Nihilism, Fear, False Teaching, My Father’s World, Immanentizing the Eschaton, Voting and Real Justice

Nihilism, Fear, False Teaching, My Father’s World, Immanentizing the Eschaton, Voting and Real Justice

We live in interesting times.

Late last night I learned that President Trump and his wife tested positive for COVID-19. Apparently the Pentagon scrambled E-6 “Doomsday” planes last night as well, in the event the US is attacked. 2020 is an era within itself. Let’s continue to think deeply this week, explore and consider the world around us through the lens of a Christian worldview. Let’s not give up on praying.

Today I commend to you an idea, articles, podcasts an essay and a beautiful song…

Don’t miss the song!

Let us discern this hour like the men of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times.

[Idea]: “An SDS (Students for a Democratic Society – New Left) radical once wrote, “The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.” In other words, the cause-whether inner city blacks or women–is never the real cause, but only an occasion to advance the real cause, which is the accumulation of power to make the revolution.” – David Horowitz.

We can disagree on our views of Mr. Horowitz but he is very perceptive here. The Marxist revolutionaries use marginalized people groups as ‘cannon fodder’ as a means to an end (the revolution). This revolution is the complete dismantling of western culture. Ultimately, they intend to undermine and destroy Christianity and the church. That’s not going to happen. All one must do is read the Book of Revelation. But, in the meantime, we must challenge this godless worldview.

[Essay] Fear as cover for False Teaching by Lance Cashion
“Fear is the cover of darkness that the enemy uses to infiltrate the church with false teaching and deception. Once inside the walls, false teachers spread a false gospel among the flock – beginning with the “least of these” children and the spiritually immature.” Read more…

[Audio] Why (and How) Christians Should Vote (Breakpoint podcast)
“If our faith should make a difference in every aspect of our lives (and it should), it should shape how we think about and live out citizenship, too. To put it bluntly, Christians have both a civic and a Christian responsibility to vote. As my friend Tim Goeglin, vice-president of external and governmental relations for Focus on the Family, put it recently, to vote is the beginning of our civic duty of Christians.” Continue on…

[Audio] Movies and Shows in a Nihilist Key: How Nihilistic Trends Have Impacted the Movie and Television Industry (Theology Pugcast)
“Tom introduces the topic by engaging Thomas Hibb’s book: Shows about Nothing. Chris and Glenn join in with many insights and rich analysis.” Listen here…

[Article] Immanentizing the Eschaton by P. Andrew Sandlin
“The loss of Christian culture after the Reformation led to a re-divinization of the world, though not of the old pagan pagan variety. Rather, the re-divinization revived the ancient Gnostic heresy — the presence of evil (defined now in secular terms) must be purged from the created world by a cultural or political revolution that molds a utopia on a secular pattern analogous to what orthodox Christian understand as the eternal state…” Read on…

[Article] Real Justice PAC (Influence Watch)
“Real Justice PAC was founded by Shaun King, Becky Bond, Zack Malitz, and Michael Kieschnick in 2017 to push left-of-center policing and criminal justice policies. Real Justice PAC supports county prosecutors or district attorneys who support limiting or eliminating cash bail, restricting policing practices that left-of-center activist groups deem abusive, and decriminalizing drug, property, assault, and resisting-arrest offenses.” Read more…

[Podcast] The Church of BLM
“In this “freestyle” episode, Darrell and Virgil (“Omaha”) discuss some of the fundamental doctrines that guide the organization Black Lives Matter and how those beliefs are more resemblant of a “church” with its own religion than a political entity seeking social justice.” List here…

[Music] “This Is My Father’s World” by Josh Bales
I’ve been listening to Josh’s music for about two years. I got to meet and chat with Josh in Denver at a Colson Fellows residency last year. He was our worship leader for the weekend. When times are dark and trials come, I believe leaders like Josh point us to our Heavenly Father who created all things good. Take a walk outside. Break away for a few hours and enjoy the world around you. Listen here…

Let’s continue to pray, feast on God’s Word and engage the world with a Christian vision that requires action.

Assignment for September 26 – October 2

6 Week Journey assignment one: A Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer

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Fear as cover for False Teaching

Fear as cover for False Teaching

Fear is like a foggy moonless night.

Fear is the cover of darkness that the enemy uses to infiltrate the church with false teaching and deception. Once inside the walls, false teachers spread a false gospel among the flock – beginning with the “least of these” children and the spiritually immature.

These false teachers are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They have the appearance of light and with smooth tongues and deceptive ways, they create divisions and lead the weak away into falsehood and bondage.

To the false teachers, the watchman warns, “Oh that you who causes one of the little ones who love God to sin… you are anathema.”

To the city of God, the watchman cries out, “The enemy is approaching under the cover of darkness – take your stations and close the gate!”

To the wolves – the sheepdog has apprehend the scent of your falsehoods, wicked schemes and bad fruit. He has tracked you down. You have choice; flee from the sheep fold or he will drag you out.  Wolves and false teachers can run with the hunted… You have been put on notice.  You ought to leave the fold before you are exposed.  Or repent.

Remember, those who’s hearts are dark love the darkness. At this moment in history a virus and social unrest have created much fear inside and outside the church. Fear can be blinding. Fear can be wielded by Satan in order to deceive, divide and destroy. Like an enemy platoon that advances on its target at night or a lion that stalks its pray in darkness; false teachers use the cover of fear to spread their lies. However, we know that fear is NOT a fruit of the Spirit.  Christian, give fear no quarter – keep watch.

The time has come to dispel the darkness of fear with the light of true truth. Christ stands champion over the darkness and will hold everyone accountable in His light.

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” – Matthew 18:6

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire…” – Matthew 7:15-20

Assignment: September 11 – 17

6 Week Journey assignment one: A Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer

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Five Enemies of Unity

Five Enemies of Unity - What are you doing to protect unity?

In 2009, Kathryn and I had the privilege to spend a week with Dave Ramsey and his team in Cancun Mexico.

We joined about a couple dozen business leaders and their spouses. All of us were striving to grow and/or improve our organizations by developing our personal leadership. Today this program is called “EntreLeadership” (Master Series) and thousands attend every year. Dave’s book by the same name has sold millions of copies and the podcast has gained a massive following (shout out to my pal Dan Tardy).

It is cool to look back and see that we got to participate in a small but powerful begining. Today EntreLeadership has grown as a brand in its own right and continues to have an impact on businesses, nonprofits and churches.

It’s been over 10 years since we were in Cancun with Dave and team. I think it’s time to revisit lessons learned, how I applied them and test their relevance today.

Unity is always on the forefront of good leadership.

Let’s talk about what Dave Ramsey refers to as the “Five Enemies of Unity”. Every organization has a culture. The culture can be healthy and life-giving or toxic and deadly. A good leader will strive to create and cultivate the former and defend against the latter.

Anyone who has a lawn or a garden knows that it requires watering, weeding and maintenance. Left unattended, a beautiful lawn or garden will become overgrown with weeds and overrun with pests in no time.  The same goes for the culture in an organization; be it a company, church, nonprofit or your family. A leader must be vigilant in building and maintaining unity.  A leader must wake up and fight the enemies of unity like a gardener fights weeds and pests – all the while cultivating unity.  It’s a big job!  I’d argue that its the most important job of the leader.

Unity is powerful. Unity is biblical.

Christian unity is good, beautiful and true as it demonstrates the fullness of the body working together.

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism…” – Ephesians 4:1-6

A football team does not win the Super Bowl by accident. Individuals may stand out, but ultimately unity is behind the victory.

You may know there are some things you can do to create unity. There are thousands of ‘team building’ programs that can help establish unity. But, what are you doing to protect your organization’s unity?

What about unity in the church?

What about unity in your family?

Below are the Five Enemies of Unity.

1. Gossip
2. Poor communications
3. Unresolved conflict (disagreements)
4. Lack of shared purpose
5. Sanctioned incompetence

Read Dave Ramsey’s quick explanations for each of the 5 Enemies of Unity

Below Dave talks bluntly about gossip… Enjoy!

Assignment: September 11 – 17

6 Week Journey assignment one: A Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer

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Of wolves, boats, creation theology, Christian resistance and Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Of wolves, boats, creation theology, Christian resistance and Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Today, I would like to commend to you a few things to read, explore and consider.

[Article] The Danger of the Evening Wolf (Alistair Begg – 2 min)
“The evening wolf, infuriated by a day of hunger, was fiercer and more ravenous than he would have been in the morning. This furious creature may promise a picture of our doubts and fears after a day of distraction of mind, losses in business, and perhaps ungenerous tauntings from our fellowmen.” Continue reading…

[Audio] Creation Theology (Theology Pugcast 51 mins)
God displays His glory and magnificence through His created order. The modern Christian has lost the beautiful and mysterious wonder of knowing God and understanding His attributes through creation. When I glimpse God’s beauty and goodness radiating from what He has made, I give thanks and glory to God. The question is, “How can modern Christians re-inhabit such wonder and awe of God’s majesty?” The guys from the Pugcast walk us through what a Creation Theology was to our predecessors in Christian tradition and what it might look like today. “Dr. Glenn Sunshine reflects on the idea that the Creation is sacramental, that is, that it points beyond itself to spiritual realities. He takes his cue from passages in Scripture that point to the Creation as pictures of truths about God and humanity.” Link to podcast page…

[Audio] Beyond Authority & Submission (Douglas Wilson “The Plogcast” – 17 mins)
Doug Wilson discusses what the Reformers called a “Theology of Resistance” of which there are three stages. Whether you agree with Wilson’s positions or not, it is worth considering how orthodox Christians (the Church) should respond in this cultural moment. The Bible and our forerunners give us an idea of properly ordered Christian resistance to tyranny and persecution. Listen to audio here…

[Article, Audio or Video] Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s warning “A World Split Apart 1978” (1 hr)
In light of this moment in American history, we must reflect on what happened in the past. Solzhenitsyn’s commencement address at Harvard University was cutting and prophetic. “Liberalism was inevitably displaced by radicalism; radicalism had to surrender to socialism; and socialism could never resist communism. The communist regime in the East could stand and grow due to the enthusiastic support from an enormous number of Western intellectuals who felt a kinship and refused to see communism’s crimes. And when they no longer could do so, they tried to justify them. In our Eastern countries, communism has suffered a complete ideological defeat; it is zero and less than zero. But Western intellectuals still look at it with interest and with empathy, and this is precisely what makes it so immensely difficult for the West to withstand the East.” Watch, read or listen to the speech…

 

[Book] The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
This magnificent true story is one of the non-academic books I’ve read in a couple years. It’s worth every moment. “The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.”
This book is available as a Young Readers Adaptation as well. So the entire family can enjoy (5hrs 34mins). Link to book…

Don’t forget, you can join me in our 6 week journey. Learn more here…

Assignment: September 11 – 17

6 Week Journey assignment one: A Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer

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Critical Response and Worldview Analysis of the book “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo

Critical Response and Worldview Analysis of the book "White Fragility" by Robin DiAngelo

I have written a two part series about the book “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo. [Links below]

Taken together, they provide a critical response and worldview analysis. I explain why Christians should not adopt concepts from DiAngelo’s book and I present why the Christian worldview offers the best solution. My prayer that these combined posts will help my fellow Christians think deeply and discern truth from ‘feel-good’ falsehoods.

Links to Parts One and Two:

“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:14

“The more one understands people’s ideas the better one can communicate the truth of scripture and the gospel to them. That is why one learns about cults and religions. And why missionaries try to understand the cultures in which they live. But not enough Christians put much effort into understanding the culture in which they live. New believers who come to the church bring their worldviews with them. Furthermore, those Christians already in the church who do not understand worldview issues will not realize when they are embracing non-Christian concepts.” – John MacArthur

Meditate on these passages of holy scripture:

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace…” 1 Corinthians 14:33

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8

Links:

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6 Week Journey assignment one: A Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer

Assignment One: Read "A Christian Manifesto" by Francis Schaeffer

Our first step in our six week journey will be to read the book “A Christian Manifesto”

Please order it this week so we can begin reading next Friday, September 11th. If you prefer, the audiobook version is very well done.

Link to Amazon to purchase book

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I chose this particular book because although it was written nearly 40 years ago, it is more relevant than ever today. Francis Schaeffer had an acute awareness of the coming cultural milieu that we find ourselves in as Christians in America. In this cultural moment, we are facing a competing worldview that is completely antithetical to the biblical Christian worldview.

We must keep in mind that there is only one worldview that has the philosophical and theological equipment to birth a nation with the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” No other worldview or philosophy could have made such a claim.

Since Schaeffer accurately diagnosed the problem decades prior to it emerging in culture. I think it is worth understanding the issues from Schaeffer’s perspective and solutions he offered.

Deep in the soil of our nation, there are the remnants of a good, beautiful and true Christian heritage. But, we find ourselves in a drought in this present darkness. It is time for the Church to dig deep and cultivate the Christian worldview artifacts that remain before they are lost forever. As we follow Christ as our first love, our lives redeem and restore the culture around us as a secondary effect.

“Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.” Revelation 3:2

Beginning on September 11, 2020, we will be reading our Bibles, praying, exploring and discussing Schaeffer’s “A Christian Manifesto.” I will introduce articles, podcasts, videos and even music along the way.

I look forward to sojourning with you for a season.

Assignment: September 11 – 17

6 Week Journey assignment one: A Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer

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