Yesterday I touched on the subject of political and social reform and that the ideas of reform stem from the individual, and from there seep and effect the larger outcome. In order to obtain a proper modern day social and political reformation, we must first consult our own hearts in order to better approach and execute this idea. Looking from the outside in one can conclude that the absence of God and the rise of secular, as well as patriotic extremism has taken many captive.
As I stated yesterday I am not suggesting to bring religion into authority, but rather that God be brought back into the individual lives. Only the encounter of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit can we see true change, both individually and socially.
Problems socially typically stem from individuals with twisted thoughts and motives that only benefit themselves, or their group of selected individuals. To fully experience peace and unity, as much as one can experience in a fallen state, we must let go of our selfish nature and be made new by the blood of Christ and transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
We need to come to know Christ and be transformed more into His image. The more we come to Christ as individuals, the greater sociological change we will see. A Christ centered heart in each individual, working together to bring about greater change, not in a selfish or religious manner, but Christ-like can ultimately see the change that is much needed.
Many people at this moment stop me and say, “Wait! Look at what the Roman Catholic church has done, or the crusades!” Yes, they did many harmful and dreadful things all in the name of Christ, but one can do or say things in Christ’s name and still be filled with his or her own fleshly nature. What happened in both cases, was not what Jesus intended, but rather was driven by the corruption of power and greed. Jesus did not promote the use of force, but in all things with meekness and gentleness of spirit.
As humans, we tend to do a great job of abusing people, things and whatever else we can utilize to our own benefit. We will do everything in our power as well to justify or rationalize within and outside of ourselves to why the thing we are pursuing is a good thing; Hitler had this same thought. Our human nature loves to chase after pleasures and desires, and doing so in an extreme manner. This not only goes for politicians and many secular advocates, but for religion as well.
In order to veer from this tragic path we must deny our self’s and pick up our cross daily while being led and guided by the Holy Spirit. As soon as we find ourselves wanting a particular idea of reform taking place, we must stop ourselves and ask the question, “Why do I want this? And is this truly for God, or my own selfish idea of well being?” We must always be careful to veer from the thoughts of extremism and cling to the love and grace of Christ. Extremism is what caused the crusades, the abolition of alcohol in the 1920’s, and the reign of Hitler; all of which have nothing truly to do with the Bible or with the kingdom of God.
Temperance is one of the central themes of living a Christian life that keeps us from judging others and being filled with hateful intentions. The more we practice temperance, the more we will veer from extremism. The more we are filled with the Spirit, the more Christ-like we will become, and the more love and grace we will show. At the heart of social and political reform is the individual making choices from his or her own heart. The Bible says that every heart is wicked, and that is why we must rely more on Christ and be filled more with the Spirit in order to make the correct choices. We must stop looking at the things and people being the source of problems, and start looking at our own hearts.