Wednesday, June 22, 2022


Here's what's strange: this world, this culture that is set upon destroying the Christian faith and ethic, it will tell you that it is fundamentally unChristian to fight for ourselves. To fight for our God. They will tell us that God would never approve of us putting our foot down on these things. That it's not "what Jesus would do." 

For example, if you want to take your kid out of that sports league because it's a core value for you to be with the fellowship of believers on Sunday mornings, the world will be quick to tell you that the church is not a place, that you're putting too much stock in a single location, that God doesn't care where you are on Sunday mornings and God doesn't even care particularly much about Sunday mornings themselves. That what God cares about is your heart, and if your heart is tuned to worship, then it's okay if you're out on the baseball field instead of in the pew (we're in baseball season, I think). Therefore, you aren't even a real Christian if you insist on being in church on Sundays. 

Never mind, of course, that one of the commands God gave in the New Testament is that you should not neglect meeting together, as some do. That it's important to commit yourself to a fellowship and be there. And we know that the life of the church is not in the Sunday morning service, but in the togetherness. And if you take your togetherness to a different group, then you take it away from the persons to whom you have committed to do this journey together. Sorry, but you're cheating your brothers and sisters (not to mention, yourselves and your children) when you choose not to be with your church. 

God's model is not that you just worship wherever you happen to be or find a way to fit it into your schedule. God's model is that you join a body and show up. 

Of course, we're also living a world that says that if you don't affirm someone else's life, every bit of it, then you must hate that person. You're such a bigot. Jesus would be ashamed of you. It's unChristian, this world says, to have a moral ethic that is anything but pure and clean and untangled love. (Read: acceptance, tolerance, and affirmation.) 

This is what gets us in trouble when it comes to things like the definition of marriage, the sanctity of life, and even "interfaith" worship. Jesus doesn't want you judging anything, the world says. He doesn't want you to have an opinion about how things should be. He just wants you to show up and be present for all of it. That's what Jesus wants. 

Except that's not what Jesus wants. What Jesus wants is for you to live according to the truth that His Father laid down into the very foundations of the world. He wants you to understand what it means to be a covenant people, and that means understanding covenant as a complementary engagement - a promise in which two things bring a wholeness to each other in a very fundamental way. He wants you to understand that you don't choose when a life is knit together; it is a miracle every time, and it starts with the very first thread. 

And He wants you to understand that you don't stand in the public square and encourage the people to just pick a god, any god, because they are all fundamentally the same. There is never a single word in all of Scripture that tells us that we're supposed to do this. In fact, every time a prophet of God stands with the prophets of another "god," it's to defeat them. Soundly. When Elijah stands on the mountain with the prophets of Baal, it's not so that Israel can see that all worshiping peoples are the same and are worthy of equal recognition and respect; it's so that he can reveal, plainly, that Baal is no god at all and only the Lord is worthy of praise. 

Are you getting this? Are you seeing how this happens? God has a certain standard for the way that His people live, and this world - this world that seems to have the authority to destroy us - keeps telling us that God's way is unChristian. They start their attack by trying to redefine our God for us. ...and it's working! Christians themselves are spewing this same kind of garbage and totally buying in, against all evidence in the Word to the contrary. 

Y'all, we are allowed to fight back. We are. Our King has signed an executive order that we don't have to just sit by and take this. 

So why are we? 

*Note, and I hate having to make it, but here we go: I'm not a bigot. I have zero hate in my heart. If you are gay, trans, Muslim, have had an abortion, are trapped in addiction, worship no god at all, a sinner, whoever you are - I love you. We can be friends. We can hang out. I'm a sinner, too. I can root for you in your life and pray for all good things for you. I affirm you as a human being created in the image of God and believe that you have something valuable to teach me about who He is, just by being you. The fact that I also hold that covenant means something, that life is a precious mystery, and that my God is the only true God worthy of praise does not mean that I reject you. It does not mean that I grumble about you. It does not mean that I am nice to your face while harboring some deep resentment or something in my heart. No matter what the world tries to tell you about someone like me. I love you, just as Christ loves you, and that means I want the very best of all things for you. Life, and life abundant. And I will do everything I can to help you attain that. I am for you, even when I don't affirm every little thing about the way you're living. (It should also be said that I don't affirm every little thing about the way I'm living, but...I'm working on it. Every day.) 

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