John Mark Yeats:
Like most families, we share these moments online. But this year, our celebration angered individuals in the recently emboldened alt-right movement. The alt-right or “white nationalists” as some call them are a grouping of far-right individuals that truly believe the best solutions for our country comes from separating races. Some have blamed the rise of the alt-right on the current political climate, others on the rapid expansion of politically-correct cultural change. Whatever the rationale, the trolls from the alt-right assured my racially mixed family that I was a disgrace to whites everywhere and that I was most assuredly “going to hell” for violating God’s racial laws.
I took a deep breath.
This last Sunday wasn’t the first time I’ve had a case of the Monday’s on a Sunday. I’ve been to this rodeo before and I’ve learned a few things at least about myself that helps me, maybe it will help you. These aren’t tips to feel better or to pull yourself out of the doldrums and get excited about your Sunday morning. That might happen, but more than anything these are tips to help you feel around in the dark a little bit until the light comes back on.
Here are 5 things (in no particular order) that have helped me.
Jesus and his dozen apostles were exhausted from a ministry sprint that included a resurrection (Jarius’ daughter), followed immediately by the execution of John the Baptist. One thing ministry peaks and valleys have in common is that they both leave us exhausted and in need of a recharge.
Perhaps I’ve caught you at the end of a ministry sprint and you are in much need of a time-out. I found a few practical reasons in this passage to do just that.
While being primarily supported by pro-choice groups, the Women’s March in Washington D.C. had originally decided to grant a pro-life feminist group partnership status.
But after a story in The Atlantic highlighted the pro-life women attending the march and the group granted a partnership, the Women’s March reversed their decision and essentially told half of American women they were no longer welcome.
There has been, I think, in the last several years, an implicit effort to “update” some of the language of the church. That’s all well and good, I suppose, but the danger in updating language like this is that you start to lose the sense of what words like these are meant to communicate. So at least in this case, I think there are two compelling reasons why we, as Christians, should keep using the word “saved”.
I was sitting in the coffee shop as I finished writing my sermon. The text I was preaching made big demands on the listener. What is it, I wondered, that will enable us to meet those demands? What benefits are ours in the gospel that give us what we need to apply the truths of the Scripture?
It’s a pretty good question. I’ve done my share of moralistic preaching in the past, and I’m not going back. There are so many benefits that are ours in the gospel, and it’s hard to get tired talking about them. We have forgiveness, regeneration, adoption, the empowering presence of the Spirit, and so much more.
A favorite from the archives:
Discovering God’s will is one of those topics that Christians (at least, North American ones) never seem to tire of. We want to know if what we’re doing is what God wants for us, his “best” for us, if you will. There are tons of books on the subject (only a couple that are worth reading in my opinion, though), lots of sermons and blog posts. And, honestly, if you read most of them, you’d think there was some sort of big secret—that God was leaving his will for our lives shrouded in mystery.