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
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
Facebook is not real. It does not give us a real picture of real life. It is manufactured. It is an imitation of socializing. It provides a false sense of community. It provides a daily dose of drama. It can also provide amusement, social networking, and helpful information. But it often takes more than it gives.
Topics of great import fade away as quickly as a summer thunderstorm. They clamor for attention with mighty displays of hype and drama only to be replaced by the next storm unleashing its fury against our walls. One day it is threats of missiles from North Korea, the next day it is the war in the Ukraine, then it is the horrific acts of ISIS, then it is the sale of baby parts by Planned Parenthood, then it is Cecil the Lion, then bathroom laws, then a Gorilla takes center stage for a few days. Now it’s Orlando and with it the hotly debated Second Amendment. As each matter demands our attention the last one fades into obscurity. Continue reading Breaking Free of Facebook
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
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?
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
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” We know these famous words from John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address given in 1961.
When a nation has lost trust in its governing body, and when corruption, self-interest, and economic concerns bear down on an overwrought citizenry, it is easy to cast all the responsibility to course correct forward onto a new leader. When we think all of our nation’s troubles are the result of a misguided President, it is natural to think that a different person, a more right person, can be our knight in shining armor.
What we are witnessing is the convergence, the maturation of the choices throughout decades of American history. What we feel to be the sudden conspiratorial success of secret hidden agendas, is merely the culmination of the natural progress, or rather regress, of civic, governmental, and religious worldviews. Continue reading What Can I Do?
The Christian life encompasses the whole life of a person. In a society where Christians are the minority, their lives, when lived in accordance with biblical Christianity, will look radically different than their neighbors. In a post-Christian nation such as America, Christians fail to consider that the Bible affects every area of our life because American life has long been lived on auto-pilot. The remnants of Christian living, still found in our society, are now considered common sense. When someone fails to live up to those standards, we believe they have taken leave of their senses. Or we think the offender is intentionally rejecting the right way of life that everyone else knows to be right. It is far more likely in this day in age that the offenders of common sense are ignorant of it, because sense is not common.
The way of life did not evolve into modern civilization any more than a collection of atoms spontaneously exploded and produced the universe. The Western world is a product of the Protestant Reformation and subsequent reformers who utilized the Bible as their guide as to how life should be lived. Out of this biblical way of life grew science, history, political science, justice, medicine, hospital care, the rule of law, orphanages, schools, universities, free commerce, and the nuclear family. Once the ball got rolling it gained enough momentum to sustain itself even when its foundation faded into the lost annals of history. Continue reading Christians: A People Who Change Nations
Pursuing a good thing for erroneous reasons can entangle the road to success with dangerous snares. When we reject the good thing because of our rejection of the erroneous reasons we are bound to be entangled in a different set of traps.
I’ve read some great responses to the overreaction of some in the evangelical Christian community to the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. Much of our despair has been linked to fear of God’s judgment on America or the end of Christianity as we know it in America.
We forget that Christianity flourished in the Roman world which was teeming with sexual sin, worship of pagan gods, and the persecution of Christians. It is true that Christians do not require a Christian culture to be the salt and light of the world. We shine brightly in darkness. If we are not shining, it is not the darkness that is the problem. Paul was no less free in chains than he was without them.
However, here is where I part ways to a certain degree. We begin to lose our footing when Continue reading LGBT: The Two Ditches on the Road to Truth