Like many Americans I’ve been frustrated by the attitudes and actions of my fellow citizens since Donald Trump was elected and took office. But yet my somberness is not the same as the political angst being flooded throughout the media waves and coffee houses across the land. My frustration has to do with the body of Christ.
I needed this. As of last night I came off of my self-imposed Political Fast for the month of August, and honestly I’m not sure I want to go back. By a political fast I mean that I purposefully stayed away from reading anything or listening to anything having to do with the present political races of Hillary and Trump. Really the whole system as well. Sure I was tempted a few times and know that at least once I started down that road of “just to see” what the story behind the latest headline was. But I didn’t fall prey to the calling and got through August with pretty much no political writ, radio, or video. I think I’m healthier for it and not certain I want to go back to my old norm.
This is not to say that I no longer have political thinking. I am not saying that I no longer believer that some politics and laws are just bad. This is not to say that I no longer believe that some candidates are way off and therefore they will be advocating systems and laws which will hurt people.
Yes, I still intellectually and morally believe there is a clear right and wrong. Some candidates get that and others do not. But I also believe that the attention to these issues in the political sphere is no longer as high on my emotional radar screen as they once were. I always knew that the Kingdom of God is the bigger picture. It’s just taken my emotions a while to catch up. While some of these political and legal issues are indeed important; they are just not the “most important.”
So after 31 days of political and social media fasting, I’ve arrived at four things that I do know for sure and four things I plan to do.
Earlier this morning a friend noted a New York Times article from yesterday addressing the political aftermath of the shooting at a gay night club in Orlando. In the write up the author stated that prior to a recent congressional vote, a “Republican congressman read his colleagues a Bible verse from Romans that calls for the execution of gays.” The truth of the matter is that the book of Romans in the Bible says no such thing. This type of paid journalism, beyond being unprofessional and dishonest, is part of what is propagating the myth in our present culture that Bible believing Christians hate gays.
Yes, a section of Romans chapter 1 does speak of giving into homosexual temptations as being outside of God’s design but it nowhere calls for hatred and violence toward those people by Christ followers. Indeed there are cultish groups like the Westborow Baptist Church that spew hatred toward others. However this does not speak of authentic Christianity. While people who hold to an authoritative view of scripture may not agree with gay-marriage, they do not hate those who practice such. On the contrary, they love them despite their differences.
This can be easily illustrated by the response of Chick fil-A Sunday following the shooting in Orlando.
All of Jesus and the Truths that Test Part III The Act of Marriage. (LGBT, Adam and Eve, and Six Challenges for Us All)
Jesus never spoke on the issue of gay marriage. That’s what my LGBT friends report. If we’re looking for those specific words, then they are correct. But on the other hand, there are other issues, such as embezzlement, of which Jesus never talked about either. However we know His teaching on the specific because of what he said in the general about possessions. “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” and other references. In like manner we can see that Jesus covered not only the idea of gay marriage, but all marital issues when He took the religious debaters of His day all the way back to Genesis.
God created mankind distinctly as male and female. The two being differently and completely complimentary to each other. The essence of the act of marriage is the union of those two different beings into one.
Here I go again. It was 6:45 last night and I “just had” to check online to see who was leading the pack in the second caucus of the 2016 race. There’s nothing wrong with having an interest in politics or even entering the political ring. The problem for me though is that sometimes it just gets too tempting. I want to raise the black flag and dive into the fight with such intensity that I forget my focus on the real and eternal answers.
While I tend to lean toward a more conservative Republican bent, the fact of the matter is that neither major political party has it all right. They both have some huge things going for them but neither one really possess a corner on the market of truth.
For some Father’s Day ushers in a number of confusing emotions. I feel a sense of sorrow at the identity confusion of Bruce Jenner and can only wonder how he and his family are emotionally tackling Father’s Day this year. I also though feel a sense of almost bewilderment at the social media’s confusion and acceptance of Jenner’s self proclaimed transition into womanhood. Until recently such a story would only be found in supermarket tabloids along with pictures of Big Foot, alien sightings, and write ups about how Hitler was actually found alive living in the Amazon basin last Thursday. But here we are now in America with the Jenner journey and similar headlines not only being accepted by serious news outlets but also being trumpeted as heroism by the White House. While I agree that people like Bruce may struggle with uncomfortable emotions, the fact remains that a human being with an X and a Y chromosome is a male and a human with two X chromosomes is a female and no amount of hormone injections and plastic surgery will change that. Why is this not clear?
The ruse of Rachel Dolezal was clear this past week. Her self-proclaimed identity transformation from a caucasian woman to a black woman was rejected by just about everyone in culture. While Dolezal may feel black and desire to live life as a black woman, everyone knows she is not such.
So why is Jenner’s identity confusion being welcomed with open arms and celebration? Does it even matter?
Jesus said that His followers would be salt and light in the world. But how does that play out when the worldview of authentic Christianity and our modern culture are often in direct opposition to one another? What is at root of these opposing views and how can the message of Christ be brought into cultural questions? Does ancient Christianity have anything to say to our modern world? Has the Church forgotten how to respond to the cultural challenges? Has the link between the Bible and world been lost? Join us tonight at 8p Central as we explore this and other questions facing the Church today on Sunday Night Discussions. This week we will sit down with our guest Brandon Wolfram to look at how followers of Jesus can regain a confidence in the Word of God as an intellectual, moral, and philosophical system that grounds humanity. Do you have questions on this subject? Then feel free to send in those questions and comments here or via our “Sunday Night Discussions” Google + page or Facebook page.
Want to know what the Indiana “Religious Freedom Bill” is REALLY about? Check out what “Democratic” President Clinton had to say on the signing of the Federal Bill in 1993. (Clip Below)
Why do I come back to American politics from time to time? I suppose I just love the country of my origins and feel a heavy burden when I think of the direction it is heading. I know, it’s a tension in my gut that I hate at times. Yes, I do 100% believe the Kingdom of God supersedes the Kingdom of America. Yes, I really do believe that Christ is the answer to all of our wounds and that politics are insufficient for the cure. But when I see the media and leftist agenda blitzkrieging against the Governor of Indiana with false interpretations and accusations I feel a compulsion to say something in hopes that it might help someone.
As I woke up this morning I saw the news feeds about Ferguson rolling out faster than moths to a flame. Some were spot on and some were just downright silly. As the commentary continued it became obvious that very few people were seeing the real root of the problem or even really cared to know what the true answers were. Why? Because it’s someone else’s fault.
Have you voted yet? I did my service, my privilege, a couple of weeks ago in early voting. My ballot was cast according to my world view of Christ as King and how that plays out in the here and now in my present culture of America. In recent decades there has been a growing debate about God and government, Christ and culture. Some atheist and humanist have suggested that the Constitution forbids followers of Christ from bringing their faith into the ballot box or halls of legislation. On the other hand, some Christians have rightly embraced the eternal Kingdom of God; but to the extent of ignoring the role afforded to them in helping define culture in a free political system. The truth is that both extremes are out of balance.