Few things elicit more emotion that love of country. For Christians, at least, love of God should surpass it. But, does it always?
Often as July fourth nears I wonder about how much patriotic emphasis in worship is too much? How much is too little? Should there be any? Are we mixing two kingdoms?
A majority of the victims appeared to be Muslims, either Turks or visitors from Muslim countries. If the bombings are confirmed to be the work of the Islamic State, it will show once again that the group, which portrays itself as defending Islam and fighting Western powers, kills far more Muslims than non-Muslims on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria or in terrorist attacks in the region.
As I have done all of this, I have become more and more persuaded by the complementarian position but also more and more concerned about those who misuse or full-out abuse it. In that way I have not only had to define myself as complementarian but to define what kind of complementarian I am.
Americans who don’t go to church are happy to talk about religion and often think about the meaning of life.
They’re open to taking part in community service events hosted at a church or going to a church concert.
But only about a third say they’d go to a worship service, if invited by a friend. Few think about what happens after they die.
This November, we are tasked with choosing a president between 1.) a man who is an unapologetic adulterer and is on record as saying he has never considered it necessary to ask God for forgiveness, and 2.) a woman who has proven hostile to the unborn, hostile to God’s definition of marriage, and hostile to religious freedom. As I see them, neither of these choices is ideal. But God will use either to gain glory for himself, just as he did with Pharaoh.
“The government grants don’t prevent us from talking about our faith,” said Rich Stearns, president of World Vision U.S., who said such funds can’t be used to build churches or distribute Christian literature.
“If a person says, ‘Why are you here and care?’ our staff can say, ‘We’re here because we are Christians. This is what we believe. We’re called to love our neighbors as ourselves.’ We can do that.”
Online it means we can be blindsided by the opinions of our friends or, more broadly, America. Over time, this morphs into a subconscious belief that we and our friends are the sane ones and that there’s a crazy “Other Side” that must be laughed at — an Other Side that just doesn’t “get it,” and is clearly not as intelligent as “us.” But this holier-than-thou social media behavior is counterproductive, it’s self-aggrandizement at the cost of actual nuanced discourse and if we want to consider online discourse productive, we need to move past this.
How might the church address the issues of the world? In other words, how might the church undergo this missional renaissance to embody the gospel in the post-Christendom West?
Three primary steps are needed: a rediscovery of the biblical mission, a reconsidering of the nature of the gospel, and a re-turning away from modernity.
Day after day, year after year, it’s the interactions we have at home that have the biggest impact on who we become.
Public school is an essential part of our culture. But the inputs and foundations that parents create are essential and they are truly difficult to outsource.