The national presidential race going on right now is vicious. You don’t have to leave your radio or TV on long until you become sick from heated politics. From name calling to dirty under-the-table deals, you name it, this year’s politics are destined to give you high blood pressure. And we are only in June — the political water isn’t even boiling yet.
Today’s political spectrum seems wider than ever. From abortion to the economy to military spending, the two men running for office are polar opposites. I sometimes wonder if there is even one thing on which they agree. They have two very different philosophies on how to lead this great nation.
Regardless of your political preference, one thing is certain: This country has some problems. Unless you’ve been in a coma for the last 10 years you know what I’m talking about: high unemployment and underemployment numbers, a sky-high national deficit, and an economy that is so sick you wouldn’t be surprised if it died in its sleep tonight.
Perhaps we can agree that one reason this country has so many problems is because it has drifted away from the Constitution. The United States has largely ignored the ideals of her founding fathers and, as a result, has become a nation that only somewhat resembles what they intended. In other words, our country has forgotten the standard on which it was founded.
I think religion today is messed up for the same reason. Churches have drifted away from the Bible, resulting in today’s confusing religious landscape. Why? Christians have lost the standard on which they should be united: Jesus Christ and his New Testament.
Modern Christianity is awfully confusing, isn’t it? It seems like there is a different church on every street corner, especially here in the Bible Belt. Church “A” teaches one thing, and church “B” teaches another, and the issues that separate them from one another are not exactly petty. Many churches are worlds apart on important matters like worship and salvation. Why are there so many different churches teaching so many different things? Because Christians are not trying to model their churches after the one we read about in the New Testament.
Do you think Jesus wants Christians to be divided into different churches and denominations? Certainly not. The apostle Paul rhetorically asked, “Is Christ divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:13) Before Jesus was crucified, he prayed to God asking that his followers be united. Specifically, Jesus prayed that his followers be united through the apostles’ teaching (John 17:20-21).
The only way to fix the division and confusion in mainstream Christianity today is to go back to the Bible. Christian unity can only be accomplished by recognizing the New Testament as our only standard in matters of religion. Paul wrote that the Bible “completes” and “thoroughly equips” man (2 Timothy 3:16-17). True fellowship with God can only be found through the New Testament (1 John 1:3).
Because the simple teachings of the New Testament are largely ignored, Christianity today is a confusing mess. If God’s Word is everything I need, why would I want to place my faith in the hands of a man-written creed book or some ancient theologian’s articles of faith?
This election year, I will be voting for the presidential candidate that respects the Constitution as the standard of government. Spiritually, I will be using God’s Word as the only standard in matters of faith and salvation.
Ben Giselbach is minister of Riverbend Church of Christ in Dalton.
‘It was a brutal time’
Dr. William Blackman opened a box of tools consisting of medical instruments, including a saw, and proceeded to tell visitors how they were used more than a century ago to amputate limbs for soldiers wounded on the battlefield.Continued ...
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