I got an interesting email from one of our readers a few days ago that I wanted to throw out for discussion. Stan, who works through his own site at Atheism-Analyzed posed the question of how we as Kingdom Citizens are to engage in the political systems that we live in here on this side of eternity. I’ll paste his question below, give a couple of responses myself, and then turn it over to you to think about and then respond back to if you like. Here you go . . . (more…)
Well things are rolling right along in our transition time between the church plant and the next Kingdom Adventure God has for us. The kids are in good schools. Deb is working in a school library; which she loves. I’m picking up odd jobs, interim opportunities, and some other ministry projects as we wait on God’s timing and move. Still looking for clarification as to whether we need to move into another plant or take an established preaching position and focus on sending others out. But during this time I’m also taking in things around my boyhood home here in Amarillo. Like Paul, I’ve looked around at the city’s Objects of Worship and have come across a number of signs like the one shown here. While I do agree with the scripture on the sign, I’m not sure that’s the best way to win people to the love of Christ. Might as well just get a bull horn and tell everyone on Polk Street that they’re going to Hell. While there is a time and place for truth and clearly articulating the gravity of sin, I don’t think that sticking a sign like this in my yard is actually going to awaken my neighbors need for Christ’s love. More than likely, whoever owns that placard is going to just be set aside on the mantel as another “religious nut” from the mid-west. Seems like a better approach is to get involved in people’s lives, love on them, and then get some healthy dialogue going. How do you go about talking about issues like sin with people who don’t use that kind of vocabulary much?
I had a great time meeting Don Novack this morning. Don is a church planter in Amarillo and is heavily involved with Christmas in Action. We talked a lot about faith, churches, and some of the spiritual make up of the area. I always knew that there was a higher percentage of folks who attend Sunday morning worship services here than in other parts of the US and Europe. But it was also interesting to see that no matter where you go, you’ll still find folks who claim the name of Christ, but only attend worship gatherings once or twice a year. Is the whole “going to church” thing just a personal preference, or is there something more to it? (more…)
I’ve been rocked over how much Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven in the scriptures. We also see that type of thinking from the apostles as they shared the message of Christ around the Roman world. Paul likewise continued that theme throughout the New Testament. One of my favorite texts that illustrate this is in 2 Timothy 4:1 where Paul encourages the young preacher Timothy. Paul states. “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word . . .”
The kingdom reality is just all over the place when you think about it. So what we find is that Christ came for more than just offering fire insurance, but something totally and completely “new and from above”. (Note John 3:3) A common misunderstanding about the Kingdom is that it is something that will be established when Jesus comes back. (more…)
Yesterday while driving back from a preaching assignment I spent some time running the dial and came across a talk show detailing some of the big headlined Town Hall meetings across the US. If you haven’t picked up a newspaper or watched any of the media coverage recently, you might not know about the stories of the rebellious town hall meetings that have been erupting over President Obama’s health care reform. Some of the meetings were calm and orderly. But for others there was yelling, speaking out of turn, and even some evictions.
As for my opinion of the health reform, I tend to lean towards less government as I lived in the former Soviet Union for a while and have seen the “ills” entailed within an atheist socialistic system. But I wasn’t present at any of the town hall meetings. I didn’t watch any of the CNN stories, nor did I follow my elected leader’s websites for the latest on Obama’s strategy. Instead, I listened to it for the first time on talk radio and after a few minutes I actually CHANGED THE DIAL. (more…)