“Train a child in the way that he should go, and he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Often, we think this means that if we raised a child to know Jesus, he will return to his roots if he goes wayward. But notice, the proverb specifically says the child will not depart from his training. It is much easier to place the burden upon the child for his waywardness, but what if what is truly at issue is the training. If a child is trained right, he shall go right, but if he is trained wrong, he shall go wrong.
This is not to say that there is not redemption for a child poorly trained or for the mother or father failing to train well. God certainly forgives and redeems us from our errant ways. But do we want to miss all the time it takes for us to get back on the right road by not being on that road from the beginning? Continue reading Train up a Child . . .
All people are equal, but all ideas are not. If we treat ideas the way we are to treat people we will harm people. Truth is not indigenous to people, it is revealed from God. When God brought the Hebrew people group out of Egypt to make them a nation, they did not already know how to be a nation. They only learned how to be slaves from the Egyptians. God gave Moses the law to teach the people how to become a great nation in the promised land. The foundational teachings of nationhood come from Mount Sinai. God had to get Egypt out of them, and the covenant way of life into them.
We do not hear God telling the people to keep the ways of Egypt or any other land. Today we have elevated ideas to the status of the people who have them. Because of the abuses of colonialism and our modern judgment of them, we have retreated significantly from discipling nations in truth. In so doing, we consign cultures to darkness while trying to deliver individual people unto salvation in Jesus Christ.
Moreover, we embrace the cultural ideas of foreign lands serving foreign gods into our own nation. We go beyond the freedom of religion, to Continue reading Love People but Judge Their Ideas
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
It is impossible to arrive at a worldview that is not largely influenced by at least one of the world religions. Contrary to popular belief, there is no neutral worldview.
Worldviews are like the superheroes we like to watch at the movies. They all have an origin story. Each of them originate in a particular religious foundation. You may want to protest that secularism is devoid of religion because isn’t that the point of being secular? To quote Vishal Mangalwadi, “secularism is a Christian heresy.” Its foundational underpinnings come from the Bible despite having been severely diluted. Continue reading Worldview Development, Part 2
I did some exploring today. I visited Christian Worldview blogs. I didn’t do an exhaustive search, but I discovered something. It may be more accurate to say that I remembered something I once knew to be true. Most of what falls under the category “Christian Worldview” and packaged as THE Christian Worldview is merely a Christian Worldview. Moreover, it is merely addressing social issues FROM a Christian Worldview rather than getting into the meat of how to have a Christian Worldview. Continue reading Worldview Development, Part 1
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
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
The first day of my Advanced English class, my professor announced to the class that we needed to get one thing straight before we commenced the semester. She then declared unequivocally that there is no absolute truth. She asked if that was settled or if anyone objected. My hand shot up. My heart was pounding as she and the class turned their attention on me.
“Ok then give me a fact, any fact,” she challenged.
“The earth is round,” came my response.
“Have you measured it?” She taunted.
I stared at her confused as to her retort.
“Give me another fact,” she persisted. Continue reading Truth and Facts: What’s the Truth?
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
A number of years ago a survey floated around the internet that professed to tell you if you had a Christian Worldview. It contained some doctrinal questions one would consider mere Christianity, but it also provided many questions of a political nature. To acquire the highest score, one would need to be a mainstream American Christian evangelical conservative Republican. At the time, I achieved a high score.
If the Christian worldview could really be assessed by a few dozen questions, discipleship could be measured by Christian SOL’s. Do not start sharpening your number two pencils. The Christian Worldview is not a set of polarized political views owned by evangelical American Christians. When we make political views the litmus test for the Christian worldview we cripple the power of the cross by politicizing it. Continue reading Testing the Christian Worldview