Jesus said that the world will know that we are His by the way that we vote. Jesus said He would one day separate the elephants from the donkeys. Anyone with any Bible knowledge at all will recognize the blatant misquotes above, but now I have your attention.
The Bible gives us theology for nations, government, law, justice, etc. However, the Kingdom is neither synonymous with a particular nation nor a repudiation of all nations into one big globe.
The Bible provides the theology for nations. The Kingdom provides the supernatural power to reform nations to the reality of heaven. It brings the transformative power of truth to the natural undiscipled infrastructure of a nation. The Kingdom of God does not just heal a sick person, but also a sick institution or nation. Continue reading Biblical Theology of Nations
The problem with the me and Jesus Gospel is that it is all about me – it is about Jesus – but my Jesus. It’s about my personal experience with Jesus. It is about my going to heaven when I die. It’s about you – only in that it is about your personal relationship with Jesus and you going to heaven when you die. It’s about me living in a way that honor’s Jesus, but it isn’t about me living in a way that loves my neighbor for my neighbor’s sake.
We say it’s all about Jesus. And while that is true — it’s not true usually in the way we mean it. There is an entire narrative of Scripture that is leading up to a whole new world. A new Kingdom full of new creations in Christ. Continue reading It’s Not Just About Me & Jesus
Truth and love have a symbiotic relationship. You cannot have one without the other less we confuse truth with facts. You can have true facts without love – in the church this looks like religion. Truth is a Person. Jesus lived is a fact of history. Jesus lives is a truth of eternity. His life is the great message of love. Jesus is the expression to the world that God is love. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, Jesus . . .
Truth, by its very nature, is exclusive of all that is false. Jesus being the way, the truth, and the life, means that all other like claims are false. Jesus doesn’t give life, He is life. He gives Himself. Jesus doesn’t show us the way, He is the way. Jesus is not just a truth teller, He is Truth. Jesus excludes that which is not Jesus from being the truth. Buddha, Vishnu, Mohammed, Zeus, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster are all excluded.
Love, by its very nature, is inclusive – For God so loved the world. . . Continue reading The Relationship of Truth and Love
There is hope for America no matter who is elected come November 8. The White House may be the seat of political power, but it is not the seat of the Lord’s power. The seat of the Lord’s power is in our churches. The power to transform our nation is the same power that birthed our nation. It’s the same power that fueled The Reformation 499 years ago.
Initially there was no American government to give freedom to America. The people learned to govern themselves in freedom from the Bible. It was from that place of freedom that our Founders wrote a Constitution to protect this nation from abuses of such freedom. Continue reading Where is your hope?
The Western world has run amok, but I am not going to react to it. We have all heard of the violent acts in Florida, Dallas, France, Baton Rouge, Germany, and now Florida again.
The best thing I can do in response is to stay the course that God has called me to travel. I will continue teaching people to honor those in authority and to respect all people regardless of race, class, gender, or religion. I will not become reactive, distracted, or intolerable in response to current events.
Before the families have been notified, social media surges with political opinions and demands. We can denounce such violence all we want, but it will not stop it.
Frankly, I am more concerned with the responses and lives of Christians in this nation than I am the damage wrought by terrorism. Continue reading Rekindling Hope in a Dark World
During the political season it is easy to adopt an us versus them mentality. Such a mentality leads to polarized thinking where “we” are the good guys and “they” are the bad guys. All “their” ideas are hogwash and all of “our” ideas are the hallmark of wisdom. Soon the ideas themselves are sacrificed to the greater cause of party politics. We demonize the “other” and glorify the one we identify as the only wise choice.
Though in this political season, some feel that no one candidate is the wise choice and all are sorely lacking as leaders. Regardless, when all the dust settles one of these candidates will be chosen as President. The one that is chosen will need to be respected as President.
On one hand, this political season has brought voters out of the woodwork and interest in the political process has soared compared to what has been normal. This is a very good thing. America needs her citizens to be interested and invested in the political process. The Republic is strengthened the more citizens become active participants in choosing their representatives. Continue reading Religion & American Politics
Seldom do we live on purpose. It’s like we have gotten use to the idea of being receivers of whatever comes our way instead of initiators of our own lives. We see ourselves as always playing defense. We talk of playing offense, and maybe take an offensive position from time to time, but do we ever consider we do not have to be responders at all?
Of course, we respond to God. But in life we do not need to always be the one preparing to defend against or attack an opponent. While there is a time for each of these, a constant position of defense or attack will wear us out. Our job is to initiate the Kingdom from a place of victory. Consider Jesus.
The disciples were in a boat with Jesus. A storm raged with strong wind and waves assaulting their fishing boat. The waves were breaking over the boat. All the while, Jesus slept in the back of the boat. Afraid, the disciples woke Jesus and asked if he cared if they drowned. Rising, Jesus spoke to the wind and water, commanding them to be still. The storm abated at his words and he turned and asked the disciples why they were so afraid and questioned their continued lack of faith.
Jesus did not take a defensive or offensive posture against the storm until the disciples peace of mind necessitated his rebuking of the storm. He simply slept and let it rage. It was not going to hurt him or the boat. He was of a Kingdom that could not be shaken. No matter the natural assault brought by the storm, Jesus, and those with Him, were safe. Continue reading The Peace that Calms Storms
Jesus prayed that we will be one as He and His Father are one. This is the often quoted Scripture for our cry for unity in the Body of Christ. However, oneness is often lost in the concept of sameness. If the Godhead is our example, we do not need to sacrifice distinct identity to obtain unity.
I’ve heard it argued that Catholicism provided unity that has since been lost in post Reformation Christianity. The idea that there was once one Church and not many churches with competing identities is a reality worth returning to for many believers. Delving into history, I find we have lost sight of the tragic costs of maintaining one Church. Heretics, who were defined as any person or group of people diverting from the established doctrine of the Church, were burned at the stake or run through with a sword or imprisoned. In eleven centuries of Christendom this was not always the reality, Continue reading The Quest for Unity
The exodus of Christians from church has become epidemic. There have always been Christians who, for whatever reason, never joined church, but this is something different. This exodus is comprised of long time faithful church members who are now giving up on church. I’ve read the Relevant Magazine articles and the ex-church bloggers who recount all the reasons that church, or “organized religion”, detracts from their relationship with Jesus. These writers post their 95 theses of the failures of the church on the virtual wall and walk away.
I’ve heard a litany of reasons. The list is usually different with a few similarities emerging as writers on the subject have provided the language that justifies the trend. The language is catching on. I read a blogger today describe “the organized Christian Church.” He didn’t describe any church I’ve ever been a part of. He also threw in a complaint about mega-churches for good measure. The blogger had real dissatisfaction with what his church experience offered. I’ve heard many frustrated people both in and out of the church give their reasons why church is no longer for them.
I can give a Scriptural argument for remaining joined to the church via a local body of believers, but it won’t help. I’ve even heard people say these arguments are just how pastors keep people trapped in church.
There are two things I can offer to the subject. Continue reading The Exodus of the Faithful