Resources for Christian Exiles in America
In light of the message today I want to give you a bundle of digital resources and encourage you to drink a coffee with a good Christian brother or sister.
The Bundle of Resoures
Some resources I'd encourage you to pray and think about that I found helpful as I prepared for this message:
- "Is it right for Christians to be patriotic?": John Piper answers this question in a way that is both encouraging and challenging. He defines patriotism, biblically speaking, as "a special love for fatherland (city, state, country, ethnicity) that is different from the general love Christians have for everyone." Listen here.
- "Give space and show grace": In light of the contentious election season Trevin Wax gives two timely encouragements about this year's election. He wonders aloud, "What if the world saw Christians debate the merits of different choices this election, but then arm in arm, move forward with brotherly love—not because we agree, but precisely because we know how to show grace when we don’t?" Read the blog post here.
- "Engaging the culture without losing the gospel": I have found Russell Moore's new book really helpful in grappling with the current place of Bible-believing evangelical believers in today's culture. He writes; "We need a church that speaks to social and political issues with a bigger vision in mind: that of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Christianity seems increasingly strange, and even subversive, to our culture, we have the opportunity to reclaim the freakishness of the gospel, which is what gives it it’s power in the first place." Find more about the book here. You can also find Dr. Moore's blog and resources from the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
- Get your daily briefing: Dr. Albert Mohler provides a daily audio "briefing" of world events from a Christian worldview. It's short, to the point, and a great way to get your news of the day. Listen here.
Now, I do want to be clear that I'm not endorsing as a church position everything that these men articulate here and elsewhere. I've found myself disagreeing with all of them at one point or another (but I disagree with myself fairly often as well). However, I do find them uniquely helpful in challenging us to think biblically about our country and politics in light of God's word.
The All Important Cup of Coffee
This year has been a year where I think I've engaged in more political conversations than I have in years past. Now, I don't mean that I haven't shared my political opinions with people before. No I mean engaging in conversation with people--where I'm listening carefully, articulating what I think, and trying to wrestle with the Bible. I've talked about gay marriage and racial violence and mexican immigration and border security and abortion with people inside and outside the church. I've also tried to read and listen online to pastors who wrestling with the Bible and current events, but whose thinking differs from mine (Thabiti Anyabwile is one guy challenging me lately).
Here's what I've found: I tend to be quick to speak and slow to listen, when James tells me I should be exactly opposite (Jams 1:19).
One of the reasons God puts us in a body together is that we need one another, not just in serving in teams on Sunday mornings but also in thinking through thorny political issues as well. I have blind spots. So do you. And thinking out loud biblically is one way that we can help one another.
So here's my plea: Talk to brothers and sisters in Christ about these issues. Buy them a coffee. Invite them over for dinner. Don't demand they come to your position within 15 minutes. Be quick to listen. And listen to them. Then as you're leaving rejoice in the deeper, truer, unity you share in Christ Jesus.
Let's think well about our earthly kingdom in the here and now while we long for Jesus' kingdom yet to come.