Guns are a religion now. And too many of our fellow citizens — including evangelical Christians, of all people — will continue to heedlessly worship at this altar, despite the dead children, the dead teachers, the dead concertgoers and the innocent bystanders who must sacrifice their lives for others’ overriding faith in their weapons. It is safe to say that nobody in the cult of guns listens to Jesus. None of this will stop unless the cult of guns is curbed. This won’t be easy; the cult has a lot of money behind it.
Questioning the validity of orthodoxy is anything but spiritual error because Scripture calls us to test such things. Church authorities are the ones fighting opposition, refusing to allow there to be diversity among their lambs. We who are committed to the testing all things are not forsaking the LORD. Our desire to test theology, whether it is strange or not, reinforces our reverence toward God. I cannot imagine a scenario beyond one in which Jesus succeeds in drawing everyone to himself.
Christian Universalism is anything but heretical because it is built on a solid foundation—the unfailing love of God.
The choice is stark, unsettling and serious: between what Christians call the “Great Commission” and President’s Trump’s call to “Make America Great Again” (MAGA). The Great Commission is racially and radically inclusive, while MAGA, as a matter of rhetoric and reality, is racially exclusive and divisive. Jesus praised a foreigner, an ethnic outcast, and religiously unpopular “good Samaritan” as an example of great compassion.—Cornell Brooks
Personal responsibility and hard work are not bad values. However, these values tend to move charity to a subtle form of social control where the poor are offered assistance based on merit or adherence to conservative standards, rather than on the basis of generosity and a commitment to a more equitable society. Pulling oneself up by the bootstraps has become American gospel. Jesus implores people not to simply be more generous, but to overturn oppressive systems that create inequality in the first place. True community justice requires that all American Christians ― conservatives and liberals alike ― set aside political agendas and values and seek equity.
Christian escapism is really bad theology. If God so loves the world, then how does it makes sense that we’re trying to leave it? Rapture theology is dangerous theology because it essentially says that we aren’t stewards of creation – it’s all going to be destroyed anyway so why bother. Oh and war – no biggie, remember, all the unsaved will be killed by God and the earth will be ravaged, so why bother. Makes for great foreign policy, environmental stewardship, and more, doesn’t it? We are called to participate in the unfolding of the kingdom of God right now, here on earth. We’re called on to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to visit the sick and imprisoned, to go and make disciples. If God wanted to whisk us away, then why on earth would Jesus command us to do these things?
We don’t have to push each other away. We can actually come together in our differences. We come together to practice connection, contemplation, critical thinking, creativity, and compassionate action for the common good. Our gatherings emphasize building friendships over a meal and having deep conversations about topics that transform the way we see the world while inspiring us all to live peacefully with more beauty, wholeness, passion, urgency, and love.
The Way Collective is a new movement in Santa Barbara, CA, and is a community for people looking to unite by living well for the common good in an increasingly divisive world.
Source: Way Collective
“I think we can look at his life, look at the intolerance that he’s spoken, I think that my Jesus that I follow was really somebody who fought for the outliers, and I think that Trump has actually done the opposite – kind of ostracizing them.” — Jerushah Armfield
Jerushah Armfield is an evangelical writer, the granddaughter of the iconic evangelist Billy Graham, and Franklin Graham’s niece. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jerushahruth.0
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
If anything should anger followers of Jesus at Christmas time, it shouldn’t be that we don’t say “Merry Christmas” as often as we did, but that we so seldom say “I forgive you.”
Starbucks red cups are not going to destroy the Christian faith. When Christians start to lose sight of gratitude and instead develop a major persecution complex then we have a huge faith crisis on our hands that is far bigger than whether the red cups at Starbucks make any reference to Jesus. Maybe this year we can set our sights a little higher than changing red cups, and instead buy someone in need a coffee.
The Christianity Bonhoeffer denounced is the Christianity we denounce today. The Boston Declaration, condemning the abuse of the Christian faith by many conservatives today, was just written, signed and released by over 300 hundred Christian theologians. Many dressed in sackcloth and ashes to call for repentance and change in Christianity in the United States, the presenters were clear that white American Evangelicalism is in a crisis, a crisis of its own making. It has abandoned the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Love one another.” And we say, “Amen.”
“Thousands of grassroots movements are emerging across the country, all focused on turning our national soul to a morality that looks like the heart of Jesus. Somebody’s hurting our brother, somebody’s hurting our sister, somebody’s hurting our children, and we won’t–we can’t–be silent anymore.”
“Dear world, Franklin Graham is not our leader, not our pastor, not our spokesperson, nor our example—and with all due respect, in my personal opinion, he’s nothing like Jesus. The screeching sound of his bigotry, pride, self-righteousness, mean-spirited condemnation, and imperialistic faith overtakes and overshadows all.” — Chris Kratzer
Chris Kratzer is a husband, father, pastor, author, and speaker. His focus is communicating the message of Grace and the beauty of Jesus particularly as it relates to life, culture, and church.0
“A ‘Christian Nation’ is absolutely heretical. Jesus said you must hate your mother and father and love your enemies. Love your neighbor as yourself. To gain access to true love and true self, you must die to yourself, to your family, to your heritage, your narrow-minded ideology, your ego, your ill-conditioned consciousness and your false identity. Go in your closet and pray for your enemies. You must love your neighbor, love your enemies, serve the poor, give everything away and put yourself last.” — Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens is a singer-songwriter living in New York City. This piece was first published on his website.0
“Be it resolved, that the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 13–14, 2017, decry every form of racism, including alt-right white supremacy, as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and be it further resolved, that we denounce and repudiate white supremacy and every form of racial and ethnic hatred as a scheme of the devil intended to bring suffering and division to our society; and be it further resolved, that we acknowledge that we still must make progress in rooting out any remaining forms of intentional or unintentional racism in our midst.” — Southern Baptist Convention
“The far right of the evangelical movement in the United States has a highly organized campaign to impose biblical law on every aspect of American society. As the church becomes more aggressive and militant in its political cause, this may precipitate a seizing of religious freedom. Jesus had very little to say about the political power of His day. “Legislating morality” was not a platform for Jesus or the apostles in their ministry in the good news of Christ.” — Paul Vieira
“Think of people you consider fanatical. They’re overbearing, self-righteous, opinionated, insensitive and harsh. Why? It’s not because they are too Christian but because they are not Christian enough. They are fanatically zealous and courageous, but they are not fanatically humble, sensitive, loving, empathetic, forgiving or understanding – as Christ was. Because they think of Christianity as a self-improvement program they emulate the Jesus of the whips in the temple, but not the Jesus who said “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” (John 8:7). What strikes us as overly fanatical is actually a failure to be fully committed to Christ and his gospel.” — Timothy Keller
Timothy Keller is an American pastor, theologian and Christian apologist. He is best known as the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, New York, and the author of The New York Times bestselling books The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith, and Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/timkellernyc0
“We’re never going to be “family safe” – especially if you’re committed to sharing God’s message of hope with the world. Just ask the house church pastors in China, or Christian leaders in Darfur. Following Jesus is costly and involves a risk.” — Phil Cooke
Phil Cooke is a writer, television producer, and media consultant based in Burbank, California, as well as a critic of some aspects of contemporary American and American-influenced Christian culture. He is an evangelical Christian and, as Scott McClellan of Collide Magazine wrote, “At times, Cooke may appear to be Christian media’s biggest critic but, as he is quick to point out, he criticizes because he loves.” Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/PhilCooke0