What I read today;

Romans 9; Matthew 9; Jeremiah 33; Psalm 99; 2 Chronicles 17-18; Leviticus 15

We like to surround ourselves with people who think like we do.  It’s in our nature.  We don’t like to hear opposing viewpoints.

We especially don’t like to stand up and be the different one in a crowded room.  People who do, face incredible criticism.

After the attacks of 9/11, the Congress of the United States passed the Patriot Act as a means of preventing future terrorist attacks.  Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold was the lone Senator to vote against the act.   He was concerned that the bill went too far giving the government to much power to obtain information against our own citizens.  He was worried about potential abuses by the executive branch.  The bill passed 98-1 and went on to be signed by the President into Law.  Feingold would lose his re-election bid a few years later.

History has shown that Feingold was right.   Our own government did, in fact, violate our individual citizen’s constitutional rights by gathering cell phone data, e-mails, and other communications.  We then found out that our own intelligence services had used those tools against citizens of friendly nations and their leaders.  Most recently the FISA court may have been misused against a campaign team member of the Trump election team.

Yet Russ Feingold is no longer in the Senate, and the Patriot Act has been reauthorized multiple times.

Standing up against the ruling class is difficult and often comes at a cost.  In 2 Chronicles we read about the prophet Micaiah.  Micaiah stood up against 400 prophets and the King of Israel and told them exactly what they did not want to here.  He ended up in jail.

Today, it is becoming more difficult to proclaim the gospel.  In many countries, those who proclaim the gospel can find themselves in prison or dead.

Going against the crowd is risky.  But that is precisely what God calls us to do.  He calls us to go against the crowd even if that makes us outcasts.  The story of Micaiah is a cautionary tale.  When Jesus says to go into the world, it is with the understanding that there are serious risks.  But the risks are worth it!

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