To Whom Much Is Given: A Post Election Letter

To Whom Much Is Given: A Post Election Letter
November 9, 2016 Mike Ashcraft

To whom much is given, much will be required.

We are aware that there is much work to be done in the culture we have created and the country we have been given.  We must take seriously the rights, as defined by God, to life and freedom.  Those rights are protected by the U.S. Constitution; they are made possible by the authority of our God.

You are entrusted with a sacred honor to lead.  You must be diligent, above all else, to steward your influence with great care and purpose.  The decisions you make will impact generations to come. I pray for God’s wisdom in your life that you may act with discernment and discretion regarding these most important matters, which include:

LIFE

The right to life provided in the U.S. Constitution is based on the authority of the One who created that life.  Life must be valued because it is an expression of and gift from the Creator.  Life is an expression of the purity and grace of God; from the miraculous conception to the mystery of death.  Life is given as an act of trust, full of promise and potential to bear the image of God with flesh and blood in time and space.  It is sacred and should be protected and valued in every way.  The authority given to protect the innocent and wield the sword to defend against the most vile are rooted in the same place.  This power to protect and defend rest firmly on the foundation of God’s Justice and Truth.

As long as God gives breath, every effort must be made to ensure this most precious gift is preserved until life on earth turns a page into the promise of the eternity that resides deep in the human heart.

You must do everything you can to uphold the sanctity of life.  This means valuing the trusted promise of life over convenience and justice over political expediency or perception in every situation.  This requires extraordinary discernment and discretion.

In order to uphold this corporately, you must do so personally.

FREEDOM

Freedom is truly one of the great treasures we’ve been given.  It is also one of the great dangers – for cherished freedom can slip into carnal entitlement with little notice.  Freedom, however, is not the unbridled ability to do what you want when you want.  It is rooted in the human heart being set free.  This is found only through the righteousness and grace of God Himself.

To uphold the gift of freedom, we must recognize that it is only found where forgiveness is given.  Justice and mercy provide the foundation for our freedom, but only receiving HIs forgiveness allows us to live free.

In order to uphold life and freedom corporately, you must do so personally.

AUTHORITY

photo-1467912407355-245f30185020Authority can never rest simply upon the position, no matter how powerful or prominent.  Authority must be coupled with humility and integrity.  As a leader, I implore you to submit to the authority of God and His trust in you with humility of mind and heart.  You must live with conviction, carefully stewarding the fragile trust you’ve been given.

This requires upholding and defending the systems designed by God to preserve the generational health and well-being of humanity.  This authority was given by God to the family.  One man and one woman brought together, not to form a Utopian society, but to experience and express the Oneness of God within the sacred gift of marriage.

To uphold the sanctity of marriage not only requires submission to God’s design and definition, but also requires you to fight for marriages to stay together.  The erosion of the family has left an epidemic of fatherless children which is at the root of nearly every issue we face.  The covenant of marriage provides the foundational authority structure from which every other earthly structure draws its authority.  If there is no respect for authority in the home, you should not expect it in society.

In order to uphold this corporately, you must do so personally.

JUSTICE

To act justly is one of the things that God requires of us as His people.  This involves upholding the values that provide us with the opportunities and protections we cherish.  However, opportunities are not guarantees and protections require participation.

To uphold the value of justice means we must establish a firm standard of what is expected by those who participate and cooperate within the systems we have established. Justice requires equity that only comes when we encounter true justice and find mercy.

Justice refuses to hide behind empty rationalizations and irrelevant comparisons, but it earnestly desires the truth.  In pursuing justice, I challenge you to confront the prejudices and pride that allow our sin to be nothing more than a vice that is justified or excused.

To promote justice is to uphold the sanctity of life, freedom, and authority.  It means we must act on behalf of those who cannot and be accountable for the actions we take as well as the ones we don’t.  This is done in humble submission to the grace we’ve received in the face of perfect justice.

In order to uphold this corporately, you must do so personally.

COMPASSION

Compassion comes as a result of caring.  We can’t wait to feel like we care, we must choose to lean in and take interest in order to understand. Compassion requires us to look at life from someone else’s perspective.  It is not simply about giving a handout or easing a guilty conscience.  It is about expressing the freedom and love we have been given on behalf of another.  It requires action.  The Scriptures speak often of the plight of the poor.  The Old Testament law established parameters which built a means to share into each person’s way of life.  The ability to generate wealth is a gift from God and is to be used for His purpose; extending compassion to those near and far.

We are blessed to live in a country where we are free to do business and achieve economic success. However, may this be tempered with humble submission that this is what we’ve been given – not what we deserve.

Again, this is about upholding the sanctity of life, freedom, authority, and justice.  We must look at humanity in a new way – as people who are made in the image of God.  This goes for the poor who are marginalized and oppressed as well as the powerful who are demonized and dismissed.  These prejudices are equally sinful and lack the compassion required from those who walk with Christ.

In order to uphold this corporately, you must do so personally.

EDUCATION

photo-1464660756002-dd9f9a92b01bEducation is one of the most profound ways we value life.  We have the opportunity to awaken the next generation to the wonder of our world and most importantly the wonder of God.  It is imperative that we work together to provide a great place for our children to grow and learn where their curiosity is piqued and their thirst for knowledge continues to grow.

The responsibility to educate the next generation is given to the family.  The educational system should seek to partner with and empower parents, not replace them.  Education must pay as much attention to the character as to the intellect, for one is of little use without the other.

But we must not forget that education has a source.  The Scriptures teach us that wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord.  We must reclaim this foundational beginning point for the instruction of our children.  This is an issue of stewardship and authority.  We are warned not to be wise according to our own estimation.

Seeing God as God positions us to gain knowledge and understanding.  The means to gain His wisdom is simply to ask.  He has promised that He will  give wisdom without reproach.  His wisdom empowers us to answer some of society’s greatest challenges.  His wisdom is pure, peaceable, merciful, impartial, and sincere.

In order to uphold this corporately, you must do so personally.

STEWARDSHIP

This brings me to my last issue, and this may rank as the most important, for without a firm grasp of this, the others have no foundation.  We stepped into a world and a life which we had no input or say.  We did not choose or design the place or time in which we would be born.  I believe it was designed and defined by the same Creator from whom we look to for protection of our right to life and liberty.  If such things are not chosen, then it stands to reason, they have been given.  How you respond to a such a gift says a lot about who you are.

Stewardship is doing the best you can with what you have according to the purposes established by the One who trusted you.  Our culture has rested on a shaky foundation of money and greed at the expense of character and integrity.  This is not sustainable and promises to prove that we have been poor stewards of what we have been given.  We face some serious challenges. However, this is what we have been trusted with.  How we respond says a lot about who we are.

I believe deeply in freedom, opportunity and of risk and return.  Our economic structure has allowed for creativity, freedom, and cooperation which have contributed great advances in our world.  But we must never forget to ask the Giver, “what do you want me to do with what you have trusted me with?”  Jesus was very clear, “To whom much is given, much will be required!”

Stewardship is about the value of serving and receiving, not of give and take.  One is negotiation, the other is trust.  You cannot negotiate the integrity that is essential to be trusted.  It is time we learn to trust and take seriously our responsibility to be trustworthy.

Stewardship goes beyond just economics and governmental resources, but extends to our natural resources as well.  We have been trusted with God’s creation and one of the first acts of stewardship we received was to manage that creation.  We must take that call seriously and pay attention so as to be great stewards.

You have been trusted with great responsibility and authority.  Steward it well.  Seek God’s guidance and His favor.  Do not lean on the wisdom of humanity.

In order to uphold this corporately, you must do so personally.

All of these issues require tremendous wisdom and discernment.  We have tried to solve these issues from afar and it will no longer work.  They will require us to get our hands dirty and get involved in the lives of those struggling with the very challenges we are seeking to solve.  I pray that God will soften your heart every moment to be molded and shaped by His tender hand and that your mind will be open to the mind of Christ, your ear to the whisper of God, and your life to the way of God.  That together, we will see a Kingdom which is not of this world but demands the attention of this world.  Until God sits on His throne and His feet on His stool, may we strive together for the image of God and the sake of His purposes.

Lest you think this letter is to our President-Elect, it is written:

From one follower of Christ to another.