Contributed by Don Schultz on Jul 31, 2003 (message contributor)
Summary: God’s Word is politically incorrect. Speaking it makes you politically incorrect. But God gives you strength...
Do you know anyone who is politically incorrect? To be politically incorrect means that you say things and do things that wouldn’t go over very well politically. The media would disagree with you. Lots of people would say that you are unkind, or narrow-minded. To be politically incorrect means that you don’t agree with the popular opinions of the day. Do you know anyone who is that way?
There is someone you know, someone you are very close to, actually, who is very politically incorrect. And fact, I would say, that he was, and still is, the most politically incorrect person to walk the face of this earth. He said things that did not go over very well politically. His words were so shocking, so different from what people were used to hearing, that he was accused of being demon-possessed, out of his mind. And he did things that did not go over very well at all. Some accused him of breaking the law. Others accused him of being a drunkard, a “partier.” He was so politically incorrect that the religious establishment of the day branded him an “outlaw.”
Of course, the person I’m talking about is Jesus Christ. He was truly the sum and substance of everything that could possibly be considered politically incorrect. The things he said and did were so different from what was considered “acceptable” during his day. He was so politically unacceptable that people were cheering in the streets when he was crucified.
Today, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then you also are politically incorrect. The beliefs that Jesus has given to you through his Word, beliefs about what is moral, and what is immoral, are very different from what the world around you believes. The beliefs you have about eternal life, and how to get there, are very different from what the world around you believes. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then, whether you like it or not, you are politically incorrect.
Today, we are going to meet a follower of Christ who would also fall into that category. His name was Amos, and he as an Old Testament prophet. We are in our last Sunday of our summer sermon series entitled “Quick Looks at Mysterious Books.” There are certain books of the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, that can seem quite mysterious to the average person. There are many valuable lessons for us to learn as we briefly study these books. The book of Amos is one of those books. We are going to see what it means to be “politically incorrect” because of Jesus Christ and his Word. We are going to look at the temptations that come our way in connection to that. And finally, we are going to see how God gives us strength to believe and say and do the things that please him, regardless of what the world thinks.
Amos was a prophet sent by God to Northern Israel. On the outside, Israel seemed to be doing very well. They were strong militarily. There was peace within its borders. Everyone had money. But something was wrong. Greed was prevalent. The justice system had become corrupt. And worst of all, people were mixing the worship of the true God with the worship of idols.
So God sent Amos, and told Amos to speak some politically incorrect things. Look at verse 11: “For this is what Amos is saying: ‘Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel will surely go into exile, away from their native land.’” Amos was telling the people that if they don’t repent and turn back to God, bad things will be coming their way. The king would die, and the people would be deported. Amos was questioning Israel’s lifestyle. He was saying things that weren’t very patriotic. One of the leaders of Israel, Amaziah, reacted to the politically incorrect words of Amos this way. Verse 10, he went and told the king: “Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words.” Then look at verse 12: “Them Amaziah told Amos, ‘Get out, you seer! God back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.”
Even though Amos was speaking the truth, he was politically incorrect. And so they asked him to go away. This same thing can happen to you. As a follower of Jesus Christ, you have some beliefs that are very politically incorrect, beliefs that come from the Bible. The Holy Spirit inspired the words of this book, and so we believe them with all of our hearts. But there are beliefs in here, and if you live them and share them, you will probably not get elected to office. For example, homosexuality. It is politically correct to believe that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle. There are television shows that promote it. Talk show hosts support it. Public schools teach it. But the Bible teaches that it’s a sin. It’s labeled as a sin in a number of different places in the Bible, both in the Old and in the New Testaments. In the eyes of God, it is not an acceptable lifestyle, just as being a kleptomaniac wouldn’t be an acceptable lifestyle, just as being a violent person wouldn’t be an acceptable lifestyle. According to the Bible, it is a sin that one needs to repent of, and turn to Jesus Christ to for forgiveness and strength to overcome.
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