She Must Not Be Silent


It seems to me that 21st century Western culture says that the church may be fine, but should stay in its own sphere and not really effect public life.  By contrast, God says that the church is His instrument of salvation and reconciliation in the world, and that, however much Hell would like to triumph over her, she will stand forever.  

Two very different views.  

Our day and place seem to view the Christian church with ambivalence mixed with a smidgen of scorn.  I argue that the Bible paints her as a blemished but divine sword, being forged (and slowly refined) in a fire to cut through Hell and sin and death and damnation.  She is an imperfect instrument being used perfectly.  She is a flawed body whose Head (Jesus Christ) knows exactly what He is doing.  The church is not a joke.  She is not irrelevant.  She should not stay in her Sunday school room and leave the world to do what it thinks best.  

She has the only message of freedom to an enslaved world, and she should not stay silent, no matter what the world says.  

“But we don’t want you speaking about that sin.”

You mean that thing over there, the one that will kill you and those around you?  That evil that promises God’s wrath on you and will afflict our fellow human beings and will bring judgment on our nation?  That’s the one you want us to pipe down about?  Well then I dare say our finger is actually on a very important nerve there, I’m afraid.  For I venture to say there is a reason you want us to stay quiet about that sin, as opposed to others.  

“But you must not carry that into work or public life.”

You mean I should check my Savior at the door, then?  I’m sorry, but that’s the very thing I must not do.  Both for your good and for mine.

“But you churches don’t even agree amongst yourselves.”

In some ways and in some things we don’t, it’s true.  But if we believe and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are a part of His massive body, His Church.  And He is faithful to help us speak His Word, albeit imperfectly, for the salvation of souls and the blessing of the world, even though each of our individual churches or denominations is almost certainly honestly wrong about some things.  The beautiful thing is that His Word is clearest where it is most crucial, and so Gospel-preaching churches will always be able to agree where it matters most:  The sinfulness of man, the perfectness of Christ, His death and resurrection as God and God’s Son to save those who will believe in Him, and His future return to make all things right.  

The church of Jesus Christ should not seek to be as harmless and quiet as our present culture would like her to be.  True, she is not a belligerent Bride, but she absolutely shares the convictions and the mission of her Husband:  The rescue and repentance of sinners to the glory of God.  

Christian churches, we are not to stay in a corner and do our best to not to bother anybody.  Read the book of Acts.  We have a grand mission.  And though it will frustrate many who are hardhearted (like our Savior frustrated many who were hardhearted), it will transform the lives of many others forever.   

We have a calling that only we can perform.  

And we cannot perform it by being silent. 

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7 Reasons Why I Vote but Don’t Obsess

  
Every 4 years I feel the temptation to put my deepest hopes in a human being (or a human cause).  And every 4 years I have to then remind myself that (though I love and want to bless my Earthly nation) I am a citizen of a better country.  

I will vote this year, but I will not obsess over the results, and I will not put my faith or daily hope in any human elected official, cause, or platform.  

Why?  

Glad you asked.  

  1. Jesus Christ is in total control of the universe.  The world is not a rudderless ship.
  2. The sin of my own heart is far more of a threat to me (and my family) than whoever the next president will be.  
  3. Long after every earthly kingdom has ceased to exist and every tax bracket has vanished like smoke, Jesus will be reigning in a Kingdom which basks in the warmth of His light forever and ever and ever. 
  4. I care more about winning the souls of those who I disagree with politically than winning their votes.  
  5. America, while great, isn’t the solution for the world’s greatest problem.  
  6. I could be wrong in my vote or support.  The Bible doesn’t tell me who to vote for.  It does, however, tell me who to live for.  
  7. The Bible tells me not to be anxious, and to instead pray. 

I’ll participate in the election (and my country’s civic discourse).  But I refuse to be consumed by it. 

#VoteDontObsess

15 Seconds On gods and People

A person will inevitably begin to look like his god. It’s the same for a group of people.
So, if you want to know the god of your heart, look at your life. If you want to know the god of your church, look at her members. If you want to know the god of your country or culture, look at its citizens.

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them. 

Psalm 115:4-8

Why I Will Not Vote for Donald Trump in 3 Sentences

  
I do not want to put a burden on anyone else, here.  This is simply a statement about what I won’t do and a quick explanation of why.  If you are a believer and want to vote for Donald Trump, pray about it and then leave it to conscience.  I think there’s Christian freedom to disagree, here.  I will say that since the Democratic Party in the United States supports, as a part of its platform, legalized infanticide (which has resulted in approximately 60 million deaths since Roe v. Wade), I do not think a Christian should support a Democratic candidate unless that candidate expressly opposes abortion.  But whether you want to join me in writing in or otherwise selecting a candidate not named Donald Trump is a matter of personal conscience. 

So, I’ll be succinct.  I will not vote for Donald Trump in November, and I can tell you why in 3 sentences:

  1. I believe that Mr. Trump only picked up the pro-life cause out of convenience, and that he would drop it for the same reason. 
  2. Character matters to me when I am asked to invest someone with the authority of leadership, and he has repeatedly and publicly reflected a lack of personal character. 
  3. I do not want to lend my support to a leader whose primary conviction appears to be “Don’t cross me.”

That’s pretty much it.  I haven’t decided who I’ll write in or select, and probably won’t for some time.  But a vote is a lending of one’s approval and, in our constitutional system, an endowment of authority.  And I have decided I will not lend my approval or give my citizen-held authority to Donald Trump.  

I don’t wish Mr. Trump any will, and if he becomes my president I’ll pray for his wisdom and his soul.  But he has requested to lead the constitutional republic God has placed me into, and in November my citizenly answer to that request will be “No.”

30 Seconds of Political Perspective

 
  

Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.  When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.
Psalm 146:3-4

I’ll vote.  I like voting, minus the lines and the cold.  It’s a good way to contribute as a citizen and a reasonably pleasant and painless one, I think.  

But you know what I don’t want to do this November?  I don’t want to spend a majority of my emotional capital, intellectual energy, my time, or my hope on what any candidate may or may not do.  I don’t want any candidate, one I agree with or one I’m against, to monopolize my headspace and my reading time and my conversations at work.  I always want to set aside the bulk of my heart and my passion for the eternal King.  Presidents and pundits and plans will all vanish before long, but the God of Jesus Christ has a power that cannot be matched and a good purpose that cannot be thwarted.  

No candidate, in fact no human being at all, has the kindness and control, the mercy and the sovereignty, that Jesus Christ has.  None has His wisdom, and none has His authority.  No one on the Republican and no one on the Democratic debate stages can save your aunt and my neighbor from their sins, can wipe out poverty at the trumpet sound of his return, can kill death and imprison Satan and remake the earth.  None.  

A candidate will get my vote.  But I pray none will get my heart’s deepest hope.  Let that be reserved for the One who will rule for the most good and for all time.