May 4 being the National Day of Prayer, President Trump signed an Executive Order loosening control of what has been called the “Johnson Amendment.” Under the Johnson Amendment, it was to disallow direct political endorsements from the pulpit of particular candidates. If violated, the IRS could look into pulling the tax exemption status from a religious organization. Continue reading “Politics and the Pulpit”
A term that will take a beating. Continue reading “Can we recapture “evangelical””
Post-election, there has been a lot of blame to go around. In the media and political world, it’s a free-for-all. Continue reading “We all have our bubbles”
Not that anything could be taken back…
Continue reading “So you voted for…”
We live in a new day as American Christians. There is such a challenge because there has been incredible disagreement. Continue reading “Election results and post mortem”
This is my confession. As a pastor, as an educator, as a member of the community, I have made a mistake in using the symbol: #NeverTrump. Continue reading “My apology for using #NeverTrump”
When November 9 rolls around, there is still work to do, especially as believers.
Two great posts I ran across recently: Continue reading “The change needed”
Dallas Willard has an essay titled “The Failure of Evangelical Politics” in the book Renewing the Christian Mind. In it he lays out the failure of the evangelical church in the past several decades to live out what is truly the gospel. Continue reading “The calling we have in culture”
Today, equality is not actually regarded as a matter of human dignity and value. That is very hard to defend. Rather, it is regarded as a doorway to freedom. Freedom itself is not regarded in terms of the inherent dignity and value of human beings, but rather as opportunity. Opportunity is not regarded as opportunity to do what is good and right, but to get what you want. We talk a lot about them, but the basic values of our society are not equality and freedom — they are pleasure and “happiness.” And these are interpreted in sensualistic terms. Our society is a society of feeling… Feeling is our master. That’s why we have so many issues about abuse of one kind or another: abuse comes out of frustration over feeling. That is why we are such an addictive society. Also, watch your commercials for automobiles and so forth, and see how many of them are predicated upon feeling. Feeling furs our society. It also runs our massively failing education system. It is the only acknowledge ultimate value. That explains why we do so badly in areas of learning that require sustained discipline — which doesn’t “feel good.” — Dallas Willard, Renewing the Christian Mind
A friend on Facebook who is on the faculty at Biola University had an article in their university’s magazine on the election.
If the two-party system remains intact after this election, and evangelicals become more disenfranchised in terms of not really fitting into one or the other party, does that mean evangelicals will simply have to accept being a more muted political force going forward?
I think the church as a whole, not just here in the United States, but across the globe, is at a place where we have to make a decision about what our role in this world is. To American evangelicals, I would say this: I think our role is to stand in prophetic resistance to whatever system we’re faced with. I think every time we try to turn the church into a power broker, the destruction and change comes to the church and not to that which we are trying to influence. So I think our role is to stand in prophetic resistance. It’s not a standing against, because Jesus didn’t do that. Jesus didn’t say to topple the Roman government. Jesus didn’t say to start a revolution. In fact, he said, “Give to Caesar what’s Caesar’s,” and he submitted himself to those authorities, even when it was unjust, to his own detriment, and he suffered an execution that was in and of itself incredibly political.
I think Christians have had such a privileged place in American culture that we’ve lost sight of the fact that this is not our place. America is not the New Jerusalem, but we do have a role to play. And our role may put us outside of power but in a position where the greater message that we have is heard. Christians should vote. They should participate in the process. They should run for office and seek places of influence. But if the goal is power, it will dampen the greater message every single time.
The rest of the article is HERE.
These are times to be thoughtful. Not fearful.