WHAT ARE WE TO DO?
As everyone knows by now Election Day in America is about here. I am guessing most of us will be glad when it is over, but there are still a couple more days to go. Just to make one thing clear right up front, I will never endorse a particular candidate or party from the pulpit. I will, however, at times speak out about things happening in our community, state, and nation that I feel have to do with what we as Christians should be caring about.
When we look at what is written in these verses, we read this morning it is very clear how we should view those local, state and national leaders. We, as Christians, have an obligation before God to comply with what the authorities say. We are blessed in this nation to have a government system that allows its citizens to disagree with what may be going on, but we are to disagree in a peaceful, respectful way. There have been strong disagreements with presidents in the past and present as well as other political leaders at a more local level. This will without a doubt always occur.
According to the scripture, we read this morning that we as Christians have an obligation to God to show a level of respect and are to obey what the leaders to say as long as the leaders are not forcing us to go against God’s commands for our lives.
We should look at what the conditions were like when Paul wrote and spoke these things to the Christians of Rome. Rome was not a place that at that time was supportive of Christians or the Jewish community. While they may not be putting people into the lions’ den or fiery furnace, they clearly had no love for people of faith. If you remember from last week, Claudius had ordered Jews out of Rome. When this book of Romans was given to the people, I do not believe it was that long after what we read about last week in Acts. So, to say things were better for Christians in Rome when Paul delivered this writing to the Roman Christians than what we are experiencing in America today would be incorrect. It is natural for us to disagree with the political leaders from time to time. There are those who have voiced literal hatred towards our current president for the past four years. There are signs in Cerro Gordo that show extreme displeasure with our current governor.
Are the verses we read this morning saying we cannot disagree with our political leaders? Absolutely not, that is not what is being said. We as Christians, however, should never allow our disagreements to turn to hatred. Those who are in power have been allowed by God to be in those positions because of God’s plan. That is what the scripture we read implies. In fact, in the second verse, it goes as far as to say he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted. In other words, we are rebelling against God if we go too far. So, what are we to do? If a leader is forcing us to go against what we know God wants us to do, we have an obligation before God to stand up for God’s holy word. However, if there are simply things we do not like about a person in power that does not expect or require us to go against God’s word, we better be careful how far we are willing to take things for we read in these verses this morning that those in authority can take action against us if we break laws that clearly do not violate God’s laws. While we in America have the legal right to peacefully disagree with our leaders, there are limits to what is acceptable in God’s eyes.
We have an election in two days. I do not know where those of you in this church stand on this year’s presidential election and I do not want to know. I do know this. There will almost certainly be some happy with the results and some who will not be so happy. We as Christians have an obligation to God to respect the results however they turn out. God is in control in spite of the fact many in our nation and world want to believe we the people are in control of our nation and world. God not only wants us to obey leaders and our laws, he requires us to. God gives each of us the ability to choose to follow Him and His word or do things on our own. We are also blessed to live in a nation that still allows us to have choices about leaders and the direction we believe our nation should go. We do have rules that dictate how elections are run and how outcomes are determined. I pray no matter how this election turns out those of us at the Cerro Gordo Church of the Brethren will respect what the results of this election are. When we have the chance to change things with our voices and our votes, we have every right to do so in a respectful way. But when the results are in, we should obey God’s word and accept the results. In Romans 13:7 it is very clear we are to give everyone what you owe. If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. We have an obligation before God to pray for this nation and its leaders. They have been placed in authority by virtue of God’s plan.
May we as God’s people always be peacemakers. There are always going to be disagreements, whether in politics or simply in life. May we always honor God and obey God’s word even when it is hard to do as sometimes it can be. Pray for this nation, its leaders, as well as we it’s people. It is the right thing to do no matter who is in office. Pray for a peaceful Election Day. Pray that God’s will shall truly be done on this nation’s behalf. Pray that God will continue to bless and guide this nation.
Sundays: Sunday School 9:00; Worship 10:00 Please social distance and wear masks. We continue carrying our worship on facebook live. We are grateful that it reaches many people in and beyond our congregation.
November 11 6:15 p.m. Executive Committee; 7:00 Commissions; 7:30 Board Meeting
Sunday, November 15 Council Meeting will be immediately after worship in the sanctuary.
The Lord’s Storehouse is asking for donations for Thanksgiving baskets. $25 will feed a family of 4; Please put donations in the bucket in the back of the church. Checks may be made out to The Lord’s Storehouse. These are due November 8.
Donation Box November/December: The Lord’s Storehouse
First Sundays: food donations for food banks
The Women will be taking candy orders soon. $3.50 per ½ pound. Watch for details.
District Q & A with CoB Moderator
Annual Conference Moderator Paul Mundey is scheduling a virtual visit with our district November 10, 2020, at 6:00pm, via Zoom. The format of the visit is a Question and Answer session with Paul, along with Moderator-elect David Sollenberger and Secretary Jim Beckwith. The session is open for any and all questions, and to everyone who wishes to participate. The focus of this event will be on the state of the church. If you would like to participate, please forward your name and email address to the district office (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Zoom link will be sent to you at a later date.
To keep up on Church of the Brethren news:
Denomination: www.brethren.org/news Sign up for Newsline by clicking link on left side of page.
District: iwdcob.org (click on newsletter link)
Keep in Your Prayers
Brittany Wright; Sonna Hall; Evelyn Eads; Bertha Eveland; Betty Moore; Mike Gentry; Anna Gentry Thompson; Arnold Schultz; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Adiline Young; Barb Baker; Kim Lehmann; Dylan Junior; Doug Fansler; Bailey & Liam Martina; Jeff Sawyer; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Gary Jesse; Norm & Marge Starr; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Mary Beth Pflum; Tim Lynch; Zola Copeland and family; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; the families of the 228,000+ people who have died from COVID-19; all who are ill with the virus; the unemployed; school teachers, staff, and students; victims of the wildfires and hurricanes; District of IL/WI; nursing home residents; the harvest; the election
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
The District of IL/WI is sponsoring a book study, beginning November 12 via zoom. The facilitators are Dennis Webb, pastor of the Naperville congregation, and Christy Waltersdorff, pastor of the York Center congregation. The book to be studied is White Fragility: Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Race by Robin DiAngelo. The series takes place on six Thursday evenings from 7-8:30 p.m. (Central time) on Nov. 12, Dec. 3 and 17, Jan. 7 and 21, and Feb. 4. To sign up for the book study contact the district office at email@example.com .
Our Mission Statement:
Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully,
reach the lost, find peace