As We Approach the 4th
This is the time of year when we start hearing loud bangs at night and you have to ask yourself the following multiple choice question:
Was that bang:
- a car backfiring?
- a gunshot? (OK, maybe most of you never think of that, but some of us do.)
It’s also the time of year when we bump up against the idolatry of nationalism. Churches all over the country will be holding services to honor our country and say the pledge of allegiance in a place that should only have one true allegiance. How should Christ-followers deal with this?
David D. Flowers wrote this reflection on his own experience with nationalism as it collided with his faith. It’s challenging and thought-provoking and well worth your time to read in full.
There’s nothing wrong with having a picnic and watching fireworks. We’re not complete fuddy-duddies around here. But don’t ever confuse your allegiance. It belongs to Jesus alone.
From David’s blog:
What had I been teaching that their students would want to put aside their former pursuits to go into missions, love all people regardless of nationality, and not waste their life on worldly gain?
They were discovering a radical discipleship. And I was becoming an Anabaptist and just didn’t know it.
The truth is that these students and adults were drawing conclusions based on a simple reading of the Gospels. And we had all come to realize that this was unacceptable for this Baptist church in rural America.
Saying no to flag worship dethrones the American Jesus and it exposes our cultural Christianity.
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The kingdom of God is holy—meaning “separate, set apart, consecrated.” It looks like Jesus, nothing else. We can’t simply equate the kingdom with everything we think is good, noble, and true. Nor can we align the kingdom with any nation, government, or political ideology. The kingdom Jesus embodied and established is one of a kind.…
Jayel Aheram via Compfight Brian Zahnd wrote a great piece the other day on this topic. He contends that when he is asked this question, it often has the same flavor of the question, “You’re not a pornographer are you?” Why is this question so contentious among believers? Brian has some interesting ideas about it.…
God called Abraham to form a unique nation by which “all peoples of the earth will be blessed.” The unique call of the descendants of Abraham was to become a nation of servant-priests whom God would use to reunite the nations of the world under his loving Lordship. The vision of a reunited humanity is…
I get asked about “original sin” quite a bit. Are people born guilty? Many times questions like this originate from folks who are worried about whether babies who die without being baptized go to hell. This is what I was taught as a young Catholic boy, and I have to confess I now find the…
The tendency of wealth to entrap people in greed has been confirmed in numerous studies. Research has consistently shown that, generally speaking, the more people have, the less percentage of their income they tend to give away. This is even reflected on a national level in the case of America. In 2000, the gap between…