Archive for the ‘Kingdom Politics’ Category

I sit typing this blog entry while watching this amazing and historical day online. I am filled with a sense of excitement as I await the innaugural address to the nation. Now, for those of you who know me wel, know that I am no fan of American politics. In fact, while I did vote, my vote did not count as Jesus Christ was not on the ticket OR the write in candidates (can you believe it?). But deep down I was excited about the wind of change that has come in the form of a black family being brought into the oval office. This is amazing because just over 142 years ago the 13th Ammendment was ratified and ended legal slavery in the United States. While this may seem a long time ago, the effects of slavery and oppression of blacks in America has yet to see its end.

Today, God is seemingly making great strides in our world. Merely, 55 years since Rosa Parks sat her ground on that bus in Montgomery, AL, 44 years since Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, 28 years after the “last lynching” (though many would argue this), just 17 years after the brutal treatment of Rodney King by those protectors of our streets, today, marks the fruits of progress that so many have died for, lost fathers and mothers for. Today, we find ourselves hopeful. Today, as you watch the innaggural address, notice how the color of one’s skin is lost in the zooming out of camera’s and how together we stand in unity. It is a glimpse into what the kingdom of heaven may be like. While God and Christ will be mentioned today I look forward to the day when Christ draws a crowd larger than what we see this historical day.

May we all, find this unifying moment a glimpse into what is to come when Christ our true President of presidents, our King of kings and the true and only Prince of Peace. Oh Lord, bless the Bush’s as they move into a new chapter of their lives, bless the Obama’s as they begin to lead this country as you have ordained, bless our government as they seek to guide our country in these tough financial and spiritual times, bless our citizens with humility and contentment in times of great distress, bless our world in this time of war and lack of peace. Lord we truly desire that Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Lord come! Amen.

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Funding Fears

From: Worldmag.com, “Obama,” November 15, 2008

Will the nation’s economic storm zap U.S. charities? While the data won’t be in until well after the holiday giving season, the nation’s nonprofits are already bracing for a blow.

World Vision’s Phillipe Guiton, for example, said his group plans to trim hiring, a move that will likely affect the delivery of overseas aid. “What we are going to do now is to issue an order to reduce spending, to delay recruitment, delay purchases of capital assets, etc., until we can see clearer how much our income has dropped,” Guiton said

Other groups, such as Catholic Relief Services and CARE International, say they’re watching to see whether major donors will recover from portfolio shock in time to continue year-end giving at previous levels

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As I read this the words that came to mind were from the Kingdom Prayer (aka. The Lord’s Prayer). “Give us this day our daily bread.” We pray this prayer out of the surplus of our lives. Granted we spend on borrowed money, we often partake in bread bought at a high interest rate but we also play hard and collect toys that are so far superfluous. Though spending may go down this holiday, it is highly unlikely that we will stop to consider if God’s provision really intended we buy the Nintendo Wii go along with our PS3, or to replace our 2006 model Chevy pickup truck with a 2009 because of all the good deals (Here’s a shout out to all my car dealer brothers and sisters in Christ who readily demystify these bogus incentives), or a new doll to sit next to the other five dolls that sit in our daughter’s closet. At the risk of an overgeneralization, it is difficult to imagine that out of the great generosity of God that we operate in this American culture, that we could even consider giving up our contributions that go to aid the poor, the hungry, the widow, the prisoner, etc. OR hold back on our giving in order to protect our own skin as though we have ever had control over this in the history of the world.

In Acts, one of the most challenging stories for us “New Testament Christians” (whatever that means) is the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. The story goes like this. This is after Pentecost and the outpouring of Spirit, over 3000 people were saved and daily people were selling everything they had and giving to those who had need. To be sure, radical at best. Enter Ananias and Sapphira. (more…)

A qualification for this article is in order. To those of you who know me, I am not one who believes that the end all be all of Christianity is showing up to church on Sunday. Instead, I believe that we live church, which might call some of this article into question. This is not the case. While the language of church as something you “go to” is in this article, hear it instead as a concern for living in the community and gathering when the community gathers, especially where our primary intent is to worship and praise God as our Lord and Savior.

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This article copied from:

The Christian Century Magazine

Living by the Word

October 04, 2005

Balance sheet

Matthew 22:15-22
by Judith Johnson-Siebold

Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matt. 15:20-21)

I was emphasizing to parents of confirmands that the young people should be with their families in worship as part of their preparation for membership. “I’m afraid we don’t have time for worship,” one mother told me after the meeting. Her words were soothing and gentle, yet they sounded condescending, as if she were explaining something to a not-very-bright child. “We’ve committed to soccer and cheerleading for my youngest on Sunday mornings. We have a full plate. Maybe in a few years.”

This same woman had been adamant that her children be baptized and confirmed. Although she and her family could fit in brief forays into religious rites, other activities were more important than a steady commitment to the church. (more…)

Claiborne and Haw write…

And they were to make disciples. Jesus’ last commission was to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28.19). They were to teach the nations a new way of living. One by one, these disciples would infect the nations with grace. It wasn’t a call to take the sword or the throne and force the world to bow. Rather, they were to live the contagious love of God, to woo the nations into a new future. “Nations” didn’t mean states or governments; it means all the world’s peoples regardless of region, tribe or clan. The covenant of God was open not just to the Jews but to all the Gentile world. And making disciples didn’t mean using cutting-edge small group curriculum; it meant disciplining themselves, training themselves to become the peculiar people of God set apart from Ceasar’s world. [emphasis mine]

Curious, how does this impact our view of church? If in our culture, church is something you go to, what might this paragraph be calling us to as people of God? If the way, is something that demands training how does this impact our understanding of our pinnacle view of Sunday service? Lastly, does this emphasis on training of self for holiness have the same focus as our Sunday services often do, the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) of Sunday? Granted, I am speaking to a particular brand of American Christianity? But, seriously, if we are honest, how much of what we do is to protect the system of church over and above preparation for holiness and becoming “the peculiar people of God set apart from [America’s] world…?”