• Brad Bright

People freely share their feelings regarding the “non-essential” status given to churches during the pandemic. But have you considered how God feels when we deem churches “non-essential” while labeling abortion clinics and liquor stores “essential”? Grieved? Angry? Sad? Excited?

Webster’s defines “essential” this way: of utmost importance: BASIC, INDISPENSABLE, NECESSARY (caps are theirs, not mine)

The long-term implications of declaring churches and their life-giving services “non-essential” during a crisis are deeply disturbing—at best. The governors who have done so reveal a “God-is-irrelevant” core value system that will continue to guide them long after the pandemic is a memory. Does that concern you? It deeply, deeply troubles me.

Was closing churches the right call? There are good people on both sides of that debate. However, I’m far more concerned about the grid many governors used for determining what is “essential” and what is not.

  • Buying screws at Home Depot is essential but seeking God’s mercy together is not.

  • Cutting the arms and legs off a fetus is essential but the church’s life-giving services are not.

  • Opening the doors of alcohol stores is essential, while closing the doors of local churches.

  • In several states marijuana dispensaries are deemed essential while churches are deemed dispensable.

Again, I ask you, how do you think such priorities make God feel? Grieved? Angry? Sad? Excited? Does that fourth option surprise you?

I think God could be feeling all four. If you are an ardent follower of Jesus you may be feeling all four as well.

  • Grieved by the fact that God’s people help elect leaders (either with their vote or their non-vote) who deem God largely irrelevant to everyday life.

  • Angry at the reality that God’s people helped elect leaders (either with their vote or their non-vote) who believe cutting the arms and legs off a fetus is more important than the work of His church.

  • Disappointed that God’s people have allowed the church to be considered non-essential in a crisis– in other words, irrelevant.

  • But excited because God is still sovereign, all-powerful, faithful and merciful. For Him, this is not a problem but an opportunity.

Many leaders have labeled the church “non-essential” in this crisis. What about the next crisis? The downward trend line here is obvious. Does that unsettle you? What you and I do now, in the power and direction of the Holy Spirit, will make the difference.

GOD is the Issue!

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©2020 Brad Bright

  • Brad Bright

I was holding a God Is the Issue workshop for about 200 people in California when, during the Q&A time, a man stood up in the back of the room.

“I’m the president of the local gay/lesbian alliance and I have a question for you.” The steel edge of his voice warned of impending battle.

“That’s great,” I responded, “but before we can move forward we have to agree on one thing. If we can’t agree, we can’t really have a conversation.”

“Okay…” he responded skeptically.

We have to agree that God loves you just as much as He loves me. If we can’t agree on that, we can’t have a conversation.”

“Okay. I agree,” he said, both with a bit of warmth and a hint of surprise.

He asked his question. I responded and then he asked several more. At the end of a lengthy and cordial discourse he announced, “You know, I don’t think we’re that far apart.”

“That is where you’re wrong.” I replied straightforwardly. “Let me explain. You begin with your behavior and try to conform God to your behavior. I begin with who God is and try to conform my behavior to Him. Because we have such radically divergent starting points we will always end up far apart.”

“Oh. Okay,” he said with a blend of recognition and mild surprise. Probably for the first time in his life he now understood the real issue. After the workshop he thanked me for taking the time to answer his questions.

What is your starting point? God or culture? Your starting point will always determine the outcome—for good or for ill.

Am I over-simplifying complex and often heart-wrenching issues? No. The starting point is just that—the starting point. Unfortunately, in our desire to address the symptoms of a broken culture we often neglect the root cause—a broken view of our holy, loving, faithful, all-powerful, merciful, sovereign, unchanging Creator God.

Knowing who God is and why it matters is always the watershed issue of life for the ardent follower of Jesus; it is our starting point. When we view culture and ourselves through the lens of God’s character we can’t ignore the flaws, but we also see the hope, joy and freedom only He can give. That is why my dad said, “The most important thing to teach another believer is the attributes of God.”

GOD is the Issue!

©2020 Brad Bright

  • Brad Bright

A local Christian TV personality has said she is pro-choice. She quickly adds that she, personally, would not have an abortion, but believes women should have the right to choose. OK. What does that reveal about her view of God? That’s the conversation I want to have.

Which of God’s attributes does she distort in order to make allowing for the taking of an innocent life acceptable to Him? For example, what does it say about God’s love if He is okay with cutting the arms and legs off of a fetus?

The bent god she must create in order to allow for the killing of babies in the womb is a false god and she doesn’t even know it.

We must fight for the lives of the unborn because of who God really is. Pro-choice “Christians” are a symptom of a much bigger problem.

We can trace all our human problems to an inaccurate view of God.

--Bill Bright

If you want to know who God really is and why it matters read GOD, Who Are You Anyway by Bill Bright (with Brad Bright).

©2020 Brad Bright

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© 2019 Brad Bright 

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