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Have church failures led us to today’s despair?

I’m teaching Sunday School for the next 10 weeks. The lessons are on the Apostles Creed. Last Sunday I covered “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.”

I pointed out that if you believe this, you really cannot believe in transgenderism or gay marriage. Genesis 1 says God made mankind male and female and he ordained marriage between them. If you are truly Christian, the belief in the first statement of the creed compels belief in the doctrine of the creation of man. If God is “maker of heaven and earth” then we are not and we do not get to reorder creation from how he created it.

Frankly, I have vastly more respect for the advocates of both gay marriage and transgenderism who argue that either they disagree with the Bible or they refuse to accept its legitimacy than I have for those who pretend to be Christians while tyring to re-write the Bible in order to weasel out of its implications. After the lesson, two different people came up to me and said they’d never really heard it put that way before and appreciated it.

The chief end of man is glorifying God and enjoying him forever, not yelling at my neighbor and wallowing in pity that another sinner will become the 45th consecutive sinner to hold the job of president.

I guess just because of the way this year is going it made me think about the anger out there right now in politics. I’ve written often that if you have concluded that Donald Trump is better than Hillary Clinton, I think it is perfectly reasonable to vote for him. I think they are both equally terrible options, but I don’t fault anyone for concluding otherwise.

But what I continue to be amazed by is the level of anger and despair. There really are people you and I know who believe the nation will come to an end if Clinton is elected. They are losing hope. They are scared for themselves and their children’s future. They’ve literally shown up on my doorstep and at my office. They’ve yelled at my kids in the store that their father was going to ruin their lives and destroy the country by not supporting Trump.

And all I can wonder is — if there is a level of failure on the part of the church in this. Have preachers, comfortable in Christian America, failed to preach that we are just passing through? Have we failed to make the case that our citizenship is not dependent on a nation, but on a Savior? I don’t hope in the United States. I hope in Jesus. And because I believe God is sovereign I just cannot get angry about the direction of one election in one year. God is in control. He is never going to demand I have to choose between two evils. He will order this world perfectly to lead me toward his perfection.

I can’t despair. I can’t lose hope. I know I’m on the team that wins in the end and the here and now is all temporary. God is not going to ask us if we voted for Trump or Clinton. The chief end of man is glorifying God and enjoying him forever, not yelling at my neighbor and wallowing in pity that another sinner will become the 45th consecutive sinner to hold the job of president.

I just have to wonder if the church in America, so comfortable in our cultural Christianity, dropped the ball on actual Christianity. It’s not an easy religion. It is a religion of persecution. But it is real. It is right. It is not fleeting like this year or this nation or these people who now compete for our attention.

Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.

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