As always, my family and I had the pleasure of hearing a sermon from our Pastor, Mike Gibson, at Christ Lutheran Costa Mesa this Easter Sunday. Pastor Mike always does a wonderful job, but his message this Sunday struck a chord. He spoke about the parable of the house built on rock, Matthew 7:24-27. Here is the passage
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Occasionally, I’m criticized for speaking publicly to often about my faith. One person even questioned my prioritizing of prayer over campaign donations during the city council campaign. In the realm of public policy, we’re usually asked to separate our faith from our political principles, and that’s how it should be in a free, secular social contract. Even in the bible, God gives civil authority a unique and isolated role. Too often, however, our politics becomes our religion, and I’m as guilty as anyone.
Costa Mesa in particular has become a place of political vitriol, and we see similar trends on the national stage. Heated political dialogue is nothing new, but the internet and social media make it difficult to avoid. The passion generated on any given issue can be consuming, and can push us to use questionable means. With the distracting and often corrupting mess that is modern political dialogue, it’s become all the more important to at least strive to garner a basic understanding of the foundation of our political leaders.
This is why I speak so often speak about my faith. I understand that many don’t share the same beliefs, but I want people to know who I’m anchored to and where my real passion lies. My imperfections are piercing, but my foundation is built on the teachings of a savior who left our sins on a cross. The peace that comes with this is incredibly freeing, and makes it so no political issue is beyond civil discourse.
Yes, you can still have a poorly built house on a solid foundation, but it’s at least a starting point. So when you find that any given political issue is monopolizing your passion, I would encourage you to inspect your foundation. Happy Easter.