How Should Christians Act in Times Like These?

If we aren’t responding to current events in ways that display love and the fruits of the Spirit, we are “doing it wrong”

Tyler Merbler from USA, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The events that are unfolding in the United States are troubling from many angles. Many Christians pinned their immediate and long term hopes on Donald Trump. With Biden as President, the fight against the killing of the unborn has been dealt a significant blow.

But there are many other problems. The racial divide, polarization, political fringe groups, rhetoric ratcheting up to the inciting of violence, a willingness to resort to violence, conspiracy theories, fake news, increasing control of popular speech by private monopolies of information, an abandonment of all semblance of non-bias by most media, our ability to choose our own tailored news, hatred for people who don’t think like us, an unwillingness to show respect, listen and engage in real dialogue – these are things that are deeply troubling in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”.

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus said we would have tribulation in this world. He didn’t tell us to take up arms and fight it. He said we should follow him, spread the Gospel and make disciples.

His kingdom is not of this world. Jesus didn’t come to empower the Zealots, but to turn them into self-sacrificing servants of God and His kingdom – spreading the Gospel and making disciples.

Islam spreads by the sword. The Gospel spreads by people who wash others’ feet, turn the other cheek and love God, their neighbors and their enemies. The Christian wields not a political flag, but a cross that he carries on his own back.

If we are going to fight for anything with biblical support, it would be “to proclaim good news to the poor… to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor”. (Luke 4:18-19) This was how Jesus described his own purpose on the day when he stood up in the temple and announced his ministry.

Should we not follow him?

Continue reading “How Should Christians Act in Times Like These?”

Destined for Tribulations

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(c) Can Stock Photo

“I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation[1] and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”

This is how John begins relating the revelations he received that are preserved in the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament. Sometimes we read over things quickly that other times will stick out. This verse sticks out today, perhaps, because we have a good friend who is fighting cancer. Today is also the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

I recently wrote about the charge from atheists that people have faith in God because of wishful thinking. Nothing could be more wishful. True faith is forged only in tribulation. Continue reading “Destined for Tribulations”

Suffering & God’s Compassion

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“You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.” (James 5:11))

People can relate to the story of Job. He suffered physical ailments, the loss of his family and all he owned. Many people have suffered similar losses, but what of the compassion of God?

Job is a long book. Most of it focuses on Job’s suffering and questioning – Why me?! We are told in the beginning that Job was pure and upright, but then he suffered terribly at the hands of Satan … while God looked on! His religious friends are not very sympathetic. They talked a lot, but they didn’t say much other than to question: “If you’re so good, why is God  God treating you so badly?”

Job’s friends didn’t believe that Job was as good as he claimed. The truth is, he probably wasn’t, but that’s another story. The truth is also that “bad things happen to good people”. Life isn’t fair in the hard times it dishes out. “Good” people sometimes have the worst luck, and “bad” people sometimes seem to get all the good things.

That leads us to wonder, if God exists, we are things the way they are?! Maybe he doesn’t exist. Or worse, maybe He doesn’t care!
Continue reading “Suffering & God’s Compassion”