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
Christian culture is shifting in a myriad of ways to embrace the idea that the Gospel is bigger than personal salvation. We are beginning to see that its scale encompasses institutions, cities, and nations.
We are not talking about The Church swallowing up these spheres, but that God cares about nations. His truth is not confined to how we do church and how we live our individual lives but expands to how nations function. We are not looking to create, or at least we ought not be looking to create, another Christendom, but an expansion of the Kingdom into all spheres of society. There is a difference. Continue reading A New Reformation
The evangelical vernacular has adopted and old word “Reformation.” For many our thoughts immediately go to The Protestant Reformation. We think of Martin Luther and the 95 Theses being nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Church in what would become the nation of Germany. This history is not only church history, but world history. The world changed through The Reformation. It did so because biblical theology came to bear on the practical world of institutions.
Today the term is used in conjunction with the historical meaning, but we are no longer talking about a protest, but a return to an integrated truth. The Church has been crying out for revival, asking the Lord to heal our nation. But we have not been applying the Continue reading What is Reformation?
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
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
We have stopped believing the Bible. What we preach isn’t working because it isn’t true. The American evangelical church has replaced the doctrine of original sin with the myth of common sense. In so doing, we expect people to behave like Christians without knowing Jesus. Believing this myth, we have given the world too much credit and the Bible too little.
During my senior year of high school, I sat at my desk in my algebra class listening to the banter between a foreign exchange student and an American classmate. The Korean young lady used an English word that was unknown to the American student. The American student protested the use of the word that he didn’t know. The girl pulled out her vocabulary book from our English class and showed him that it was in our own text book and proclaimed that he ought to know it. He countered that just because it was in our text book didn’t mean that we would know the word. The foreign student valued mastery of the English language, the English speaking student did not. English was not special to us like it was to her. It was common to us so no extra effort needed to be expended in refining its use.
Likewise, believers take the Bible for granted. We think we know it inside and out, but what we know are key concepts, phrases, and stories. We have lost their relevant application to society at large outside of a salvation or moral context. We can explain the path to Jesus, but not the path to a stable nation. Continue reading The Myth of Common Sense