No, today’s devotional is not about reflux or about a Back to the Future Flux Capacitor. Today, I want us to look at what the Bible tells us about living during divisive times.
In 1986, millions of Filipinos took to the streets of Manila in peaceful protest and prayer in the People Power movement. The Marcos regime folded on the fourth day.
In 2003, the people of Georgia ousted Eduard Shevardnadze through the bloodless Rose Revolution, in which protestors stormed the parliament building holding the flowers in their hands.http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190513-it-only-takes-35-of-people-to-change-the-world
“Nonviolent protests are twice as likely to succeed as armed conflicts – and those engaging a threshold of 3.5% of the population have never failed to bring about change. Nonviolent protests are twice as likely to succeed as armed conflicts – and those engaging a threshold of 3.5% of the population have never failed to bring about change.” – David Robson, 5/14/2019
Peace means Peace
The 3.5% rule is well known. A statistical study discovered this 3.5% number. The study used a definition of “peaceful” so stringent that Mahatma Gandhi’s “India Independence” movement was rejected as not sufficiently peaceful to be included. So, when the study states peaceful, it means peaceful.
Some conditions demand an extraordinary change in governments. Just imagine the difference in history if the Soviet people had achieved a 3.5% peaceful protest against Stalin or the Germans against Hitler or Argentina against Juan Perón.
For us as Christians, we carry dual citizenship. First we are citizens of the kingdom of God. Secondly, we may be citizens of a nation. However, even if we are citizens of a country, we are told that we are exiles.
Sojourners and Exiles
1 Peter 2:11 states, “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles…” We can and should exercise our rights, which are granted to us within the nations in which we sojourn. But where evil exists, we should go into that moral infection and bring healing and renewal. We do this not through violence but by love, for we are to be known by our love. (John 13:35)
How then should Christians behave as sojourners in America? We see in 1 Peter 2:16-17 (ESV), “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
“Fear God. Honor the emperor” was most likely written by the Apostle Peter when Nero was Rome’s emperor. This same emperor most likely crucified Peter. That phrase can be challenging for us, as Christians.
Our Vocation is Christianity
Here’s my point: Our priority is to live for Jesus. Our vocation includes working to ease physical and emotional pain, but most importantly, to communicate the good news of Jesus.
We are to lead all who chose Jesus into salvation and, if possible, to establish them in a Christian community. As Christians, it is acceptable for us to debate and peacefully protest ideas and policies. But mocking leaders or their families or anyone sets us against the will of God.
Now, you may say, Jesus and Paul both accused the Jewish leadership of being whitewashed graves. Yes, and they both spoke what was true; they did not mock.
Let us be bold, be strong, honor God, honor our nation, honor our leaders, and respect all people. If Godly morality calls for an extraordinary action – an action beyond existing means – then our action should contribute to the building of a cohesive 3.5% of the population committed to a peaceful movement to affect change. Let us be recognized as Christians by our love.
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