Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sorting Through Our Idols

If athletes can have heroes in athletics; if businessmen and women can have heroes in the world of commerce; if educators can admire other academics - I figure its OK for me to have 'preaching heroes'!

Some of mine are no longer with us, men primarily, of whom some may have heard, some you may have never heard of, but their insight and skill in the pulpit inspired and ministered to me as a Christian and as a Gospel preacher.

Still others are with us and I count some of them as friends and colleagues.

One of them is George Mason, of Wilshire Baptist Church here in Dallas. George provides a wisdom and instruction, that is both timely and timeless!

George's sermon after the November 4th election, entitled 'Sorting through Our Gods', is something I think all of us who are believers should heed. Here are some excerpts:

"I heard a fellow Baptist preacher use a blowtorch just this past Sunday. He took the biblical verse Blessed be the nation whose God is the Lord to mean that America is a Christian nation and there is no place among us for leaders who would show respect to other religions. He was clear that we should vote only for a Christian, and only for one whose positions on certain issues are in line with the ones he listed. It’s about the righteous versus the unrighteous. And there was no question whom he was telling them to vote for and whom to vote against. The congregation applauded. I think you would boo me, if not stone me, for doing that. Rightly so.

"The Internet has been inundated with accusations that our president-elect is secretly a Muslim and that voting for him is voting to put away the God of Christianity and replace it with the god of Islam. My friends, this rhetoric is unbecoming of Christians, who should have no fear of our faith failing, since it is founded upon the Rock of Ages, not upon Plymouth Rock. We live in a nation that, while grounded in Judeo-Christian principles, gives place to all religions, along with the freedom to practice without interference from government. We can leave it to God to sort through the religions. That does not mean Christians should be silenced or sidelined, but neither does it mean we should be arrogant and privileged. It means that every individual should “choose you this day whom you will serve” without anyone in Washington or Austin or Rome or Jerusalem or Mecca telling you what god you have to serve or what religion you must follow. When you try to sweep away other religions by intolerance and disrespect, you are using a blowtorch that will backfire and burn you in the process."

And again:

"Ideology and idolatry are close kin. The hope of the world is found in the Lord and in the Lord alone. Left, right and center are not points on a spiritual compass. Politics and politicians come and go—some for better, others for worse. But the God who made you and saved you in Jesus Christ is everlasting.

"You choose the Lord and put away the god of the polls when you order your life according to the biblical principles of hope rather than optimism, and justice rather than self-interest. Now is the time to get back to the basics of faith and faithfulness."

As wonderful as some of us feel the election turned out, its important that we keep it in perspective.

2 comments:

GeorgeMason said...

Gerald,

You honor me beyond merit. It's an honor to serve the Lord and our community alongside you. Thanks for all you do and for the kind words.

George

Gerald Britt said...

Thank you for the sermon! It is truly a blessing...