….. For a man’s heart determines his speech. A good man’s speech reveals the rich treasures within him. An evil-hearted man is filled with venom, and his speech reveals it. And I tell you this, that you must give account on Judgment Day for every idle word you speak. Your words now reflect your fate then: either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned. Matthew 12:34-37 TLB
Two huuuge events happened this week. Ringling Bros and Barman and Bailey Circus ended its 146 year run (1871), and Donald J Trump, who some have called a clown, began his run by being inaugurated the 45th President of The United States of America. But that is not the story.
The story is how we as Christians have lost our witness, and as a society we have failed to cultivate and care for the covenant agreements that bind us together. These failures are demonstrated in the almost complete degradation of our culture, and in the vitriol and personal animus of our discourse.
There is much to unpack here, but let’s begin with this. In 2009, as President Obama was being inaugurated, @chrisfabry prepared a personal “Oath of Office” for Christians. The original of it can be seen at his blog: http://chrisfabry.blogspot.com/2017/01/my-oath-of-office-2017.html .
With thanks (and apologies) to Chris, we have taken the liberty of updating the Oath for today. When reading the oath, please let God’s Word from Matthew 12:34-37 (above) roll around in your mind:
Will you respect the office of the President and the man who is charged by our country and by God to lead us?
Will you pray for this man and daily ask God not only for protection, but also for wisdom to lead our free nation?
Will you commit to repent of judging him on things you’ve heard, on rumors you’ve been sent by email? And will you cultivate the discernment to identify and ignore Fake News and fake messengers?
Will you pray for his wife in her new role? And for his children and extended family who will be in the spotlight like never before?
Will you give him an opportunity to make decisions without vilifying him personally? Will you be unlike those who have taken the opportunity to tear down past leaders at seemingly every turn?
And, when you disagree with a policy, when you believe he is going the wrong direction, will you speak the truth in love? Agreeing with everything a person says when they are wrong is not loving. But to disagree in a way that shows dignity to that other person, while at the same time pointing out the truth, is loving.
So help you God?