Indecision 2016

If you haven’t heard, we have an election coming up.  I have watched some of the news coverage.  I have seen the debates (perhaps a cage match would have been more civilized).  I have also watched my Facebook news feed deteriorate into a meme war and normally decent people use language that would make a sailor blush.  Emotions are running high with this one as probably never before.   And the most interesting thing in the whole mess is that nobody seems to REALLY want either of the major candidates; they simply plan to vote for the one that they think will do the least damage.

People are living in fear.  And there are lots of things in this world that demand that we fear them:  war, poverty, loss of freedoms, declining civilization.  Of course we KNOW that, “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).  But “knowing it” does not always mean “living it”.  Instead, sometimes we let our imaginations get away with us.  What do we “fear” this coming election?  Many, if honest, fear the further deterioration of religious freedoms.  Some religious leaders, in endorsing Candidate Y (a practice that I strongly recommend against), have said that Candidate X (see what I did there?) if elected will appoint Supreme Court justices who will deteriorate our freedoms.  These leaders have fallen victim to the very same fear that we preach against.

God’s people have not always lived with religious freedom.  For hundreds of years of human history, God’s people have been ruled by criminals, maniacs, and evil men.  Daniel tells the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were willing to face death other than worship the king.  He also tells of his own trip into a lion’s den for the “crime” of praying.  For the first 313 years of the church, it was illegal.  Believers were persecuted and punished in some of the worst ways imaginable.  But yet, the church grew.  It took great courage to speak of faith in Christ, knowing that it could cost you your life.  In 21

st

Century America, we hesitate to speak about Christ because He might cost us a business relationship or a friendship.  We need to get our priorities straight, and show the love of Christ to the world, instead of a fear of their behavior.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7).  We need to remember that if God did not give us the spirit of fear, it most certainly has to come from somewhere else.  We also need to remember that no matter who gets elected, God is STILL on the throne.  And we still have our place in the Kingdom!



Entering the Digital Age

Sappony Baptist Church enjoys our long, rich history of telling “the old, old story of Jesus and His love.”  You may recognize the lyrics from “I Love to Tell the Story” by Katherine Hankey, one of the classics of the church.  When the author was born in 1834, Sappony had been going strong for 61 years.  In fact, it predates the United States by three years.  While this may seem old, we proclaim an even older truth.
 
The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ does not change.  While ways of proclaiming the truth may change, the truth itself does not.  When our sanctuary was built, there was no running water, no electricity, no automobiles, no telephones.  We have, use, and enjoy these conveniences now.  And we have the internet, which enables us to reach around the world with the message of the gospel.  
 
It is our hope and prayer that our website will help us to show Christ to others, and to show others to Christ.  The message hasn’t changed.  But the rooftop that we can shout it from has!



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