It’s the middle of election season in the U.S and with precisely a month to go it’s getting weird and ridiculous and entertaining. Which is why almost 100 million Americans (and I suspect some others as well) tuned in to watch Trump and Clinton debate at Hofstra University, in an event that was moderated in very biased fashion by Lester Holt. There are two more debates to be televised before Americans go to the polls and if ratings from the first debate are to be believed, the debates will continue to attract viewers. Past is prologue and all that.
To put this in context, probably more than 200 million people will watch the debates via television. Billy Graham, the world famous evangelist, has reportedly preached to 215 million people in 185 countries over the course of his ministry stretching over decades.
There’s nothing close to being an equivalency in these comparisons. One is a series of debates, essentially a job interview for political office, and the other is a message of life and death, salvation and eternal hope for all mankind.
It’s kind of sad that the world pays so much attention to something that probably won’t matter a few months from now. Yes, it may matter that one candidate gets the job over the other but the debates themselves will be forgotten until the next election cycle. They will be part of history books or a presidential library.
Instead of converts to Republicanism or socialism in 4 year election cycles, the enduring choice in the election of life is whether we accept God as our king or not. The ratings do not reflect this.
In Acts 24, Paul is imprisoned by the Roman Empire and, seemingly famous among the ruling elite of the day, appears before governor Felix and then before governor Festus and King Agrippa. They wanted to hear what all the fuss was about and hear this guy who had been labelled as a loon by his detractors. Having an audience with a snooty, arrogant ruler who has the power to have you given a dirt nap is probably a little more intimidating than a liberal debate moderator and yet Paul didn’t hold back and made his appeal to these important guys. Man to man, soul to soul.
Paul recognised that though he appeared before these rulers, they themselves would one day appear before Christ. As recorded in Matthew 10, Jesus sent out his disciples:
16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
No debate prep needed because we represent Him and his Holy Spirit will see to it that we know what to say. I suppose that at some point we all are faced with a scenario like Paul, except of course slightly less dramatic. It’s refreshing to know that when you testify about God he does the talking. e’s please