Yet later in 1 Peter 2:21-23, Peter writes to believers:
Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
“What if, church, we embraced the tone and posture and the approach of our savior, as we have been commanded to do?” asked Stanley. The early church understood that “the moment they would depart from the way of Jesus, the approach of Jesus, the posture of Jesus, they knew that once again they were picking up the tools and the weapons of this world, the kingdoms of this world, and they could not possibly win because those tools never accomplish the will of God in this world…And for some reason it seems, we’ve forgotten it.”
Referring to the deep divisions that have manifested in American society over the past several years, Stanley said, “Too many Christians have lost their minds. Don’t clap, it might be you. It might be me.”
Stanley did not give detailed examples, but alluded to the COVID-19 pandemic and the politicization of the church. “It was embarrassing, especially the pastors,” he said. The situation has revealed that the American church has the same goal as every other group motivated by an ideology: winning.
“Actions speak louder than words, but reactions speak louder than either,” said Stanley. How we respond when circumstances go badly for us reveals just how confident in God we truly are.
The pastor called his audience to devote their allegiance to Jesus, who came to lose his life and to serve others. “The church always looks better when we are fighting for other people’s rights rather than our own,” he said. “The moment we start fighting for our own rights, we have lost.”
“Uncompromising devotion to our better king will make our nation a better nation and make your nation a better nation,” said Stanley. “Let’s be Christian.”