Engaged, but not Entangled

Dear NCC Family and Friends,

“No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”  2 Timothy 2:4

There is a date that much of the nation has either circled on their calendar or have etched into their mental rolodex (I’m aging myself here).  It is the date of November 3rd.  Perhaps you have heard that there’s something kinda important happening on that day?   Of course you have.  It is day designated for the election of the U.S. presidency.  And it seems there is a considerable amount of interest surrounding this particular election.  The question of who should be president has in many ways consumed the minds of Americans and inflamed passions in a manner seemingly unparalleled in our history.  And it is natural that such an intense climate would effect all Americans in different ways and to varying degrees.   As a result of this present election cycle many people seem to be experiencing a heightened anxiety and fear.  Others feel driven  and consumed by a great sense of urgency, believing in their hearts that the country’s future wellbeing and international status is largely dependent upon who wins.  On November 3rd, and perhaps the days following, the nation will be holding their collective breaths, awaiting the results of one of the most anticipated elections in our history.  

As a shepherd and minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ I implore you to do the hard, but necessary work of keeping these matters in its proper, biblical perspective.  I say that it is hard work because this is where we live This is our day to day reality.  The nation’s politics will impact all our lives in some very measurable way.  And so, it is natural to be concerned about what happens electorally.  Nevertheless, having a concern is one thing.  Being consumed is something entirely different.

In the above passage Paul gives Timothy, his student and son in the faith some very sound advice.  Like every Christian, Timothy was not living his life in a bubble.  He was living in a world swarming with critical issues he had to somehow navigate through while being faithful to the gospel message and ministry.  Paul, using the picture of a military soldier, warns Timothy to avoid getting “entangled” in the affairs of the world.  The word here (empleko) was often used to describe a runner in a race whose long swaying garments would get twisted and caught in between the legs, preventing the runner from progressing forward.  Paul is not saying that such “civilian concerns” are either good or bad.  But to the extent that these concerns distract us from the message of the Gospel, they are hindrances that threaten the progress of God’s work in your life and the advancement of His Kingdom agenda.  

So beloved, I encourage you to intentionally cultivate an eternal perspective as we near the date of the election.  There is no candidate nor political party that can ultimately answer the greatest need yet confronting the world today—the need for sinful man to be reconciled to a holy God.  And I don’t believe that God cares whether the sinner is a registered democrat or republican. 

In Him
Pastor Mark