Reflections by Jeremy Alger

There is an independent film from 1999 called The Big Kahuna. I don’t know that it was ever shown in any theaters, but I rented it from a video store (remember those) and I found it quite interesting. The story is about three men who are on a business trip to some sort of convention where they need to generate leads to make sales. But the business issues are just the setting for the film. The story is about the three men and how they interact. Two have been “work friends” for a number of years and the third man is young and new to the company.
Early on in their conversations it becomes clear that the young man is a Christian. One of the older guys sits on a sofa for a minute and reads an “adult” magazine and the younger man bristles at such a pastime. In their exchange the older gentleman asks, “Are you of the opinion that such a magazine shouldn’t be published?” To which the younger man responds, “I am of the opinion that such a magazine shouldn’t be purchased.”
This idea can absolutely apply to a number of topics. Whether or not a business is allowed to do something, or whether an individual is legally allowed to do something is not ultimately the most important thing. It is what decisions individuals make as to whether or not they actually do something that matters.
I keep saying that I don’t want to focus on political ideas, yet I keep writing things that at least dabble in political matters…
There are many, many different issues and topics in the realm of debate in this political season. One side is going to win, and their preferences and ideologies will influence the course of the next four years. But as I was discussing one of these topics with my parents recently it occurred to me, that ultimately, who is in charge and what they deem right and wrong is only going to affect the law.
What is legal does not have to be what is done. There are many things that I am legally allowed to do that I don’t do (smoking cigarettes for instance). There are societal ills that most Christians would like to fix. History has shown us that laws don’t change the hearts of people. The prohibition era made that quite clear. Alcohol was illegal, so people produced and drank alcohol in illegal ways because that is the decision that they wanted to make.
The things that we would like our society to step away from are only going to be eliminated when people’s hearts are changed to no longer want to do those things. Laws don’t change people’s hearts. The love of God and the influence of the Holy Spirit is the best instrument to change a person’s heart.
Whatever laws are made or eliminated, people are always going to need Jesus. Whomever is elected, people are going to need Jesus. Whatever results this election season brings the work of the church, the work of Jesus’ followers is going to be to help people find love, freedom, hope, and help in Jesus Christ. The great commission to go into all of the world and make disciples will not be any different after this election is done.
Let’s not get distracted or confused. Let’s embrace the work that God has given us to do and let us reach those who are lost and hurting.
Jeremy Alger is the pastor of the New Cumberland Church of the Nazarene. For more information please visit,