Leaving Babylon Part 4

This episode came from a lot of emotion because I had another conversation with another young minister who is leaving a conservative denomination because of the current partisan climate. The nice part of me wants to apologize for that, but I won’t.

The closer we draw to the election, the more doubling down culturalized Christians are doing, leaving friends of color FAR behind. Our “George Floyd Moment” was just that… a moment. Shame on us.

What is ahead for the culturalized Church is hard and I let those emotions roll as I walked through Jeremiah 27-29. This isn’t easy or enjoyable. And it will probably be ignore. But I leave it as a witness.

The AUDIO PODCAST IS HERE.

A lament for the American Church in the time of cornavirus

Over the last couple of years I have toyed around with a book. I have a working title: “Living in Babylon.” Last year I sat down and put all my notes together so I could have some sense of what I had studied over the 2-3 years I had been picking at it.

As I write this, the United States has come to the cusp of 60,000 deaths from coronavirus. That is over the number of American lives lost in the entirety of the Vietnam War. In six weeks.

Continue reading “A lament for the American Church in the time of cornavirus”

All can be “well” and we can STILL be blind

One of the common mistakes we make in diagnosing current times is “how things are going.” If things are going reasonable “well” for us, we can’t see what might wrong beneath the surface, or care to explore that beneath the surface.

In the U.S., we can say, “Hey, the economy is humming along (for us saying it, of course), so what could possibly be wrong?”

Spiritually, we can say, “Look at our church! It’s growing! We bring in awesome speakers and have a great band!”

For us, all can seem “well”… and we can be blind. This is Israel’s case in Isaiah (and in many of the other prophetic books). Prophetic words calling “doom” on Israel didn’t always come in “down” economic times. They often came in GOOD economic times.

So, when Isaiah comes along preaching hypocrisy, they’re looking at him and asking, “What are you smoking?”

We, today in the American Church, are struggling. We may see verses from Isaiah and put them out there with the thought of, “Well, that’s for the OTHER part of the church!” (It can be a “liberal” Christian putting it out and digging at the “conservatives” or vice versa.)

Here is the problem: these words are for the AMERICAN church. Not just one segment. Friends, WE are in trouble… and are still struggling with spiritual blindness.

20 Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter.

21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
    and clever in their own sight. (Isa. 5:20-21, NIV)

Continue reading “All can be “well” and we can STILL be blind”

To walk in the prophetic

There were some crazy ideas of “the prophetic” when I was growing up and then when I was early in ministry. There are still some wild ideas about what it means to be “prophetic” even today. Some things just keep recycling. Here is what I have concluded as I keep walking through Jeremiah and Daniel in my work on “Living in Babylon”:

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The end of the matter

Off and on for the past several years I have “picked at” the idea I have called “Living in Babylon.” It has been a deep stirring in my heart to say something or write something about this shift we are experiencing in American Christianity. For the past several months I’ve tried to consolidate my thoughts and begin to write something more concrete.

Continue reading “The end of the matter”