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Corrupt Politics, Dead Civilians, Dead Police: Where Is God In All This?

by Christopher Bevis  
7/08/2016 / Politics

It is now almost six months since the news media reported Donald Trump as joking publicly at a campaign rally that "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters".

Whether or not many a true word was spoken in Mr. Trump's jest, it is fair to say that his words now appear in a very different light. The police officers who were caught on camera shooting Philando Castile and Alton Sterling were deadly serious in the most literal sense possible.

At the time of writing, public opinion is rushing to do what it always does in cases like this: it is seeking to apportion blame and execute rough justice in the apparent absence of any other kind. This, humanly speaking, is the explanation of the multiple fatal and non-fatal shootings of police officers in Dallas during protests about the deaths of Mr Castile and Mr Sterling.

As a Christian lay minister, one thing troubles me amidst all this: Why are we due in the next few weeks to hear so much more about human suffering and evil than about how God in Christ is applying the truth of His sovereignty?

Yes, it is good and right to say that the Lord is compassionate, that He cares about what goes on around us and within us, and to point out that He too has suffered as an innocent victim in cruel circumstances.

But by playing up these things at the expense of God's sovereignty, I suggest the Church is in serious danger of allowing the truth of Christ ascended to be misrepresented and misunderstood as a portrayal of Christ departed.

This dangerous error can easily leave hurting people with the sense that whether or not Jesus is hurting with them, He is not actively carrying out any kind of game plan at all, presumably because He has gone and therefore cannot.

At this point, my fellow ministers will no doubt rush to point out that (at least in some instances) they do preach a relevant, biblical response. They will emphasize that Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit on His followers to give them each a new life in Him, and so to create and build up the Church.

This is certainly a key part of the response of the Lord Jesus Christ to the realities of sin, suffering, and death. As Christians, we do well neither to neglect it nor to dismiss it as toothless and irrelevant.

But what if there is more going on? What if Hillary Clinton's indictment-proof suits and Donald Trump's gaffes are part of the Divine plan for not only the USA but the whole world?

What if the Lord is shaking the idol of the earthly state and the false religion of modern western secularistic materialism in order to prise His bride away from their clutches?

What if this angry, darkening hour is a golden opportunity for church congregations of different majority ethnicities to reach out to one another in mutual repentance, support, and encouragement?

What if the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ are once again on the verge of being known for their love for each other, just as Jesus predicted we would be?

And what if the followers of Jesus are about to be further known for their prayers for and courtesy towards the most blatantly corrupt and incompetent rulers they have seen since they last read about the Herodian dynasty in their Bibles?

So fellow Christians, by all means let us weep with those who weep, but let us not forget that our God is sovereign over all the earth, that He has a definite plan He is working out in earth's history, and that He will one day return in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ to rule openly as the Lord of heaven and earth.

The true foundation of the Church remains alive and very much unshaken. The Lord will not abandon His people to drown in a sea of rage against Him. Let us not allow the darkness of this present hour to convince us otherwise.

(c) 2016 by Christopher Bevis. A Licensed Lay Minister in the Church of England, Christopher is a UK-based writer who has long-standing friends and contacts in the USA. Christopher is available to research and write for hire on Christian matters via the website.

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