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To be without a political tribe may be terrifying to many Americans, but if we are truly going to pursue the heart of Christ in our world, we must begin examining all policy (not just the ones our party endorses) and voting by conscience, not political party. In a Divided States of America, the Church can be a great example of what it looks like to find common ground and reimagine a politics that is not binary, but rather adaptive and fluid.
When that inner work is taken to heart, it will be hard indeed to see how anyone could ever countenance thinking that the Infinite Creator of the infinite cosmos could be pinning the divine hope on one small landmass in the western hemisphere that decides to write itself into an ancient Jewish story.
But the Word of God doesn’t change based on our feelings. In terms of responding to those close to us who come out as gay or lesbian, it’s important to love them unconditionally without compromising your convictions. As Christians, we are in exile. And just as Shadrach and friends refused to bow down to the golden statue in Babylon (Daniel 3), even though the consequences were potentially dire, we have to resist the temptation to bow down to the culture we are in—no matter the cost. I’m not saying this is easy. Some who come out will be super offended when you hold to your traditional biblical views. The issue is now so deeply tied to identity that it can feel like you are rejecting them.
In other words, hostility toward the old self and hospitality toward the new self should characterize the Christian. Why? Because the old self is no longer the true self, the authentic self. The old self has been crucified with Christ (Rom 6:6) and therefore we are called to mortify it and its desires (Col 3:5–10). The new self is who we are.
The case will likely rest on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which requires employers to make a “reasonable accommodation” for employees’ religious beliefs. Torres may have to prove that the Billy Graham Rule is indeed a religious belief and not just a personal rule, but he’ll also run up against the possibility that female employees will claim discrimination for being denied training.
Newbigin meant that Westerners, including Americans, must start living like missionaries to their own culture. This exhortation is not mainly concerned with whether we call every Christian a missionary. (In fact, merely changing labels would change nothing much at all.) No, this is about the vital need for the American church to recover a missionary mentality. It’s about the call for us to live like foreign missionaries in our own cities and neighborhoods, which are quickly becoming places increasingly foreign to the gospel.
You are to pick up your cross and follow Christ. That means that each and every day you declare that everything you have in this life, whether it is money or relationships, belongs to God and that obedience to Him is worth more to you than anything else. If loving and obeying Christ means that you will have to choose him above father, mother, or friend, then so be it because God deserves all our worship for eternity.
The antidote to the deadly poison of selfish ambition is to set our minds on Christ and to see ourselves as the sinners which he came to save. We are not competing with each other or with Jesus for glory; we are weak beggars who have been served by the Lord and who in turn must count others as more significant than ourselves.
Icelandic geologist Oddur Sigurðsson pronounced the Okjokull glacier extinct about a decade ago. But on Sunday he brought a death certificate to the made-for-media memorial. After about 100 people made a two-hour hike up a volcano, children installed a memorial plaque to the glacier, now called just “Ok,” minus the Icelandic word for glacier.
The video is a simple animation of a child’s room as it transforms over time from a nursery to the packed-up bedroom of a young adult leaving the nest. We held it together until it got to this part: “It wasn’t so long ago, we walked together and you held my hand. and now you’re getting too big to want to.”