Friends, whether you are a devout Christian or a
skeptic, inoculated to religious language or open to supernatural
experiences, the importance of understanding faith is vital as we
navigate our lives in a hostile and indifference world.
facets of faith are vital for our walk with the Lord and effective
service and witness in our world where everything seems up for grabs:
- We are people of “the faith”
– the Event of Jesus Christ: his incarnation, sinless life, atoning
crucifixion, burial, glorious bodily resurrection, ascension to the
right hand of the Father, and Return in glory (I Corinthians 15; Romans
1:2-4, 16-17; I Timothy 3:16; Jude 3). Unlike most religious systems,
our Christian life is built on God’s own activity in history, with the
Cross and Resurrection as the defining events and definitive foundation.
We must defend this truth amidst all the skepticism, historic
revisionism, and basic doubt about the truthfulness of anything!
- We are people with “saving faith.”
We can be assured by the Holy Spirit that we are God’s children with a
secure eternity (Romans 8)! How completely different this is from all
other religions, with their emphasis on human effort. We are saved by
grace through faith (Ephesians 2).
- We are people with “growing faith.” This
faith can move mountains when we trust God (NOT trusting our faith
level!). Faith grows as we obey the Lord – and his first and
foundational command is love (Galatians 5:6).
- And, we are people open to the manifestation gift of extraordinary faith
(I Corinthians 12). This is often linked with other gifts and is part
of God’s sovereign activity as we seek to edify the Body and evangelize
we navigate the turbulent waters of a world in need, may the Lord
strengthen all facets of faith, from solid apologetics concerning the
Bible and truth, to deep assurance, to compelling obedience, and
openness to the miraculous.
cannot make every cause our own. We can be well-informed on issues, but
each of us must focus on the particular concerns we are equipped
for. What areas of the common good are we called to influence? For some
it is pro-life issues (yes, we must all care about this). For others, it
is education, homelessness, employment, affordable housing, personal
life-change, etc. If we each find our place, our community will
flourish. If you are not sure, begin with where God has you today and
allow your character, competencies, and charisms to bloom where you are
Pause and pray. Reflect and rejoice.
Lament and laugh. Today is a gift, tomorrow is a hope.
Bless many secretly, affirm someone openly.
And remember Kierkegaard: “Purity of heart is to will one thing.”
perspective, and subtlety are lost is our world of instant data,
reaction over reflection, and “narratives” we refuse to abandon or
adjust. The Bible informs us that we are beautiful and broken, have a
divine design and destiny, and are capable of unutterable evil and
supererogatory virtue. Let’s embrace reality with the confidence in the
One who unites eternal truth and human reality – Jesus our Lord.
I hate intolerance. I hate classism, racism,
intolerance, and sexism that prevents people from flourishing and making
the world a better place. This said, expressing moral and religious
convictions is not intolerance. Pointing out basic anthropology is not
intolerance. Permitting a range of lifestyles does not mean I am
compelled to promote every moral choice someone makes. I want for all
others the rights I desire for myself.
Agitators: refute the voices you despise with peaceful debate and solid ideas instead of harassment and violence. If Vice President Pence, Candace Owens, and Ben Shapiro are wrong, prove their thoughts inadequate instead of libeling and shutting down debate. By the way, will you apply your same standards to haters like Farrakhan and imams pronouncing fatwas on apostates? While you attack tradition, will you speak for the thousands of Christians, atheists, Zoroastrians, Hindus and Buddhists killed by folks that want a caliphate? (Not to mention the oppression of women and chattel slavery in these cultures). Are you going to protest outside of every halal baker and orthodox deli?
If we cannot find the character and maturity for free debate and civil discourse, our experiment on true liberty will end and Orwell’s nightmare will be upon us.
Conservative or liberal, cisgender or LGBTQIA+, religious or secular – we have a common interest in true liberty rooted in love and respect, hearty debate, and living peacefully with our deepest differences. If anarchy reigns, authoritarianism is waiting to pounce.