Reading the headlines through a Gospel worldview 7-15-2019July 15, 2019
This week International Religious Freedom takes center stage in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, is casting an inspiring vision for the State Department’s 2nd Ministerial on the topic. At the heart of it is to get people of every faith to stand up and defend the right of freedom of religion for others. The test of my religious freedom is not that I would fight for my right to freedom of conscience but that I would fight equally as vigorously for you to believe as your conscience so leads.
RZIM has launched what I will describe as an open attempt to redeem the conversation in D.C. This is what the difficult work of reconciliation looks like. This is learning to engage others with civility even when we disagree. The headline: America not as divided as media make it seem. And yet, others point to the “Deepening Crisis in Evangelical Christianity” and evidence that it may be worse than the media portrays.
The crisis at the U.S. Southern border rightly has our attention. How can speak and act redemptively? We can support those who are working to alleviate the desperate needs of our neighbors (and more and more and more) We can support the rights of those who go to help to not be harrassed by the government. We can support efforts as comprehensive immigration reform. And we engage our congregations and we refuse to accept the mischaracterization of those who seeking a better life, fleeing grave hardship as anything less than the fully human people they are. Again, this is not about open borders. Government’s primary role includes protection of the homeland – but for Christians this must also be about what is right when it comes to the treatment of desperate people.
As we seek to manifest an authentically Christian witness in an increasingly hostile public square, the question of “party” is often asked. How can you be a Republican when they’re so ________ (fill in the blank)? But the other question is asked equally as often, How can you be a Democrat when they’re so pro-abortion? Michael Wear tells us.
Three stories that illuminate the reality of our current cultural state. These are not good news stories – yet. But they are opportunities to talk about truth and God’s design and the need for redemption. As you read, ask yourself: what do I know to be true about God and the way He made things to work? Where does this story depart from that reality? What redemptive word can/needs to be spoken into this situation? Pray for God to lift up a person who is best positioned to till that soil, plant that seed and speak truth into these situations.
- Malaysian Teen Believed to have jumped to death after Instagram poll. When you read this you have to know that a vote of L is life and a vote of D is death.
- She urged her boyfriend to die. Now she’s asking the Supreme Court to call it free speech. You’ll remember this case but likely not the outcome. Michelle Carter was convicted and sent to prison. But now her attorney’s are asking us to imagine that encouraging someone else to take their own life is simply an act of free speech.
- A black principal, four white teens and a senior prank that became a hate crime. Yes, this article is long but it is worth reading every word. As you read, keep reminding yourself this is 2019 – in the United States of America. The mission field is just outside the door – and sometimes inside the house.