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Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

2016_presidential_election_ballot

I posted this on Facebook late last night regarding the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States:

I can’t say I wasn’t surprised that Donald Trump won the election, but I’m glad he did. He was my seventeenth choice of the seventeen Republicans, but once he was the official nominee, I supported him. I didn’t, and don’t, defend everything he’s ever done or said – I wouldn’t do that with any fallen and sinful human being. But at this point in our nation’s history, he’s the flawed vessel needed to pump the brakes on the runaway Leftism that is seriously damaging our nation. I hope he does it. He has my prayers, as does Mike Pence. As a nation, we have a lot of problems to work on, and a lot of sins for which to repent. Maybe, just maybe, God has given us mercy in the form of time to do just that. Although the Presidential campaign seemed to last forever, the real work has just begun. I’m especially thankful that, by God’s providence, we live in a country that has non-violent transfers of power.

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“May you live in interesting times.” That Chinese proverb could be seen as a blessing or a curse depending on how we perceive it. As Christians in the United States in 2016, we live in interesting times. It doesn’t matter if we asked for it or not (or want it or not), it’s the truth. Erick Erickson make this statement in You Will Be Made to Care:

Each of us is going to have to choose – believe in Christ’s teachings or the world’s teachings, but either way you will be made to care. Jesus himself said it: “No one can serve two masters…” (Matt. 6:24). For far too long, Christians in America have been able to coast in peace on the faith fumes of yesterdays believers. But a peaceful people is seldom a religious people. And coasting can only take you one direction – downhill. It has been said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” We tend to change direction in life for one of two reasons. Either a crisis forces us to make a move, or our own vision for a better life pulls us in a new direction. Christians in America have lost our internal drive to grow our faith – because we haven’t had to. Because everything still looked okay on the outside, we thought we could afford to drift. We were wrong. The culture that we live in will no longer permit Christians to remain invisible, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the Kingdom of Heaven, even thought it may be briefly painful for believers in America.

Believers need to remember that our faith and loyalty to God are distinct from our love for our country. Not always incompatible, but different. And Christians may soon need to choose between the two as they are accused of being freaks and enemies of the state, of upending the social order of the secular elite. There’s going to have to be a resurgence in orthodox belief and boldness among believers so we can say we are Christians first and Americans second. The Judeo-Christian foundation we once shared with most people in our culture is no longer there. Russell Moore correctly notes that we can no longer make the assumption that people share what we believe. “There was a time when Christians could assume that most people in American culture agreed with us on values, if not on gospel. Even the way that some Christians engaged [culture] was to say, ‘This is not the real America. These are just some elites in Hollywood or somewhere else.’ Well, looking around now, those issues that were once wedge issues for the Right are now wedge issues for the Left in almost every category – on marriage, on sexuality, on marijuana, on drug use, on all of these sorts of things.”

Yes, the winds of change are blowing, and the changes do not necessarily favor the comfort of individual believers. Like countless Christians who’ve gone before us, we might wish we could avoid the war on our freedom to believe, but that choice is not ours to make. As Gandalf noted in The Lord of the Rings, we do not get to choose the battles of our time: “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

(pp. 206-207, italics in original)

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I had the privilege this morning of preaching on John 12:12-19. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Jesus presented Himself as King which fulfilled prophecy, destroyed false views others had of Him – all of which demands a response.

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Kim Davis was jailed last week for her refusal to sign her name as a county clerk to same-sex marriage licenses. She says to do so would be a violation of her Christian faith. She’s right. Here are some more thoughts on the matter:

First, Senator Ted Cruz issued a statement that I can only describe as excellent. You can read it here. It’s important to remember that Cruz is a graduate of Harvard Law School, clerked for Supreme justices, and has argued before the Supreme Court.

Second, Amy Hall at Stand To Reason quotes an article by Eugene Volokh (I hope you’re following this) which says that Davis has more options than simply resigning. You can read it here.

Third, Hall gives a clarification of her previous post here.

This is an incredibly important issue for Christians and non-Christian alike because it deals with freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, which both seem to be disappearing in an increasingly secular America. May God have mercy on us.

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This morning I had the privilege of preaching a sermon called “Same-Sex Marriage: What Now?” Here’s a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Friday’s Supreme Court decision regarding Same-Sex Marriage is both a serious challenge and a significant opportunity.

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Politics and the Church: So, it turns out that “millennials” and others have not left the church because of right-wing politics. On a side note, isn’t it interesting that they never mention “millennials” or others leaving the church over left-wing politics-evidently that’s OK according to some. You can read it here.

Evangelicals and the Culture: Should the evangelical church abandon the public square? Should we retreat? Andrew Walker weighs in here.

Rotherham and Rape: You probably haven’t heard much about this, but it should cause you be angry, then drop to your knees in prayer. Read it from Ross Douthat here.

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In light of last week’s Supreme Court decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8, a few comments and links are in order.

First, the comments:

  1. God is still on the throne and no panel of judges can overthrow what He has established. The Creator, Sustainer and Ruler of the universe is neither dismayed nor frustrated. In fact, this is in His plan.
  2. Our purpose and mission as the church of Jesus Christ remains – to make disciples of all the nations. No Supreme Court decision can change that.
  3. The decisions were not as comprehensive and final as some thought. On the one hand, same-sex marriage was not made the law of the land in all fifty states (as abortion was in the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973). On the other hand, the DOMA decision creates a clear path for same-sex marriage in all fifty states.
  4. Same-sex marriage is the issue of our day. The world is pressing the church precisely at this point by demanding that we agree with them. If we don’t, we’ll pay a steep price. Will we choose the Bible or peace with the world?
  5. The real issue doesn’t have anything to do with marriage or homosexuality, it has to do with religious freedom in general and silencing the witness and preaching of the Christian church in particular. Our society, by and large, doesn’t want to hear what we have to say and growing more intolerant of it and hostile to it every day. This issue is the club they need to beat the church into submission (or try to, at least). We absolutely have to be ready for this.
  6. We should be driven to prayer. Humbly and sincerely ask God to bring reformation and revival to our country. We desperately need it.

Now, the links:

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