Summary: We do not have a financial problem in our country. We have a discipline problem. We have a greed problem. And the solution begins in your home and in our communities and in your lifestyle and at work.
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Let me begin by welcoming all of those who are joining us online from all over the country, and more and more from all over the world—twenty-five or thirty different countries, and some places where you’re not supposed to be watching, but you are anyway. And I won’t say your country out loud and let somebody knock on your door during the service, but we’re so glad that you’ve joined us from all over the world. It’s pretty exciting. Today we’re beginning a brand new series, Recovery Road, and I have to answer the question that I have been asked over the last few days—pretty much through cyberspace connections—and that is: Andy, why in the world would you stop preaching the gospel, or why in the world would you depart from Scripture and get into something that’s so political? And so, the reason we’re doing this series is I feel like my responsibility as a pastor, in fact, I feel like every pastor’s responsibility is that when things in culture or when things in a country or when things in a community or a city, when issues or things evolve that cross, or I should say intersect, with Scripture, we have to talk about it.
That doesn’t mean we should become the “current events church,” you know every week I look at what’s going on, current events, and come in here and try to comment on it. You’re not interested in that and I don’t even have a—I’m not smart enough to do that. But every once in a while there’s something big, and we just have to hit the pause button and go you know what, our responsibility, as those who open God’s Word for other people, is to say, Oh guess what, by the way, you have an opinion and you have an opinion, and Jesus has an opinion. And I’ve just got to tell you, here are his opinions on these things. And what’s so fascinating, is in the current discussion that is going on in our country now in terms of finances, political debate, and all this stuff, Jesus has spoken into this. So it’s my responsibility to bring this message for these next few weeks. Now, if I could push a magic button or if I could get the microphone into every church in America today—you know, suddenly the mics went dead and it was like a “Big Brother” moment and they heard my voice and I could speak to every single Christian in the whole country, here’s what I would say.
Let’s not miss this opportunity—because this is an opportunity. And the other thing I would say is this: Hey, let’s not make the mistake of previous generations during a crisis and accidentally view our faith through the filter of our politics. Let’s be the unique generation of church people and of Christians who are willing, and I say willing because it’s tough to view our politics through the filter of our faith. Because if the church of the Lord Jesus Christ in this country could begin to view their politics through the filter of faith rather than the other way around, there would be a unity, and as we’re going to see, there would be solutions.
And for those of you who aren’t Christians that scares you to death, because you’re thinking, Yeah, you’re going to have like your own version, Christian version of Sharia law, and we’re going to have to stone our children when they’re disobedient—which you’ve thought about anyway if you’re honest. Okay? But you know, the great thing is have no fear, because we’re not going to take you back to the Old Testament. We’re going to take you to the New Testament. If the Christians in this country could pause and say, You know what, I’m a Republican, I’m a Democrat, I’m a Tea Party, I’m an Independent, I’m a Libertarian, you know I’m in the middle, I’m an everything, I’m nothing, I’m an I don’t care. And you know, what as a Christian I’m going to set that to the side as much as I can and I’m going to ask the question, What would my heavenly Father have me do? What would my Savior have me do? What should the church do in a nation like the United States of America if we had the opportunity?
I think we have an extraordinary, extraordinary opportunity. For the next few weeks, to the best of my ability, and I’m sure I’ll fall short but I’ve got to give it a shot, I want to help us view our current national situation not through the lens of politics. You get plenty of that during the week but through a different filter. And if we could be that generation. And maybe nobody else, maybe just us, maybe just us in our group of churches and those of you who join us online, if we could just begin to see it differently we would know what to do. I’m absolutely convinced of this. The recovery would begin not in Washington, the recovery wouldn’t begin far, far away with people we don’t even know except little sound bites on television. The recovery would begin with us. Because what needs to be recovered can be recovered by “We the People,” especially I think by “We the Church People.”