Things have changed. The “Four Spiritual Laws” or “Evangelism Explosion” no longer work for many. People are losing their identity. They long for human rights and personal dignity, but these things only come from God the Creator, whom they reject.
In the first few verses of John 9, Jesus comes across a man born blind … born blind so “that the works of God might be displayed in him” (v. 3). He spits on the ground, forms mud, rubs it on his eyes, and tells him to go wash it off in the Pool of Siloam. After doing so, the man is healed. The drama that unfolds in the rest of the chapter is eye opening, not least of all for the four lessons it has for the local church.
We begin by acknowledging not just the possibility of false teaching, but the certainty of it. We should not be surprised to find false teaching in the church today. Jesus and his apostles are very clear that false teachers will arise. They promise it.
During the past few decades, our culture has become increasingly invested in avoiding the reality of losing. You get a trophy just because you’re on the team; you get a passing grade just because you’re breathing. With this mindset, there aren’t any losers and nobody ever fails.The problem with this mindset is that it approaches failure as if it is something bad—something to be avoided at all costs. It implies that failing is so horrible that we can’t even mention it—because we’re all “winners”!
Sometimes at a Christian college, especially one taken over by heretical ideas, those students are using the Bible and using the name of Christ to defend the very thing that Christ came to deliver you from: sin. If I go to a secular campus and say I’m a Christian and believe that sin distorts, distracts, and manipulates every human being, students will often say, “Tell me more. We are curious to know about the problem of evil.”
With today’s ever-changing political environment, it is very easy to complain and not pray for our leaders. And, yes, many are deserving, sadly, of the comments they receive. Yet, the Bible tells us to pray for our leaders:
While British English may rightfully claim the honor (honour?) of having anteceded its American cousin, there is no doubt that today American English is the defacto English in the world. Below are a few charts generated using Google Ngram Viewer that show the decline of the frequency of British English and the rise of American English in its stead.
The truth is, you don't need to have the perfect environment to live out God’s perfect purpose. You don't have to be free of a micro-managing boss to be happy. While you’re not obligated to stay in a toxic work environment, God has told us, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters" (Colossians 3:23).
I am a strong believer in protecting the constitutional rights of LGBT people. In the same way, I believe strongly in protecting the constitutional rights of religious Americans. Thus, I agree with the USA Today editors when they say, “When rights like these conflict, it’s in the best American tradition to work out an accommodation. The force of government should be on the side of protecting the broadest possible scope for both rights, not on the side of rank discrimination.”
I am sorry for my hard-heartedness and my crippling sense of helplessness. I regret that I have not done more to reach out to brothers and sisters in Christ who experience America today in a very different way than I do. I lament today and join my heart to others who sorrow. I want to work harder to build a better world.