Tokhon 1865-1925

I was thinking about politics again this morning.  Not to worry though, I’m not planning to announce my candidacy or anything like that.   Rather, my political bemoaning really had more to do with a cultural concern than a particular platform.  At the heart of my frustration was a feel that a whole lot of folks are more concerned about gold than good.  Indeed, self-security, self-preservation, and self-glory have become the master.  The truth is that the US Presidential election will more than likely be decided by what the economy is doing around August or September above anything else.  If the jobs are up, then there is a good chance President Obama will be in the Oval Office for a second term.  If the employment and economy stinks, then the Republican nominee will probably be in.  Yes, the economy is important.  But my sadness comes from the sense that apparently money is the central theme for most Americans.  Example; while many Americans like me are pro-life when it comes to the issue of abortion, some of them will rather vote simply based on who gets more jobs rolling in the country than who stands for what is right.  Honestly, I have to say to my lefty friends that the same is probably true for them as well.  Whatever their particular social sacred cow is, it will probably be trumped by the economy.  In thinking about this present culture, I just wondered when was the last time we had a Statesman or anyone who actually stood for the things he or she believed in no matter what the cost.  So somewhere in my mental malaise this morning I remembered my time in Russia and reading about one of the great Patriarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church of the early 20th century.  His name was Tikhon and the words from this past saint that came to mind were; “At one time we had wooden churches and golden men. Now we have golden churches and wooden men.” I remembered that quote and thought it was so appropriate for today.  I’m sure a lot of people would agree with that assessment when it comes to politics and business.  But the more I chewed on it the more I felt a need to apply it to the CHURCH and myself as well.  In my role as a visionary evangelist and pastor, I’ve seen this played out in a number of ways.  Sometimes we have a tendency in the CHURCH to glorify the big and “successful” while we quietly ignore those who don’t show up on the Christianity Today radar screen very much.  Yes, I’m just as guilty as the next guy.  But when you think about the Kingdom of God, the greatest guys and gals are the ones who duke it out in the trenches everyday without anyone noticing.  These are the real golden people who will probably never be asked to speak at a convention or be honored with a great award.  These are the type of people that Tikhon was longing for those years ago.  These are the type of people we need today.

So, when it comes to politics, I want to ask; “where are the true men of God who will rise up no matter what the cost might be to their public popularity?”  When it comes to the Kingdom, I’m asking; “where are the saints who will follow Christ and serve as He did even if no one ever sees it on this side of eternity?”

PS for reference:  “These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”  (1 Peter 1:7)

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