FaithView: November 9, 2018

2nd Corinthians 4:16-18

We Can Change Everything Without Changing a Single Law

By Joe Torosian

I’ve always viewed voting the way we’ve been taught. People died to secure this right. The ability to vote and choose is something much of the world doesn’t have. Many societies cannot even grasp the idea/concept of having the freedom to vote.

And I wholly endorse the adage; “If you don’t vote, then you can’t complain.”

On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, I voted, and I loved it. The place was packed, and there was energy. I didn’t feel like I was in a library, cemetery, or surrounded by grumpy people with dysentery. It was a happening place. And what a feeling it was to hear not only my stamper punching out my picks but everyone else’s as well.

Give the politicians credit, for one thing, they certainly motivated people to get out and vote. I don’t know if the numbers reflected broadly, but I’d never seen my precinct so busy—especially for a midterm election.  

Some of my candidates won, many of them lost, and the initiatives I voted for flamed out faster than the Dodger bullpen in the World Series.

But I loved voting more this time than any other time in my life. Maybe because age brings a greater sense of appreciation? I don’t know for sure, but, for me, this opportunity to vote was different.

And in the end…

I didn’t get what I wanted, but I haven’t lost hope. I never will because I know we can change everything without changing a single law. 

We can change everything without winning a single election. We can change everything no matter what career politician is elected. No matter the state, no matter the city, no matter any perfect storm of disaster the society/culture/universe hurls our way. We can change everything.

I don’t want people to kill each other. I don’t want people to rob and cheat each other. I don’t want people to hate each other. I don’t want families dysfunctional and torn apart. I don’t want adults or children to ever feel worthless.

But they do.

What can happen at a ballot box to change any of that? These things happen whether there are laws or not.

What keeps me from killing someone is not the words written on some line, in some form, with a stamp saying, “The Law” pressed over it. 

No, what keeps me from killing somebody is my faith and the values that have been imparted to me by those in my life. Compared to these things a simple sentence on parchment is pretty small, weak, and largely ineffective.

We can keep all the laws we have; we can get rid of all the laws we have…and nothing will change.

But if the Church—meaning its people—ever decides to be the Church, then we can change everything.

It’s amazing—and I’m speaking to the Church—we’ll call ourselves believers and followers of Christ…but stop believing and stop following when it becomes a little too inconvenient. And every time we stop believing and stop following what we’re really saying is, is that the faith we claim in Jesus Christ isn’t sufficient enough to crush the terrors and bridge the gaps of our world.

“I believe in God, but I just don’t believe in organized religion.”…Yada…Yada…Yada…

Fine, don’t. I’ve never asked, led, or tried to convince anyone to trust in the Church of The Nazarene. I’ve attempted to get them to trust in the book, the blood, and the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

Without those things being an absolute–and this might offend, and I hope it does–you’re just not a Christian…You might be a spiritual person…You might be a religious person…You might be a zealous person…You very well could be a moral person…But without the book, the blood, and the hope we have in Jesus Christ, you’re not a Christian. Sorry, not sorry.

So if you’re a subscriber to this faith, then you must know we can change everything without changing a single law.

I hate abortion—I mean, I really hate abortion—but what changes if Roe V. Wade is overturned? Aren’t people still going to get abortions? Murder is outlawed, but people are still murdered. We even have laws against hate, and people still hate.

If the Church would move away from its self-righteousness, its causes, its denominationalism, its failed view of multiculturalism, its flirtation with socialism, and its fraudulent pretense of bringing about justice…It could change everything.

If the passion of the Church was all about the book, the blood, and the hope we have in Jesus Christ…It could change everything…Because these are the things that change the heart.

Good President/bad President…Why should that stop the Church? Better question is, why does the Church allow itself to be drawn into trusting anything other than the book, the blood, and the hope we have in Jesus Christ?

“When nothing is owed or deserved or expected

And your life doesn’t change by the man that’s elected

If you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected

Decide what to be and go be it”—The Avett Brothers

It’s time for the Church to decide what it wants to be and to go out and be it.

And if it is about anything other than the book, the blood, and the hope we have in Jesus Christ…Then it is distinctly not the Church.

The Church I know—the one that is strengthened by the book, empowered by the blood, and encouraged by the hope of Jesus Christ—can change everything…Without changing a single law.

Because it changes hearts.

Boom!

 

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