Worldviews provide an infrastructure for thinking. Most of us have not built out a large enough infrastructure to house the truth God wants us to live out. Modern Christians operate in a very small sphere. Eternal truths are put in a spiritual box divorced from practical truths of life that matter in the physical world. Read more
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. Read more
Jesus prayed that we will be one as He and His Father are one. This is the often quoted Scripture for our cry for unity in the Body of Christ. However, oneness is often lost in the concept of sameness. If the Godhead is our example, we do not need to sacrifice distinct identity to obtain unity.
I’ve heard it argued that Catholicism provided unity that has since been lost in post Reformation Christianity. The idea that there was once one Church and not many churches with competing identities is a reality worth returning to for many believers. Delving into history, I find we have lost sight of the tragic costs of maintaining one Church. Heretics, who were defined as any person or group of people diverting from the established doctrine of the Church, were burned at the stake or run through with a sword or imprisoned. In eleven centuries of Christendom this was not always the reality, Read more
It is easy to miss our own failures when our eyes are on the failures of others. When we have been wronged, we dwell on every aspect of the injustice. We turn it over in our minds enough to know every nuance of the wrong done to us. We consider how easily we see how they should have behaved. The matter is settled in our minds. We are the intentional victims of the actions of another.
Now we nurse our wounds. Maybe we do so in seclusion, gallantly protecting the wrong doer. Or maybe we enlist the sympathy of our friends to our plight. Misery loves company.
Time passes. Maybe a little, maybe a lot depending on how long our heart takes to soften. Then we forgive the person. We begin to realize they are trapped in their own wounds. Maybe they did not do it intentionally. Maybe they did not realize the extent of their behavior.
This process goes on, but the whole time it is other focused. We are still the victim. We may even give a cursory acknowledgment of our faults in the past, but today we are the victim. Today they are the perpetrator. We are the one suffering the injury, the insult, the injustice. Read more
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. Read more
It’s no coincidence that the Confederate Flag has come under attack only days before the historic LGBT ruling. The Confederate Flag is the emblem of State’s Rights. Yes, State’s Rights to own slaves, but we cannot ignore the States Rights issue any more than we can ignore the slavery issue. As a reader of American antiquarian books written by the Founding generation, I understand and have high regard for the proper balance of sovereignty of the States and the Federal Government. When the balance of power shifts to favor one at the detriment of the other we have a recipe for disaster.
While the celebrations, lamentations, and debates swirl around the recent Supreme Court decision, State’s Rights and consecutively citizen’s rights hang in the balance.
Why do I link the attack on the Confederate Flag to the LGBT movement?
I believe it is a prophetic sign to the real travesty at hand. It is a strategy of war for a combatant to remove the symbols of rebellion, promise, or liberty. We saw this when Rome sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. We see this when ISIS destroys the historical artifacts in the cities they conquer. We saw this on 9/11 when Al Qaeda attacked the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.
I do not profess to know that the attack on the Confederate Flag is, in any way, part of the game plan of the LGBT activists, only that it is a sign worth paying attention to. I do not believe that it is naturally connected. Honestly, I think the LGBT movement is Read more
Americans have the corner market on democracy. Democratic equality has permeated every fiber of our culture. We have taken a governmental structure and made it the core of culture. We individualized it, marketed it, and sold it. Consequently, we created a cultural monster that wants its needs met. The government was instituted among men to protect our equal right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But what happens when we redefine the terms of what government is to protect? What happens when we misapply equality?
If equality means that I have an equal right to a certain level of income, a responsibility is placed upon government to protect my right to receive that amount. The free market economy gets plundered by a government trying to fulfill its presumed roll to even the playing field. The people become the children waiting for their parental government to ensure they are well fed. Conservative author Russell Kirk puts it succinctly, “Equal justice is indeed a natural right; but equal dividend is no right at all.” Conservatives balk at the usurpation of our rights, while liberals rejoice in the fulfillment of them. When we define the basic premise incorrectly the error becomes legitimized
This has happened with the change in marriage laws. Read more
It is a myth of epic proportions that relationships work between the right people and fail between the wrong people. Today parents believe they got a bad egg, when their child does not behave. Men and women believe they married the wrong person, when their marriage is in shambles. We have the same thinking when it comes to our pets, we think we got a bad dog when it barks all the time, or chews the furniture.
In reality, no one drew the short straw. Everyone is in the same boat of needing to learn how to have healthy relationships. No one is going to birth a child that knows how to behave. No one is going to have a healthy marriage without learning how. No barking dog is going to bark less unless it is trained to do so.
If you burn everything you cook on your stove, you don’t buy a new stove to fix the problem, you learn how to cook. No one can cook without learning how. Some will learn from trial and error, some from cook books, some from parents or a friend, and some from You Tube. But no one just knows how to cook.
We did not do something wrong by not having been taught. But once we realize we want to cook and enjoy what we make, it is time to make the effort to learn. The myth that relationships work with the right people will keep us from realizing our problem is not a need for the right people, but the right training.
When we are properly armed with the right tools for healthy relationships, Read more