Nowadays, especially in light of the new president’s administration, virtually everyone wants to be a prophet, as some claim to “speak truth to power” while thundering from their echo chambers, or glibly offering alternative facts without blinking an eye. Yet, words of deep wisdom simultaneously ring out from others with boldness, clarity, conviction, and faith, offering a clarion call for proper thinking and godly action. Discernment is of paramount importance.
It’s not that evangelicalism has been yet again swamped by politics and lost its way. Rather, it is swamped by politics because those four elements are crumbling. Bible and theology are of little interest other than an odd Bible citation to prop up a claim. Small groups read books by well-known authors, rarely are they studies on a single book of the Bible (publishers aren’t selling these as well today), far too many of its most prominent theologians write books unanchored in Scripture and they do not begin with sketches of the Bible.
The American dream says you have certain rights. Even claim these rights are from our Creator.
Jesus says to give up our rights to follow him. Give up our rights so we can live in community together as believers.
American dream is to be a self-made man. Independent. Free.
Jesus says real freedom is found in becoming his slave. Surrendering everything to follow him. He is the source of every good thing we have. God gets the glory.
The gospel is eternally serious business, inextricably tied to the glory of God and the destinies of real people. Given the stakes, there has been a good and right recovery of the urgent task to see the gospel go to the world’s hardest places and least-reached peoples. And yet if we’re not careful, I fear we will wrongly identify urgency with speed, failing to remember that a task can be urgent and yet demand a slow, methodical approach that thinks in years and decades instead of days and months.
These children are embraced by millions as “blessings” and “miracles” — even as a million children a year are murdered and thrown in dumpsters with the enthusiastic approval of the same people who treat Beyonce’s pregnancy with awe and reverence — because the world wants them. The media wants them. Beyonce wants them. It is our subjective view of them which grants them life.
And as the fear of death falls upon us so does the power of the Devil.
Gripped by fear our capacities for love, compassion and hospitality quickly dry up and evaporate. Perfect love, battling hard to cast out fear, goes on life-support. If it’s not already dead and flat-lined.
And the words “cast out” are prophetically appropriate. Again, in the words of Hebrews fear is the power of the Devil. And America is in dire need of an exorcism.
When Jesus used this phrase in Matt. 6:7, it referred to something specific. It referred to pagan prayers that sounded like babbling and were full of many words that had no meaning. Our prayers are to be simple prayers from the heart. The idea of something being vain refers to the condition of our heart. We can sincerely say the Lord’s prayer and mean every word, or we can mumble through the words and not mean any of them.
Apparently, British Airways engineers assumed that the A318 would only make European stops, given it is such a small plane. The crew did not realize they did not have the correct plans until they landed in Shannon, where according to the Sun, they were unable to download the proper plans.
“After a brief foot pursuit the subject was cornered and the yoghurt pot removed. Crime prevention advice provided about going through other people’s rubbish. Lived to fight another day,” police said.