Leaders will be held to a higher standard. And for good reason, because people trust them to provide guidance. Jesus and James warned us of this fact. And even though I’m in no way a formal church leader, that truth terrifies me. Because I know people do look to me to represent Christ, I recognize that I am a leader. And I have been complicit for far too long with a bastardization of Christ’s love.
As Christians, we should be outraged that prayer has been coopted to mean inaction in the face of tragedy. Our lack of outrage means we have no right to be surprised when people discount prayer and scoff at it when we offer it in response to other situations. We have allowed this to happen.
Our world is full of double-speak terms, where we politicize our words to make them sound better than they are. So I think it’s important to really consider our vocabulary from time to time and evaluate if it lines up with the meaning it seems to claim. I did that a little bit earlier this …
One of the common themes I’ve been working through on my blog recently is Christianity’s place in America and America’s place in Christianity. A few weeks ago I wrote about how America was built on the premise of freedom of religion. Everyone will nod their head yes, because this is an obvious thing everyone acknowledges, …
According to Genesis 1, God created humanity in God’s own image (which inherently means we are called to love, create, and care for the things God created) and gave humanity dominion over it. While some like to use those words to profess no need to care for it, that completely contradicts the nature of God with God’s own creation. If we’re created in the image of God, then having dominion over something would more strongly correlate to feeling a deep sense of responsibility for its care and well-being.
The people that we consider villains of the Gospels were literally the people who were trying the hardest to please God. They’re the ones who were so devoted to their faith that they created little insular communities focused on protecting their families from outsiders who could carry disease (both physical or spiritual) and lead them astray. They’re the ones who tried to legislate morality to ensure the world around them reflected their values. They’re the ones who literally led the charge to kill Jesus.
Jesus did not operate under a mindset of “we must protect the church from image problems, so let’s keep everything quiet.” Essentially every one of His critical comments while He walked the earth was directed at the Pharisees. He saw their approach to faith as hypocritical and lacking, and He saw no reason to keep quiet about that fact.