Rediscovering the Ancient Order of Things. Part II.

Ouch!  Sometimes when I think about the lives of the first disciples of Jesus I feel a big sense of conviction.  By looking through the lens of history and observing those early Christians it’s easy to notice that there was something radically different about them.  The truth is that they had a deliberate conversion from the old life which is often lacking in our day.  I wonder at times if we haven’t gotten a bit soft and sleepy in the 21st century west and are no longer able to show any difference between us and the world around us.  By this I don’t mean we need to act weird and pick up man made traditions like the Amish.  But sometimes we forget that we as authentic followers of Christ are part of a greater Kingdom and therefore are called to a new way of life.  The first followers of Christ seemed to get that.  (more…)

Pondering Politics and Piety. Part III.

If I were to entitle this post anything else, I suppose it would be something like, “The Last Will and Testament of a Young Republican.”  That’s right; I was once a Young Republican a long time ago. But things are different now and it doesn’t have anything to do with age.  Now before my “Lefty” friends out there get all excited, you need to know that I’m not defecting to your political party either. Rather I’m pressing the cancel button on the whole system as far as my involvement goes.  While this doesn’t mean I’m never going to vote on issues I believe in, it does mean a drastic and purposeful decision to refrain from direct political involvement and commentary.  Even on my Face Book page I’ve listed the “Kingdom of Heaven” for my political views.  As followers of Christ we have to keep in mind that we’re part of His eternal Kingdom which supersedes the greatest Kingdoms of men.  But is this stand of total avoidance too radical?  After all, it would seem from the scripture that politics is a freedom issue.  We even noted in Part I. of this series that we can’t separate the sacred from the secular and this would apply to politics as well.  Yet considering the transitory nature of this realm, I do believe that this is an issue that Christians should seriously wrestle with.  As for me, I’ve drawn the line in the sand to abstain and here are at least four reasons why. (more…)

Pondering Politics and Piety. Part II

Tonight the President of the United States is slated to give his annual State of The Union Address.  I’m not sure which one will be more fun to watch; his speech or the bantering on Face Book that will follow.  When it comes to dialogue on politics, it’s interesting to see all the Christ following friends I have who sit on opposite sides of the political aisle.  They claim allegiance to Christ, but are polls apart in politics.  But that will be part of our discussion next week when we wind this subject down and look at some of the personal reasons why I don’t swim in this pool much anymore.  It is also worth noting that Jesus actually spoke very little about politics even though Conservatives and Liberals claim Him as their guy at times.  In fact, we see virtually nothing of Jesus giving a commentary on the Roman government of his day.  That’s because the mission of Christ is beyond that of any temporal regime.  Yet we noted in Part I. that as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven we’re not to cloister ourselves away from society, but rather to influence it.  So what does the Bible say about our relationship to the Kingdoms of this world?   Here are some pointers we should consider and while my list below is not exhaustive, it’s something to start with.  (more…)