I’ve heard it said that heaven has no borders. This is not true. Heaven has borders because truth has borders. Heaven is distinct from that which is not heaven. There are things that heaven keeps out – sickness, death, sin, darkness. These things do not exist in heaven. The Kingdom has borders. There are things that are Kingdom and there is that which is not Kingdom. Jesus has borders. He is distinctly the Son of God, The Savior, The Light of the World. He is Truth. He is the Way. He is the Life. There is no darkness in Him. There are no lies in Him. He is the Son of God. He is not the Daughter of God. Other ways do not blend to become His Way. He is the only WAY to the Father, and no one comes to the Father but by Him.
Even though God fills all – He is not all. Continue reading Truth Has Borders
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
Jesus said that the world will know that we are His by the way that we vote. Jesus said He would one day separate the elephants from the donkeys. Anyone with any Bible knowledge at all will recognize the blatant misquotes above, but now I have your attention.
The Bible gives us theology for nations, government, law, justice, etc. However, the Kingdom is neither synonymous with a particular nation nor a repudiation of all nations into one big globe.
The Bible provides the theology for nations. The Kingdom provides the supernatural power to reform nations to the reality of heaven. It brings the transformative power of truth to the natural undiscipled infrastructure of a nation. The Kingdom of God does not just heal a sick person, but also a sick institution or nation. Continue reading Biblical Theology of Nations
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
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
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
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