We seem divided about The Wall that the President proposes (pun intended). I’m sure my opinion will be taken into consideration in Washington when it comes to build or not to build, as are all my opinions. It’s just a matter of time to receive my routine call from the White House.
I admit that neither construction nor political science is my forte, but what I do know something about is the Bible. And when I heard someone argue for The Wall on the basis that “they had walls in Bible times, therefore walls are good,” I couldn’t help but chime in.
“Jerusalem has a wall,” they say, “a pretty big one by ancient standards, built, no doubt, by the ancients to keep their enemies out. So what’s the problem with us having our own wall? It’s in the Bible, isn’t it? There’s even an entire Bible book (Nehemiah) devoted to rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall.”Continue reading →
“The problem with our “change the world” rhetoric is that it is too often a thinly veiled grasp for power and a quest for dominance—things that are antithetical to the way Jesus calls his disciples to live.” Brian Zahnd
Every time in history the Church has tried to raise the Christian flag over a nation, a people group, or even over one other person it’s always turned out very poorly! Think Constantine, Crusades, Inquisition, and the “Christianizing” of the Native Americans for example. By contrast, we win the world, like Jesus did, not by force but by fascination. He modeled the servant’s way and taught us to do the same; to serve, love, and give until they ask us why.
Brutish Peter made the transition from blood letting in Gethsemane to, “Be ready to give an answer for the hope you have. And do it with gentleness and respect.” That’s what I call progress! Continue reading →
How To Inherit The Earth: Submitting Ourselves to a Servant Savior by Scott Bessenecker, the Associate Director for Missions for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, is simply the best book I’ve read in years on spiritual influence. I wish I had understood and practiced the things that he unpacks in this small book about the ways of Jesus, in my early days of walking with the Lord and launching out into a life of service.
If you want to be a better, smarter, and more respected spiritual leader, may I recommend any number of books besides this one! The list of books whose quality is, in my opinion, disclosed by an excessive use of words like “strategic” and “successful,” is endless. You can search for them under keywords like “super-sizing” or “turbo charging” your ministry. Pastors and ministry leaders gobble up books like those hoping to learn the Six Secrets, the Seven Habits, or Twenty-one Laws of great leadership. Continue reading →
In the last piece of this series I’d like to share about how our reckless reactions to terrorism negatively influence our witness to the world.
How hysteria and hostility smother our witness
We fear loss of power, money, safety, so we wrap ourselves in insulation. What we should fear is suffocating in the insulation. Scott Bessenecker
Fear is the enemy of mission. When the Church is swept along with the current of hysterical rhetoric, not only does it steal our personal and national abundance, it robs our testimony. What more could the Father of Hate hope for than a Church that circles its wagons and points its weapons outward at anything that moves in the surrounding darkness? We can’t very well win the world and war with it at the same time! Barricaded behind impenetrable walls of ethnocentrism isn’t exactly what Jesus had in mind for the Church he left in charge of advancing his loving kingdom. Continue reading →