I Can’t Keep Silent About What Happened Today….
Just down the road in DC, protestors stormed the capitol today in what played out as a kind of insurrection.…
Just down the road in DC, protestors stormed the capitol today in what played out as a kind of insurrection. The Vice President was evacuated, Congress ran to safety as windows were broken and intruders pushed their way into our halls of government, like unruly juveniles. The whole thing was marked by violence.
It’s a tragic, embarrassing and extremely saddening event for us all, which marks a new kind of low, and makes clear just how divided we are. And tonight, people are afraid, upset, angry, and confused.
I understand there are going to be strong political disagreements, and that plays out back and forth. And we should all have deep understanding for so many who are profoundly concerned about what these protests and the responses to them today says about the abuse of power, racial inequity, and even democracy itself.
But let me tell you what concerned me the most today. Perhaps you also saw pictures of people in that crowd waving signs with the name “Jesus” on them. The assertion was that somehow who they were, why they were there and what they were doing had something to do with Jesus.
I can’t pretend to speak exactly for Jesus all the time. But I do want to say to anyone who indicates they want to be a follower of Jesus, and to anyone who might be curious about what Jesus is about, and to anyone who is skeptical about Jesus … I want to say clearly and plainly, what happened today has NOTHING … NOTHING … to do with Jesus Christ.
I don’t know the Jesus who was paraded in the middle of it all today.
The horrible attempt to mash together this particular political ideology with the good news of Jesus is horrifyingly, dangerous and erroneous. It’s a religion called Nationalism and is strongly condemned all through the Bible. It breaks the heart of God, especially when those wearing the name Christian fall in with it.
As a follower of Jesus I want to say clearly, that I denounce the actions that took place and want to say in no uncertain terms that you should not be confused for one moment by those waving Jesus signs around.
If you are a follower of Jesus, this is not a time when your life should be characterized primarily as you standing for Trump. This is not a time for you, Christian, to stand for Trump, to stand for Pence, to stand for Biden, or even to stand for democracy or the Constitution…although we have every reason to be concerned about those things.
This is a time to stand for Jesus. Not the Jesus of our individual making that allows me to wave a poster at any cause I find important, but the Jesus of scripture, the Jesus who reveals the God of scripture. This is a time to stand for Jesus. His will, His word, and His ways.
This is a time to humbly allow Jesus by his Spirit to shape us – break us if necessary – and remake us so that we look and act more like him. Because character does matter – ours and that of our leaders and of our nation. When Jesus was asked what was most important, he said to love the Lord your God first and foremost – with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself. He taught that an observing world would know we are Christians because we would be so marked by a love like his.
I have a long way to go in being marked by that kind of love. By that kind of purity of heart. But that’s the Jesus I stand with and for. He calls me upward to noble heights. That’s the Jesus who calls us to make disciples. That’s the Jesus this church follows, serves, loves, and worships.
When Nehemiah in the Old Testament came back to his beloved capitol, Jerusalem, and saw what a ruinous state it was in – the trouble, disgrace and broken down condition made it look as if all hell had broken loose – and it had. It crushed him. He collapsed in a heap and wept.
The fiasco in our capitol might make you feel like that today. It did me.
Nehemiah, you may recall, was a man of action who became part of the solution. He dove in and got his hands dirty. Led by Godly impulses for God’s honor, he led the people to pull together in a display of unity and eventually rebuilt those walls.
As Christian citizens, we will need to help follow Godly impulses to pull people together to build the good society we need.
But first…we must do what Nehemiah did first. The FIRST thing Nehemiah did…was fast and pray before the God of heaven. (Nehemiah 1:4)
So maybe it’s fitting that God had already led the elders of Mountain to call our church to fast throughout the month of January. We are going to FAST together, every Thursday night to Friday night in January. It’s a special time to draw near to God so God can draw near to us (James 4). It’s a time to cry out to God, ask God for his help, for his grace, for our church, for our lives, for our families, for our own hearts.
It is a time to pray earnestly for those in power, but especially for the vulnerable, those most afraid in these times, and those unlike ourselves.
And like Nehemiah, we can use this time of fasting to call out to God for his mercy and peace in our land.
I hope you will join me in a collective fast throughout January, praying hard for God to lead us in 2021. And like Nehemiah, we can include prayers for the nation and the church. People want REAL change. We are fasting because we believe scripture when it says the most REVOLUTIONARY kind of change happens when we fast and pray before our God. Check out the messages about these ACTS of Revolution here.
Finally, let me help us remember something important.
By God’s providence and guidance, we believe, we were led to preach a series of messages earlier this year – before the election – called The Separation of Church and Hate. If it’s new to you, please go back and make time to listen to each one. We taught strong biblical truths and laid out specific Godly practices at that time which absolutely MARK us as Jesus’ people.
NOW is the time to apply those truths and practices!
Are you a first and foremost a Christian…who happens to be a Republican or a Democrat? Or is your primary identity a Republican or a Democrat…or a white person…or a black person…or an American? What are you known for? Where is your deepest loyalty and primary allegiance? If Jesus is Lord, don’t forget who and whose you are. Because if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, right now is the time to make it crystal clear by how you act.
What we saw today at the capitol was not civil. But it won’t do to match it with a reaction of incivility. So yes, take your stand, denounce wrong, reject injustice. But watch your mouth and be careful on social media. Don’t fight, hate, or spew. We can model how to disagree with ideas without denigrating people. And always bring the blue bucket of water to the fire rather than the red one with gas.
Stop pretending God agrees with your political views all the time. Following in the steps of Jesus means learning humility and listening…to seek to understand…and even pray for our enemies and those who persecute us. Sometimes it may feel like you’re “losing.” But Jesus says the losers win.
Jesus calls us to be ONE BODY, agents of healing and peace in a hurting world. We must therefore unite around Christ alone. It’s not hard to stir up more dissension. We’ve seen plenty of that. But Jesus says that’s the devil’s work. Whose side are you on?
- Be known for CHARITY. That’s a fancy word for love. When did it become okay to hate? “Love each other” is a command from our Lord. We must learn to disagree politically but love unconditionally. After all, we can only really be known for one thing. You can’t control where people will hold up “Jesus” signs, but you are responsible for whether you obey his fundamental command to love your neighbor as yourself.
- Live with CLARITY. Let’s keep things in perspective. Our ultimate hope is in Jesus Christ. He isn’t elected or ousted by our votes, and the fortress of our God will never be breached or overtaken. Empires rise and fall, just as grass withers and flowers fade. But the Word of our Lord will stand forever. So anchor your life on what matters most, and live with clarity about Who sits on The Throne forever and ever. And may the fact that we belong to Jesus be known not by signs we wave, but the lives we lead.
31 thoughts on “I Can’t Keep Silent About What Happened Today….”
Thank you so much Pastor Ben, I’ve been keeping the news off in my home and shielding my teenage daughters my husband and myself form all the chaos!! I have to be honest I’m really scared for what may happen. However I’m standing firmly in Jesus and he’s giving me the strength to fight my fears, 2020 was a difficult and different year for so many people and my heart just breaks at all the bitterness and ugliness that has become our new normal or some would say average!!! The Payne’s would like to join you and our beloved church in the fasting for Jesus, The Payne’s love Jesus and we may not always get it right with our walk with Jesus but there is so patient and wonderful waiting for his lost lambs to come back home and he waits with open loving arms!! It hasn’t always been easy for us, Mike and I had our daughters at a young age and we struggled a lot sometimes I had to work 2 jobs because we had 2 babies in diapers!!! Jesus always made a way and gave Mike and I the courage to raise our beautiful intelligent amazing daughters!! Jesus was always with us and he never leaves us. We’ve had some tests this 2020 threw at us but we’re turned it into a testimony!! If you’d like I would love to share my testimony with others so that they can see Jesus through me!! Thank you for all you do and keeping it real and keeping us informed and firmly planted in the true words of Jesus!!!
Thank you for this message. Thank you for your leadership during this time. Thank you for all you have done for our church and community. You have been a solid leader in a time when we need leaders the most. What you said here I wholeheartedly agree with and wish this message could reach all that need it. I will forever try to model this sentiment.
Thank you. Good clear communication. I agree with all.
January 7, 2021
I was sickened by the events of yesterday. It seems that 2020 slipped right into 2021 without missing a beat. I do not know what lies ahead for us, but I will face it professing that Jesus is my Lord. I will tell the world with my actions.
Jesus, send me.
Thank you. Ben. Very well stated. My morning prayer starts with “Lord teach me to love”. Maybe I won’t find Jesus’ deep love until I get to heaven but with the power of the Holy Spirit I’m going to keep on trying.
I wasn’t going to get on Facebook today; in fact, I was going to stay away for a while. I’m so glad I did get on today! This post is exactly what I’ve been feeling and thinking. Once again, I am grateful that God led our family to Mountain Christian Church. The fact that many weeks ago the leadership planned this time of fasting and prayer, not knowing what would happen at this time in our nation’s history. We should be praying for our nation on a regular basis, but most especially at this time of unrest. Thank you for your words. They truly are an encouragement during these dark days.
Ben, this is excellent. May we all look to the Lord. We all are so proud of you, but more than that you humbly said what needed to be said with some action. May God bless you and your elders at Mountain. As your grandpa said, “The sun never sets on MBC (Crossroads) grads.
Thank you friend. May God bless your ministry at Mountain – and may the Spirit work through your words and love.
Thank you for addressing this issue, and expressing so eloquently that which I could not. What a sad day for us all, yet thanks to God, hope remains and better days are ahead! I look forward to joining you and the church in this month’s fast. Many blessings!
Ben, I have no profound words to respond to this but didn’t want to read this and just move on. Thank you for this perspective and for your teachings of our Loving Jesus! We love Mountain!
Ben it appears you too have fallen victim to the fake news,but I can assure you in no uncertain terms,the people holding signs professing their love for the Lord,and praying for our Country,were Not scaling the Capital steps,and had no part in that tragedy,I can only tell you what I saw🇺🇸
Agreed 100%. Thank you Kim.
I agree with you Kim.
Kim, thank you for your comment. I don’t think I’ve fallen prey to any fake news, but you are right that I should have been more careful in saying what I said, as I gave room for the impression that everyone present was a lawless protestor, which is surely not the case. I have written a clarifying statement which is posted now.
Excellent, accurate, biblical, prophetic stgatement.
Thank you Pastor Ben for your message. It came through loud and clear. I am sickened by the events at DC, our nation’s capital. I am praying for the families of the four individuals who lost their lives. I am praying for the law enforcement officers who were injured. I am praying for this nation and our fellow citizens to remember the principles by which this republic was formed. I am praying for our current POTUS and the incoming administration. I have more in my heart than words can express, and I give them up to our Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Bless you Pastor Ben.
Thank you Pastor Ben! A powerful and much needed message. We are unified in Christ Jesus. Praying for the body of Christ, our leaders, Authorities and our families.
As always, you help us to make sense and apply scriptual principles in an unsettled, chaotic world. Thank you for reminding us, again, Who we follow, and what Jesus expects from us as His followers. He leads us with love, and we are to follow in love.
I definitely need to take this message to heart and stay out of the fray!
I will be trying to fast for the very first time in my life – I feel God in the midst of all of this.
Ben. Thank you for being here for us, in all this sadness ..We are blessed by your messages each week addressing what’s going on in our world and lives. And always reminding us that God is with us. I have learned thru the years. I am not in control and when I truly give over my control to God. He truly blesses me Thank you again for your wise words and your awesome leadership. We are so grateful for you and too you.
Bless you, Ben. Thank you for speaking truth with love.
Ben, this was a refreshing message to read, pointing all of us to the only true One. Thank you for sharing your spiritual insight. Blessings, Donna a child of the King
Very well said!
Probably need to take some of your own advice on name calling and humility.
where are in the world, but not of the world.. They were at the protest, but why come to judgement, to say that they were there to participate in the protest, or were they there, simply to be a voice for the Lord?
The majority of the million or so people that were there were actually peacefully protesting and we’re praying, singing hymns, and very loving. The media is not portraying this the way that it is. The group that stormed the capital was a different sort of group. And this happened before the majority of the people left the White House area where the president was speaking. In fact the events happen for the president was even finished speaking more we are all gathered down by the White House. We have a right to protest peacefully and we should be protesting the horrible things that are happening in this country… Peacefully. And again as a witness I can say that the majority of people in that crowd were very calm and peaceful. It’s very evil what is going on right now and how the media and people who are buying into the media is saying are lumping all these people together. To give you a very small example… In front of the capital there was a table set up with a bunch of people who were protesting abortion and some other people to support it or will not fight fight against it. They weren’t doing anything wrong in fact they never moved from the table. They had signs up To give you a very small example… In front of the capital there was a table set up with a bunch of people who were protesting abortion and some other people to support it or will not fight fight against it. They weren’t doing anything wrong in fact they never moved from the table. They had signs up for Jesus. How is that wrong? My husband and I went because our election system is messed up and very evil people want to take control over our government. We see this very clearly and we are very scared by it. We went peacefully and we didn’t do anything except stand there and protest with her voices and our presence. And now we are being called terrorists. The far left and the media has managed to turn so many people against other Americans for absolutely no good reason. It’s shameful:-( I am ashamed of so many people that I thought were Christ followers today. They have become like Judas:-(
Thank you for your reply, Kate. You make very good points. I should not have left room with my words for the impression that everyone there was a bad person. I also did not wish to diminish the right or validity of protesting, and the way that the majority did it, nor render a value judgment on the political leanings of those who gathered or those who oppose them. I did not make these things clear in my post and should have, and as a result left room for unnecessary offense. It is truly sad what happened — and I realize that not everyone there protesting wished to be associated with the acts of lawlessness. My further statement above hopefully makes more clear what my main point was in writing i the first place, which has very much to do with how we use the name of Jesus in these things, because it matters very much. Thank you for your understanding.
I saw video of that black man holding that sign and he was talking about how Jesus saves. He might have been quite a character as some people are at these events, but he seemed genuine. There was also a tent with constant praise music and prayer going on. I think your article is somewhat misleading. I understand what you are saying, that Nationalism and Politics can pollute the gospel, but be careful that you aren’t demonizing Christians who were there earlier in the day. Certainly, they were not part of storming the Capitol, and were grieved by that. Your comment about being the “blue bucket of water to the fire rather than the red one with gas” is a curious comment as well considering the ties of those colors to the two major parties.
I. Darlene B. was at That Rally.
It was a Very God fearing group! Telling anyone and everyone God is on the throne!
The Jesus signs were with people who Loved God and peole loving people. Giving hope to others in this time of evil amd concussion and stress.
It was a group of small group of people who moved toward the capital. With Plans of Entering the Capital ( even had there own photographer) to destroy!..( And others followed them that made up that group.)
That IS THE WITNESS OF THE TRUMP RALLY JAN 6 2021.
Though I agree and would love unity with all people but the scriptures clearly state in Luke 12.
““I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.””
Luke 12:49-53 ESV
This is about good versus evil. The scriptures further states:
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”
Matthew 12:30-32 ESV
The spirit of the Antichrist is around us deceiving many. Therefore unity will be impossible with them unless people accept the truth and the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.