The Gospel Coalition published an article last year raising concerns about conservatives leaving blue states. You can read it here: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/christians-relocate-conservative-areas/. The author claims many Christians are trading “hard” places to live for “easy” places with low taxes, bigger houses and similar values. As someone who has experienced both the hard in staying and the hard in leaving (you can read more of my story here: https://tennesseeconservativenews.com/tennessee-the-america-we-need/), it got me thinking… There are many ways to be faithful.
If I could choose to have every Christian in California uproot and move to Tennessee with me, I would not because I know one thing for sure…
I’m not God. Therefore, I don’t know how God means to glorify Himself in every Christian home in California.
For some, God will be glorified in the moving. For others, God will be glorified in the staying, and for many, both of those scenarios will be true at different seasons in their lifetimes.
What Does it Mean to Be Faithful?
One of the grossest heresies in the church, in my view, is the tendency of some groups within Christendom to believe the nuclear family does not matter and to live out that destructive belief day in and day out.
To elevate something like going on a missions trip over faithfully nurturing your home, to religiously attend church while abusing your family, to show more loyalty to members of your church than your own children.. We all instinctively know these things are wrong. However, many in the church live as though they are not only acceptable, but far more “spiritual” in the eyes of God.
In the TGC article, the author provides questions we can ask ourselves to avoid a big move.
I would suggest the following as questions we should ask as well…
- Is fear motivating my desire to stay? Am I scared I’ll flounder spiritually without this specific church or relationship? Am I doubting God’s promise to care for me wherever I go?
- Are my children physically safe and thriving? Am I putting them in harm’s way because I am afraid of the work it would take to rebuild life in another state?
- Am I using wisdom as I consider current world events?
- Am I trusting God with the unique opportunities, desires and gifts He has given me and my spouse?
- Am I living in bad circumstances because I have a false understanding of the gospel, believing the more I suffer the more I am pleasing the Lord? (Asceticism – another heresy.)
We all know, no matter where we live, certain things will be hard. Some of the hard things in our lives we get to choose, and many we do not. (Here’s a post on when to say yes to a hard thing: http://redstateramblings.com/how-to-know-when-to-say-yes-to-a-hard-thing/.) Through all the hard, whether chosen or not, God is sovereign, merciful and kind.
God takes special care of His own and we should take special care of our own. I should care more about my children than yours. You should care more about your spouse than mine. This is basic, yet sadly, the world gets it better than some in the church.
It isn’t selfish to consider the interests of your children over the interests of your friends or the interests of the homeless community. It is faithfulness.
Faithfulness in Many Seasons
There was a time in my life, when to move out of state would have been a very bad decision. As a new Christian, new wife and new mom, I was blessed with a tight Christian community and I am so thankful God had me planted right where I was. It was a gift to our home and thereby, a gift to the community.
Although COVID and soft totalitarianism weren’t part of my life plan, God brought them to my door, as He did to many. When we saw the California government punish churches and “science deniers” and observed in realtime how they planned to handle future “emergencies,” we realized we didn’t want to live there anymore.
It was sad. There were tears. It’s still hard in many ways. But…it’s better for our family. I praise God for our move! My saying that is not an indictment on another family who stays… And the family who stays is not an indictment on our home. Both decisions may be God glorifying just as long as the motivation is to be faithful first in your home, not to the Recall Gavin Newsom efforts or your neighbor down the street.
How devastating it is knowing there are many Christians who vehemently disagree with that statement. They firmly believe to love the girl at the abortion clinic is more important than the little girl they have at home. They think God is more glorified with their weekly Bible study attendance than He is with the small acts of faithfulness He calls them to each and every day as they die to self in marriage, parenting, at work, in friendship…
And, by the way, I’m certainly not saying we shouldn’t care about the girl at the abortion clinic or fellowshipping with other believers. It’s just that these things must be in their proper place. Prioritizing them over the home is straight up unfaithful.
Social Justice Warriors Use Guilt – Even in the Church
The social justice movement has crept into the church, even in reformed circles. And it didn’t start in recent years. This has been a growing heresy for decades. It’s time for Christians to be clear. Faithfulness begins at home.
That means… You can move if you want! Stay if you want! God has His people everywhere. Find them! Use your brain. Don’t be guilted into believing extra biblical commands. Fear the Lord. Work hard. Wherever you go, expect to serve and most importantly, expect God to bless you. He doesn’t stop loving leftugees the moment they leave their hometown. Neither does He consider them any better than the ones who stay.