who will go back to laboriously trying to salvage what there is left and make it look presentable to a “watching world”. Good for them. At one time, I would have joined their pupose-driven efforts.

    I have decided reconstruction of the cocoon that served me well for many years is not where I am going to put my efforts. In the past weeks, it has become clear, the crystal kind, the reality of God’s desire for us to break through the walls of what formed us and to go and love, and love and love some more, not from our own source, not to those we consider possibly worthy, but to anyone our Creator brings into our life at any given moment of any given day. We break free, not to live isolated lives, but to inspire life-transforming change by the passing on of the Truth that each of us are deeply loved.

    We can–and should– encourage each other in the carrying out of a lifestyle that gets our hearts dirty as we learn to let His Love wash over those we live with and around.

    Do not get me wrong. Times are tough, and they will probably get a whole lot tougher. Yet for those that spent years in the dim lighting that a cocoon affords, this exposure to the light could spark the most genuine movement of Jesus-followers this generation has ever seen.

  32. Timothy Buchser November 15, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Thank you so much for this post brother. I had been so frustrated with the vitriol from both sides against other brothers and sisters in the Lord. I had shared some of your same concerns, but it did not go over well. They were just too emotional and connected to their cause I suppose.
    It is great to hear another voice of reason! Tremendous life and truth, as always!

    Thanks again

  33. Sue November 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Thank you so much Wayne, I knew these things, but still found myself listening to all the news outlets and letting myself get angry, and judgemental about people that didn’t think the way I did. I also felt myself getting depressed when it didn’t turn out the way I was sure ”God wanted it to be”. I totally lost my joy and found myself becoming fearful of what the future would bring. You have gotten be back on the right path, you’re right God is the one in control, I need to start trusting Him, just doing what he has called me to do….love my neighbor.

  34. Sue November 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Thank you so much Wayne, I knew these things, but still found myself listening to all the news outlets and letting myself get angry, and judgemental about people that didn’t think the way I did. I also felt myself getting depressed when it didn’t turn out the way I was sure ”God wanted it to be”. I totally lost my joy and found myself becoming fearful of what the future would bring. You have gotten be back on the right path, you’re right God is the one in control, I need to start trusting Him, just doing what he has called me to do….love my neighbor.

  35. Michael Snow November 22, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Excellent post. We tend to confuse the Kingdom of God with the USA and forget that Christians are called to be the light of the world, not the sword of the LORD.

  36. Michael Snow November 23, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Excellent post. We tend to confuse the Kingdom of God with the USA and forget that Christians are called to be the light of the world, not the sword of the LORD.

  37. Sérgio R Gomes November 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Sr. Wayne, o meu nome é Sérgio, lhe escrevo do Brasil e acabo de ler o seu livro (Por que você não quer mais ir a igreja?)
    Pra ser sincero, Deus falou poderosamente em meu coração e estou cansado, dessa vida eclesiástica , um ritmo frenético de crescimento, festas e eventos intermináveis, campanhas atras de campanhas afim de angariar fundos pra igreja é ar-condicionado é obra e reforma, verdadeiramente desviamos o foco que é nosso Cristo, não tenho muita motivação pra ir aos cultos, naturalmente me sentia culpado, agora começo a perceber algumas coisas,gostaria de conhecer João, tem muitas perguntas que preciso lhe fazer. quero aprender a caminhar com Jesus e me libertar desse julgo que nos oprimi que se alto denomina igreja. começo a pensar que Cristo disse que Ele construiria a Sua igreja e não nos…

  38. Sérgio R Gomes November 23, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Sr. Wayne, o meu nome é Sérgio, lhe escrevo do Brasil e acabo de ler o seu livro (Por que você não quer mais ir a igreja?)
    Pra ser sincero, Deus falou poderosamente em meu coração e estou cansado, dessa vida eclesiástica , um ritmo frenético de crescimento, festas e eventos intermináveis, campanhas atras de campanhas afim de angariar fundos pra igreja é ar-condicionado é obra e reforma, verdadeiramente desviamos o foco que é nosso Cristo, não tenho muita motivação pra ir aos cultos, naturalmente me sentia culpado, agora começo a perceber algumas coisas,gostaria de conhecer João, tem muitas perguntas que preciso lhe fazer. quero aprender a caminhar com Jesus e me libertar desse julgo que nos oprimi que se alto denomina igreja. começo a pensar que Cristo disse que Ele construiria a Sua igreja e não nos…

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