The Devil likes to redefine and repurpose words so that we reject them and lose their intended purpose in the process. He has attempted to hijack the word “nationalism.” The word has become politically and racially charged because it is being used incorrectly.
We first saw this with Hitler when he tried to make the world German. But what Hitler was doing was not nationalism, but imperialism. To quote Author, Speaker and Reformer, Vishal Mangalwadi, “German Fascist imperialism was able to hijack words such as nationalism in the 20th Century, because Continue reading Restoring The Word ‘Nationalism’
HOW we say something can be as important as WHAT we say. It is not enough that what we say is true. We can say it in a way that is brash or in a way that is kind. Sharing the truth in love does not mean that we share the truth because we love, but that we share truth in the way that love shares truth. Love always hopes. When we share what is true we are not rattling off the negative facts like a pessimist. We share the truth with hope.
When we speak of a problem it is not the end of the world (or the nation), it is an opportunity for a solution. Before you call me an optimist, neither optimism nor pessimism is Christian. To hope is Christian. Without biblical hope, all we are left with is the world’s philosophies of optimism or pessimism based on our personal preference. Truth carries a substance that is otherworldly. It is the reality of heaven infused in our very words. It is the power to release hope where there was fear. It is the power to give life where there was death. It is the power to give freedom where there was bondage.
Love does not dishonor others. Just because something is true does not mean we can speak it in a manner that brings dishonor. Love always protects. It does not just protect family and friends, but the stranger we have never met that we are talking about on social media. It does not just protect the one whose name we know, but the whole group we may be discussing. It protects celebrities and governing leaders too. I Corinthians 13 is not only how we are to treat those in our inner circle it is how we conduct ourselves in the way of love. A mature believer is one who speaks truth in love (Eph 4). Love is the way truth is shared not merely the reason truth is communicated.
Love is not easily angered nor easily offended. It speaks in such a way as to set people free, not to keep them bound by their wayward ways. It does not point fingers, it shields the one under attack. Not because the one has merited the love, but because Jesus did the same while we were yet sinners. “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Truth is not communicated in offense. Offense is communicated, and the truth becomes secondary.
Politics is not an excuse for negativity, dishonor, anger, offense, or ridicule. While truth can be partisan, love is not. This means that we still have the responsibility to communicate truth in love no matter what the position of the other may be. They are not idiots. They are not imbeciles. It is possible “they” are the ones who see something we need to see. It is possible “they” have never seen what we see and therefore cannot know what we know and think like we think. Most likely “they” are not doing anything to us on purpose. It is important not to assign motives to people. It only serves to maintain the culture of “us” versus “them” when we do that.
Governing how we communicate truth will require that we slow down and listen to ourselves and how we may sound to others. It also necessitates that we listen to how others hear what we are saying. I have found that communicating my ideas to people who do not believe them help me to learn how I sound to them. It matters. If I fail to understand how I sound to others, I cannot do better at letting truth be heard in a way that honors the one listening.
To be continued . . .
I have loved American history since I was a child. Preserving the stability of my nation is a deep passion of mine. America is my homeland. In so doing, I wish to address a topic that we face today in modern theology. There are always ditches on either side of truth.
One ditch is to equate all things Christian with all things American. When we do this, we make America the center of God’s plan and its strength or weakness the barometer of our end time theology. Doing so creates fear at elections, and at the moral climate of our nation for we think it directly tied to God’s count-down to the end of the world as we know it. We tend to spiritualize everything to the extent where we are uncertain where politics end and Christianity begins. The two get so intertwined and lost in each other that we equate our Christianity with a political party making the “other party” not Christian in comparison. We are then judged, not by our works, but by our votes.
Now here is the rub. There is a ditch on the other side. Continue reading America, Christianity, and Avoiding the Ditches
What is a nation and why does it matter? Nations are a biblical idea. Empires are a worldly idea. But today we face a new challenge, globalism. Globalism is a secularist idea derived from a perversion of Christian ideals.
God promised Abraham to make him the father of many nations. Israel was the first prototype nation. As a nation, Israel would bless many nations.
A nation is one people, united under one language, government, and occupying one land. A nation has borders. The land without those borders does not belong to it. The land within the borders does not belong to the nations outside of it. Continue reading Nations, Empires, Globalism . . .
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
If we all thought the same way, we would be in trouble. When we are free to think for ourselves, we are free to think poorly as well as rightly. We are free to think sideways, backwards, or not at all. If we are not free to think worse, we are not free to think better.
When I watch debates raging across social media, I think we have all gone mad. We seldom debate to reach truth. We debate to dominate and stamp out the opposition. I’m free to share my opinion, but your opinion should not exist. This is proven when we are angry at someone for saying something we interpret as stupid. Continue reading Why Are We All Arguing?
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
Donald Trump invokes a plethora of different responses from the public. I believe one could write a good article on why Donald Trump should not be elected President. I also believe one could write a good article on why he should be elected President. This article is neither. I am writing this article because of the lack of thought behind almost every post I read where Trump is concerned. (There are a few great voices making some great points for or against Trump). Continue reading Thinking about Donald Trump
In the world of American politics, it can be as dangerous to go too far right as it can be to go too far to the left. When any system becomes corrupt and ineffective in its current state, it becomes in danger of being mistaken for a bad system.
We do this in all areas of life. We have bad church experiences so we separate from the organization as a whole. We have bad marriage experiences, so we distance ourselves from the institution of marriage. So naturally when we have bad experiences with government, we begin to wonder if government is the problem.
While there are times that a system itself is the problem, it is more often the case that the people in the system are the problem. But here we often make the mistake in thinking that different people will correct the problem. We practice this thinking when we leave the people who hurt us in one church to find a new church where people will behave more like proper Christians. We do this when we leave one marriage to find a better spouse who will make a better marriage. We do this when we think that replacing those in government with new people will result in a better government. We do this when we think that removing government altogether would be an even better solution.
The problem is not that the system is broken. The problem is that the culture is broken. Continue reading Government is Good