Must Read Monday: Pastor Brunson, Hurricane Michael, Another Cake CaseOctober 15, 2018
There are lots of headlines related to the release of EPC pastor, Andrew Brunson. This analysis captures well the confusion of those in the culture – and among the cultural elite – who fail to take the time to understand the difference among evangelical Christians in America. While there are those who believe God chose, elevated, and got Trump elected; there are many more who can see how God is using or utilizing Trump to accomplish His sovereign will.
The ability to use literally anyone is attested to throughout the Bible and should not surprise us when we see it today. As a Christian, I am thankful for the leverage applied to Turkey to secure the release of pastor Andrew Brunson and I am thankful for the appointment of originalists to the Supreme Court. That said, I can also see the very human flaws of the person now serving as President and those now serving as Justices. Let us continue to pray for all those in authority and let us do our part as Christians called to serve God for such a time as this.
Another cake case in the courts
The lead in this article is well-stated and accurate: “Britain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday supported the right of a Belfast bakery to refuse to bake a cake with a message supporting same-sex marriage, finding that its Christian owners could not be compelled to reproduce a message contrary to their beliefs. Although the person who requested the cake was gay, a five-judge panel found that the bakery owners’ refusal was based not on his sexual orientation but on their Protestant faith’s opposition to gay marriage.”
The ruling overturned the rulings of two lower courts who were not able to state plainly that the issue was not the person(s) requesting the cake (who happened to be gay) but the particular cake being requested – a cake expressly designed and created to participate and celebrate something contrary to the sincerely held religious beliefs of the cake artist.
Notably, the decision related to Jack Phillips in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in the United States was referenced in the case in Ireland.
Magic as self-care after Kavanaugh
Last week on Connecting Faith we discussed the rise in the occult and witchcraft in the United States. Here’s another article amplifying the reality. Don’t roll your eyes. It is essential that we learn to have substantive conversations with those with whom we deeply disagree. So, start with a point of agreement: we agree there is more than just the natural material world; we agree there are spiritual forces at work; we agree those spiritual forces are personal, powerful and accessible. Start a conversation at the point of agreement and proceed from there.
Hurricane Michael Aftermath
As the death count continues to rise along with the material cost of Hurricane Michael, there are conversations to be had about possessions, the foundations of our lives, and what constitutes “home.” And in all the wreckage, one house stands.
There’s one house standing on Mexico Beach. One. The language the New York Times used on its front page to describe it included this: “as if protected by grace.” That’s odd language for the front page of the very secular New York Times. What does “protected by grace” mean from a secular worldview that has no room for the supernatural, let alone a personal God who might extend a personal hedge of protection over someone or something? This phrase, “protected by grace,” provides Christians a talking point today from an unusual place: the front page of the New York Times.
A question to consider: Are Politics the new religion for Progressive Democrats ?