We have entered the political season where there is a race of the century to see which path America will take. Worldview is a crucial component of this election. How we see what is going on and how we see people amid the political conflict is also a matter of worldview.
In this bulletin I am going to break down the different elements of this complex situation before us. To be clear, I am a conservative evangelical Christian. But I will be stepping on the toes of my own group as well as other groups in this discussion.
It is Only About the Kingdom
First, I want to speak to those Christians who believe being pro-Kingdom means being anti-nation. We hear from this group that Jesus is on the throne and all that matters is King Jesus. While I am ever so grateful for their devotion to Jesus, Jesus is not running for President. Our theology is useless if it does not make a difference on earth in the present-day reality. Jesus not only rules in heaven, but on earth. And on earth, God designed us to live within nations. We see this from His call of Abraham to be the father of many nations. Then we see the progression of Moses leading a people out of Egypt, training them in the laws of God to prepare them to be a nation in a physical land where God desired for them to flourish within its borders.
America’s public square is in dire straits. The public square is the public discussion of all things cultural, political, religious, and societal. The people who participate in this discussion in America are citizens from every walk of life, background, gender, race, economic status, and from a vast variety of theological and political thought. This square becomes broken when conversation deteriorates into group think, quarrelling, and emotional attacks against thinkers with which we disagree.
Eschatology can make or break a nation. Our worldview has practical ramifications on our nation. Thinking the goal of the Christian life is more souls in heaven has a particular result in the here and now. Thinking the goal of the Christian life is to have more heaven on earth will have another result in the here and now. The power of the Kingdom to affect our world depends upon where we put it. If the Kingdom of God is where we go when we die, or waiting in our post-rapture life, then it does not do much for society now.
But if we are already seated in heavenly places with the ascended Christ, then Continue reading
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
One summer evening Joseph and I were walking at the beach where we approached a growing crowd surrounding a few street preachers. The street preachers carried signs proclaiming God’s judgment. Anxiety filled the air. The message preached stirred the crowd against the preacher and an angry bystander nearly came to blows with him. Beach Police broke up the fight before it became dangerous. Then the police wearily watched the proceedings from a distance.
I became aggrieved for the police who had to keep the peace in response to a Christian activity. I wanted to write to the department and thank them for their service and apologize on behalf of Christians for the lack of decorum and love exhibited by these preachers.
I feel nearly the same for the actors and directors who receive the brunt of Christian aggression for the movies they produce when we find them to be offensive. I wonder what impression Russell Crowe or Christian Bale gain of Jesus by the words we use to expose their respective attempts to play Noah or Moses. We fault them for thinking, believing, and behaving like people who do not know Jesus. I cringe when I think of the impression we are giving them of the Church that is magnified by all the Christian Magazines and news sources attacking them and their work.
Certainly we can be a voice of truth. We can offer critique and commentary on what is good and true and what fails to achieve these goals. When we do this, we do it with words seasoned with salt and full of grace and truth. We do it with the understanding that we are not at war with those who do not know the Lord. We are not those who demand our own way. Even Jesus stands at the door and knocks rather than busting the door down and announcing Himself.
The Executive Office
Even more important to our treatment of bystanders or Hollywood is our treatment of our President. We have become as outrageous as Fox News pundits in how Continue reading