Continuing the interview with Kathi Macias, author of the new book Beyond Me: Living a You-First Life in a Me-First World (New Hope, 2008):
On page 26 you wrote: “Jesus was no stranger to dealing with hard hearts. He never got sidetracked with politics or cultural agendas. He always went straight to the heart of a situation—people’s hearts, because He knew that people’s actions and words reflect their hearts. He understood that dealing with actions and words is nothing more than a temporary fix. For permanent results, He always dealt with hearts, and He dealt with them one at a time.”
You’re not saying it’s wrong to be involved in politics or cultural issues, are you?
KM: Absolutely not. Jesus Himself told us to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” And though we are first and eternally citizens of heaven, we should also be the best citizens of our temporal country here on earth. How can we be salt and light if we aren’t involved?
The key is to be involved with the right motives. We don’t jump into politics to condemn, but rather to do what we can to lovingly correct—and we do that not as we proclaim our own opinions on right and wrong but rather as we stand for what God says is right. Jesus is the perfect example of how to do it, in that “while WE were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He didn’t excuse or overlook our sin, but He loved us enough to pay the price that we might be forgiven and restored to the Father. Ultimately, that should be our concern and purpose in everything we do—politics or otherwise—to see sinners restored to the Father’s heart.
In this blog I’ve recently been blogging about the leadership in the church, especially mainline denominations placing active homosexuals into leadership positions in the church.
If a person sees wrong behavior taking place—such as a person continuing to practice homosexuality, or the church accepting this behavior in its leaders—how can an individual respond to deal with the heart for permanent change, not just deal with actions and words which are a temporary fix?
KM: This is crucial, as dealing with actions and words are simply chopping off the offending branches. We must deal with the root, and that can only be done through prayer and intercession, as only God can change a heart. In the interim, we continually remember the admonition to “hate the sin but love the sinner,” as God does with us.
Does this also apply to taking time out of our busy schedule to speak up and speak out on issues, whether in politics or the church, to make certain the freedoms of America are protected for the next generation?
KM: If we believe that’s what God has called us to personally, then yes, absolutely. Each of us as believers has been called to the ministry of reconciliation, though that ministry will read out differently in each of us. Some of us are called to evangelize, some to teach, some to lead worship—and some to take a stand politically. So long as we know we are being faithful TODAY (which is all God requires of us) to do what God has called us to do, then we should do it confidently and with all our heart.