Election years like 2020 can cause a lot of dissension and divisiveness in our country. Just watching the recent presidential debate and the ensuing commentary on the news, radio and social media tells how divided we are as a nation. Not only are we divided, we are sometimes hateful and spiteful towards each other as Americans. Sadly, we see this mindset spill over into the church as well. We see Christians demonize other Christians because of who they feel might best lead and govern our country.
As a follower of Christ and a pastor, my hope is that elections and voting would never be reasons for causing division among Christians. And I grieve when I hear many Christians lose all sense of taming the tongue and living out the fruit of the Spirit during conversations about politics. As James 3:9-10 says, "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse others, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be." The Apostle Paul also warns against divisions in the church in several of his letters. While the Apostle Paul would be the first to admit that he had disagreements with some of his brothers in Christ, he was never a proponent of division and divisiveness which causes separation, split, and brokenness in the body of Christ. I feel like Paul's reminder in Galatians is worth us spending some time dwelling on. He says in Galatians 5:19-23 (NLT),
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
As the election for our country is just around the corner, may we practice taming our tongues and embodying the fruit of the Spirit. Perhaps some advice from our theological forefather John Wesley will be helpful for us in the coming days as we seek first to be the people of God. Here is an brief excerpt from his journal that I think is worth keeping in mind:
October 6, 1774
I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them
1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy
2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and
3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side. ― John Wesley
God Bless, Pastor Tony
October 2020 Newsletter, page 2
Several individuals became members on September 27th. In addition, we also celebrated the baptism of two members.
If you’re interested in being baptized or joining the membership of our church, contact Pastor Tony.
The women’s ministry is preparing for the upcoming Bazaar, Saturday, November 21. If you would like to donate homemade holiday items, the church office can provide Yvonne Stuart's contact information.
Every Tuesday, the men are invited to Bridges Coffee House in the TVCC building downtown. This group meets weekly at 8:00 am for fellowship and Bible study. All ages of men are welcome!
The women have started their weekly bible study each Wednesday at 10:00 am in the fellowship hall at the church. Bring your bible and enjoy being lead by Gloria Caulk in a study on the Holy Spirit.