Tag Archives: Christian discipleship

Don’t be a Kamikaze Kristian

Secular thinking drives the culture to something that reminds me of what was called “Kamikaze Kool-Aid” in my childhood. Whenever there was a party for children, it was common to offer two or three flavors of Kool-Aid, and each child could pick the color/flavor he liked best. Some children, however, preferred not to choose. They demanded some of every flavor/color, and the resulting drink looked a lot like the muddy water of the Mississippi River that bordered my home state, Missouri. We called that disgusting brown drink “Kamikaze Kool-Aid” in remembrance of the suicide planes our fathers had faced during World War II. It appears that contemporary secular culture activists want that same outcome in the culture–a muddy sameness, the end to any different viewpoints or practices. It reminds me of the movie The Wall, produced as a video exegesis of the Pink Floyd album by the same name. In that movie, cookie cutter children are conveyed in grey sameness to the end of a conveyor belt where they drop into a great void, all to the accompaniment of the song “We Don’t Need No Education.” I believe this is what secularists regard as their ultimate objective. When I think about it, it is amazing that this expose’ of the emptiness of secularism should have been produced by some of the culture’s leading proponents.

Kamikaze Kulture is a culture where are the external representations of an ethnicity may still remain evident, but each unique element loses its connections and identity in a social construct where the word equality is used to batter people into beings not much different from those grey, faceless children on the conveyor belt in The Wall. At a high level, the US government is attempting to force a cultural mix on neighborhoods, a blend as colorful as Kamikaze Koolaid , using the regulations labeled Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing to eliminate neighborhood covenants that protect the culture of the residents. On another promontory at that high level, the US government sponsors what is called “interfaith dialogue,” a fraudulent project designed to smudge the unique principles and practices of all religions into a Kamikaze Spirituality that makes no demands and gives no blessings but furthers a notion that the government is “accommodating” religion. This concept will ultimately erase the notion of religious liberty from the cultural memory. In the Kamikaze Kulture, religious liberty will not be necessary, because everybody knows that all ways lead to the same god who loves everybody and hands out Kool-Aid and cookies to all.

Running in powerful contradiction to the Kamikaze Kulture promoted by secular thinkers is the teaching of Christ, the second person of the triune God worshiped and served by Christians. Jesus, 100% God and 100% human, came to earth for the salvation of all humankind, but he is not one of the ways to God; he is the only way to God. In Christ’s teaching, people who live in relationship with him live in the context of eternal life while they are alive in time and space. Consequently their loyalty to Christ transcends their loyalty to any other being. They cannot give any “respect” to any other god, nor can they allow any human power to usurp their obedience to God. (They love and respect adherents of other gods, but they give no respect or honor to the other gods.) Christians love and serve their neighbors in complete obedience to the one true God revealed for our salvation in Jesus Christ, who now indwells every Christian in the powerful person of the Holy Spirit. This relationship does not permit mixed loyalties. It does not permit accommodation of lies or worship of any being except the one true God. The Bible is the revealed Word of God, given by God himself to his people as their guide for faith and life. A Christian obeys government and its laws, because God commands submission to and prayer for government, but when government attempts to usurp God’s place by making laws contradictory to God’s law, submission to God transcends the responsibility to submit to government.

There are people who self-identify as Christians who accept and promote that Kamikaze Kulture along with secular thinkers. These “Kamikaze Kristians” say that Christ is one of many good people who show us all how to live. They say that God is one of many ways to understand the same great god over the universe who loves everyone and wants people to be nice to each other. Kamikaze Kristians say that the Bible is a lovely but dusty old sacred book with some great poetry and exciting stories, but in their version of Kristianity, the Bible is no more special than the Baghavad Gita or The Sayings of Chairman Mao.

Christians who believe that Christian faith is exclusive, consuming, and pre-emptive are pitted not only against a government that wants religion to be neutered, but also against self-identified Christians who claim Christ’s name while working non-stop to dissolve him and his teachings into the spiritual goo of Kamikaze Kristianity. When someone like Kim Davis says that her faith teaches her not to participate in the sin of the government’s redefinition of marriage, the government that changed its definition of marriage and put her in this position can point to numerous Kamikaze Kristians who agree with the government that Kim Davis should “do her job” or else resign. These individuals claim the name “Christian,” but they don’t believe that the Bible is the final guide for faith and life, as Kim does. These Kamikaze Kristians say God would never be so unfair as to claim Jesus is the only way to him, and in that spirit, they allege that all religions lead to the same place. Kamikaze Kristians adopt the secular notion that humans have evolved past the words of ancient scribes who did not know nearly as much about human sexual relationships as we know today. Such a concept, of course, declares that they do not believe the Bible originated in the heart of God at all. The combination of secular thinking and Kamikaze Kristians results in very powerful forces arrayed against Christians who recognize in the Bible God’s revelation of himself and understand the Bible in the plain meaning of its words.

The precepts of interfaith dialogue similarly work to muddy any honest understanding of Islam and its threat to both Christians and the US government. Kamikaze Islam would be a religion of peace, love and getting along, not a religion of conversion at the point of a sword. Despite the determination of the Kamikaze Kulture to deny the real origins of the USA, historical documents make it clear that the people who founded the nation were people who believed the Bible and lived in relationship to Christ. There were certainly unbelievers in the mix, but the dominant cultural force was exerted by Christians, and their ideas about good government were rooted in their biblical understanding of what people need. They wrote a governing document, the Constitution, that showed respect for people’s right to choose what they believe while asserting government’s God-given authority to preserve peace and good order. Secular thinkers fail to notice that respect for a person’s right to choose and live by his own faith is a principle of biblical teaching, and they don’t see this right as the blessing of liberty; secular thinkers pretend to see Kim Davis abusing religious liberty, because in their view she is using religious liberty as the power to force her views on others. They do not see that protection of the “free exercise” of her faith protects her right to do what her faith compels her to do.

No governing document before the Constitution had ever expressed so powerfully the respect God shows for the right of the human beings he creates to choose what to believe and what principles to live by. The Constitution built a strong structure on the foundation of the rights documented in the Declaration of Independence. Neither the Declaration nor the Constitution tried to say that the writers of the documents were granting those rights; both of those documents relied on God as the source of those rights. The Constitution was always intended to establish a government as powerful as it needed to be for the areas in which it functioned while restraining that government to the smallest possible size to cover only the authority granted to it. That model set up an environment in which liberty, religious and otherwise was protected, the states could work together as necessary for promotion of internal and external commerce and the people could be protected from threats to the whole body of the states.

That model was designed by Christians inspired to limit people’s freedom only as much as absolutely necessary for the good of the states. They looked at the possibility that less freedom might mean more security. People whose ancestors had come to a wilderness along the Atlantic with no safety net whatsoever chose to come down on the side of more freedom, not less, believing that citizens would value the freedom and accept its risks gladly rather than live under tyranny. Contemporary secular thinkers apparently prefer tyranny, where nobody could be allowed to speak of or live by his religion, where nobody is allowed to choose his neighbors, where nobody is allowed to read all the research on any topic and decide for himself the way forward.

In the Constitutional model, religion was not regarded as the aberration of the ignorant, one aberration being no more desirable than another. The Constitution’s writers viewed religious faith as the source of a moral compass the culture needed. They encouraged people to inject moral and ethical questions into public discourse. They would be appalled at a debate among candidates for the powerful office of President of the United States that focused on questions such as, “Person A said this about you yesterday. What is your response?” They would have expected the questions in the debate to cover fiscal responsibility, commitment to federalism, and defense against international aggression. The Framers would have expected questions about the morality of the nation’s involvement in or withdrawal from the disintegration of the Middle East. They would have expected a candidate to be clear about his moral values and their source.

The Constitution’s model has now been abandoned in the interest of reducing every religion to a muddled flavor component of the Kamikaze blend of all religions as viewed by secular thinkers. Since even Kamikaze Kristians want people to keep their religion to themselves. the idea that anyone would reject the redefinition of marriage on moral grounds rooted in religious teaching is anathema. Kim Davis is not only on the wrong side of history in her moral views, but in their eyes, her words and deeds are an affront to all citizens, because in the view of secularists, nobody wants to hear anyone speak of religion in public, and certainly not in public office. If reporters in Lincoln’s day had operated by the same worldview as reporters today, we would not likely even know the words of many of Lincoln’s speeches, seasoned as they were with his faith convictions.

In today’s culture wars, someone who claims to be a Christian has a choice: be a Kamikaze Kristian and blend in, or be a faithful follower of Christ and stand out. It is actually the very same choice Joshua gave the people at Shechem at the end of his life. Israel had invaded a country where there were wide varieties of local gods and a few gods that were more broadly worshiped. Despite forty years of wandering in the wilderness where Moses and Aaron taught the people how to worship the God who provided blessing, security and provision for them every day, there were still Israelites who worshiped the Egyptian gods and even the ancient gods of the land Abraham had left behind. Israelites who trusted God to lead them to triumph over the political and religious power in Canaan faced battles not dissimilar to the culture wars in the US today.

Joshua called the tribes to meet at Schechem where the distribution of the land among the tribes was recorded. It is an interesting choice of location, because Schechem is the first location in Canaan where Abraham is recorded to have stopped and built an altar to the Lord. There, the Lord confirmed to Abraham that he had arrived at the land promised in Genesis 12:1, “the land that I will show you.”

Joshua gathered the tribes to this same place–Schechem. After documenting the final division of land among the tribes, Joshua stepped down from leadership in order to go to a place he would call home where he would conquer his assigned parcel and live in peace. Before he left, he made an important speech, and he said, “If it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).

It is much easier to be a Kamikaze Kristian than to be a faithful follower of Jesus. The culture will always tell you what to do, what to say, and what to think if you choose the route of blending in. You can throw your colorful, unique flavor as a disciple of the living Christ into the muck of all the religions of the world and become anonymous in the mix if that is your choice. I don’t recommend it. When Jesus revealed himself to the apostle John, a vision John recorded in the book of Revelation, the dominant message of that whole vision was to Christians who might be tempted to quit making such a big deal of their beliefs. Jesus had a message for people tempted to blend into the sludge. Jesus spoke to Christians who might be tired of the insults every time they encouraged women to choose life rather than abortion. Jesus spoke to county officials who might be tempted to go along to get along since the federal government had declared an ungodly union to be a legal marriage. Jesus spoke to senators and representatives who would be bludgeoned for conducting hearings to reveal the truth about public officials who had lost their integrity. Jesus spoke to teachers who would be threatened with loss of their jobs if they allowed children to see a Bible on their desks. All these people and many more are tempted, pressured, battered daily to stop trying to “force their religion on other people” when they simply try to live their faith with integrity.

Jesus said, “The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations” (Revelation 2:26). “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life” (Revelation 3:5). “Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown” (Revelation 3:11). “The  one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne” (Revelation 3:21). Don’t let go of Jesus. Be the real thing. Trust Christ. Believe his revelation in the Bible. Live in faithful relationship with him and be strong when the Kamikaze Kulture pressures you to do otherwise. Hold out for the big prizes. Do not become a Kamikaze Kristian.

By Katherine Harms, author of Oceans of Love available for Kindle at Amazon.com. Watch for the release of Thrive! Live Christian in a Hostile World, planned for release in the winter 2016

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Where do Christians Get Their Ideas?

Humanist writers, the scribes of secularism, often complain that Christians do not learn from history. They point to past cultures where aberrations such as homosexuality and gender confusion were treated as normal components of the community, and because such communities existed, they suggest that Christians are out of order to call homosexuality a sin. Yet there is no corresponding cry for the sacrifice of human beings whose living hearts were ripped from their chests in ancient cultures. If learning from history is such a good idea, what happened to human sacrifice?

On the other hand, humanist writers claim that human beings are evolving inexorably into better and better beings. The journalists of evolutionary progression say that recognition of homosexuality as normal is a natural outcome of human maturity. When Christians declare that homosexuality is sin, these writers scornfully consign Christians to “the wrong side of history.”

Secular thinkers call on both science and history to declare that homosexuality should be accepted as normal. Secularists ask, where do Christians get the idea that they can ignore science and history?

Christians get their ideas from the Bible.

The Bible is God’s gift to humankind to be their guide for faith and life. The Bible’s truths do not change over time; they are absolute. Whatever the Bible declares to be sin in one writer’s work is still sin when it appears later. Humans do not evolve. God does not evolve. Truth does not evolve.

Christians call homosexuality sin, along with many other sexual perversions, because the Bible calls those behaviors sin. Christians do not deny that there have been humans throughout history who have practiced sexual immorality in many different ways. They reject the idea that homosexuality, like any other sexual perversion, is normal, because the Bible says it is not normal; it is sin. The Bible teaches that humans were created male and female, by God according to God’s plan. The Bible teaches that the union of male and female is the union that fulfills every human being’s sexual potential completely, all the while modeling the relationship of God to his church, a relationship that fulfills the total potential of every human being. Against this absolute truth received by God’s revelation of himself in the Bible, secularists base their conclusions on a moving target, a relative truth that is different for each person. Secularists operate on a self-serving standard that says that each person must discover his own truth, which he will recognize when it makes him feel good.

People who are trying to make sense of the cultural discourse on this subject need to recognize two important truths:

  • God created the universe and all life within it, including human beings, whom he uniquely created for relationship with him.
  • The Bible is God’s revelation of himself through human instruments, and it can be understood .by reading the language as if it meant what it says.

Some Christians torture both language and scholarship in order to make the Bible appear not to call homosexuality sin, because they think that the Jesus who said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” could not have intended for homosexuals to be called sinners. They confuse the recognition of sin with justification for hatred. Too many people who claim the name of Christ do, in fact, use the Bible and teachings about sin exactly that way. They forget that while Jesus taught us to eschew sinful behavior (he told the prostitute he rescued from stoning, “Go and sin no more.”) he did not teach us to act as judge, jury and execution when we observe someone in sin. Rather, he taught each of us to get the logs out of our own eyes before we presume to pick splinters out of the eyes of others. Jesus taught us to remember that each of us is a sinner. Not enough Christians speak in public about the truth that every person is a sinner, and no sinner’s sin is less sinful than anybody else’s sin. In plain language, it doesn’t make any difference if you are homosexual or heterosexual before God; you are a sinner.

When we see sexual perversion this way, it means that we don’t even need to know if someone is homosexual or a prostitute or a banker or a thief before we share Christ with that person. We share Christ with everyone, because everyone needs Christ. Everyone is equally sinful. Where do we get that idea? We get it from the Bible.

All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 ESV

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted. John 3:16-18 The Message

How Does God’s Kingdom Grow?

The Jews of two thousand years ago thought that when the Messiah came, he would lead them in the overthrow of the Roman Empire. They were completely flummoxed by a person who claimed to be the Messiah while ignoring the tyrannical empire that oppressed Israel. That servant Jesus riding on a borrowed colt, the Jesus who claimed to have brought the kingdom near, confused them. Jesus did not march on Rome. Jesus marched on evil.

The existence and power of evil is a major biblical theme. Evil manifests itself in many places, including government. The Bible is about God’s war with evil and with Satan, who is the origin and power of evil. Ancient Jews were right to regard the Roman government as oppressive in the extreme, evil in many of its manifestations. They were wrong, however, to think that God’s kingdom was about earthly government. The real, and sad, truth was that they did not so much want Roman government gone, as they wanted to be in control of it. They wanted the power, and the crucifixion of Christ demonstrates that they had a good understanding of the way to appropriate that power for their own purposes. The ancient Jewish leadership was not looking for a Messiah who would rescue all people from the power of evil. They wanted a Messiah who would take the power away from Rome and give it to them. They thought that if they just had the power, instead of Rome, then all would be well. Read the books of 1 and 2 Kings or 1 and 2 Chronicles if you want to see how that would have worked out. The religious leaders wanted to march against government. Jesus marched against evil.

The work of Christ’s people may include being salt and light in government, but wherever a Christian exhibits salt and light, the purpose is not to obtain power; the purpose is to defeat evil. It would actually be counter-productive for Christians to seek the power of government since every Christian is a repository of the power of God. The outworking of God’s power in a human life has pushed back against government far more often than government power has ever blessed anyone.

Secular thinkers believe that government is the god-like power that will, by legislation and administration, bring about world peace. They might call it the defeat of evil if they recognized that evil is at the root of the absence of peace, but secularists believe that lack of government rather than the presence of evil is the reason that there is no peace. Christians know that evil will only be defeated by subversive living, by living in submission to the will and power of God. Christians pray, “Thy kingdom come,” knowing that the reality of the kingdom is God’s indwelling presence in the person of the Holy Spirit in each Christian. It is that reality that establishes citizenship in God’s kingdom, not the vote of the church or any other ritual that makes a person a member of a church.

Here is a tough truth: people can join a local church without becoming citizens of God’s kingdom. Such members do not really think of God as the supreme power and authority in their lives. They have not really let go of Satan’s agenda. They don’t really want to be different from the world around them. Let’s face it: something is terribly wrong if a person is a member of a church but retains his loyalty to Satan’s kingdom. What exactly does such a person mean when he prays, “Thy kingdom come?” How will God’s kingdom shape up on earth if all God’s subjects claim dual citizenship?

Secular thinkers scorn the Christian teaching that Christ’s commands and teachings take priority over government and culture. They say that Christians are asking for “privilege” to disobey laws of the state and that they are “discriminating” when they reject cultural mantras. Yet this is what Christ wants of his kingdom people: to do the Spirit-led, subversive things. God’s kingdom is not advanced by top-down agendas and programs. God’s kingdom moves forward in one person’s discovery that he can forgive his neighbor or one person’s willingness to spread his own warm coat over a shivering sleeper on the street.

God’s kingdom does not advance in a mass march forward in assault on Satan’s demons. God’s kingdom advances one simple kingdom act at a time. Each time one person receives Christ, Satan’s kingdom of evil takes a step backward. The kingdom of God has come near in Christ and in every Spirit-filled Christian. The march against evil is the way God’s kingdom moves forward. Believe it. Live it.

 

 

Meet Randy Kirk

Today I am happy to welcome another visiting Christian author. Today Randy Kirk releases his newest book God Called – He Needs Your Decision! I have invited him to talk about the way his book is a Christian testimony that counters cultural trends.

3D cover shot God Called

http://bit.ly/GodCalled

Why do you think being a Christian is important enough to write about it?

The Bible says that part of being a disciple is putting our faith in God above everything else, including relatives, money, other idols, and life itself. In this new book I write about the great commission. Jesus said we need to go and make disciples. If you put those two together, it is hard to imagine anything more important that one could do.

You write Christian non-fiction. Why do you call it Christian? How is it different from any other non-fiction?

I also write secular business books. Of course, there is always enough in them about faith to make my position clear, and the books are written from a Christian world view. The new book, God Called – He Needs Your Decision! is overtly theological. Every word has been carefully chosen to reflect Biblical authority.

Do you think of your writing as a ministry?

Definitely! My goal is to help others become true disciples of Jesus and to surrender their lives to the call of God per Isaiah 6:8. Then it is my hope that those disciples will choose to use their gifts to disciple others.

When you write, what do you want your book to do for your reader?

One of my reviewers said this:

I might add, “God Called” may make you feel uncomfortable. I perceived that to be the Holy Spirit showing me areas of my life where I could glorify Him more, but I also felt mercy. Whatever God calls us to do, He gifts us to do. For me, this book was a blend of exhortation and grace. I felt encouraged.

That is exactly the tone I hoped to achieve.

Contemporary culture in the US is rife with conflicts over Christianity, secularism, and New Age ideas. Why do you think a person should be a Christian instead of adopting any of the other options?

I’m kind of a practical guy. So while I have faith in the scriptures, I am still going to say “show me.” The amazing reality is that the Bible is consistently 100% on point. Therefore I make the rational decision that it is right about salvation, heaven, and the rest. Then the feedback to my heart and soul shows me that the actions I take in step with Biblical teachings result in the best possible outcomes.

In your book, what do you share with the reader that will help the reader live a Christian life in the midst of cultural conflict?

My book is so counter to the culture that I don’t even suggest a baby Christian read it. The Bible assumes you are going to live in a new Kingdom. My book assumes the same thing. I am a huge proponent of immersion. What you immerse yourself in, you will become. The book recommends immersion into the culture of Jesus Christ.

What is the difference between the objective of your book and the objective of a secular self-help book?

Self help books generally focus on the earthly success of the person. Fame, fortune, happiness. My focus is on eternal values, intimacy with God, love of God and others, and dying to self. Some of the prescriptions are the same: discipline, immersion, study, intentionality, elimination of bad habits. But the goals and the purposes are completely opposite.

What does your book do for Christian readers who are looking either for entertainment or inspiration?

I hope that I have allowed some of my rather fun loving and optimistic attitude come through in God Called. The subject is serious, but we don’t have to be morbid about it. It is certainly intended to be inspirational, partially just through the teaching, but also through examples from my life and others.

Does your book have anything to say to people who believe that the world is limited to our time/space experience?

No!

In what way does your book serve as your testimony of faith in Christ?

I give many personal examples of my own faith and lack of it. I keep repenting of my lack of faith and praying for God to give me more.

Currently in the United States there is a major conflict between people of faith who operate their businesses according to the principles of their faith and the US government, which states that religious liberty does not apply to a business enterprise. Do you consider your business as a writer to be subject to the principles of your faith?

I am an entrepreneur who has owned 33 businesses ranging from utter failures to very successful. I have belonged to Fellowship of Companies for Christ International for 20+ years. In that group, CEO’s come together to work on making God the Chairman of the Board of our firms.

Secular thinkers often say to Christians, “I don’t think you should push your religion on people who believe something different.” What is your response?

I’m okay with a certain level of in your face evangelism. I would certainly be in someone’s face to keep them from stepping in front of an 18 wheeler. But I think most who come to a serious love of God are first impressed by the works of Christ followers. I hope my fruit is a demonstration of why following Jesus is the best path for life.

What do you believe to be the lasting value of your work to the contemporary culture?

Just as noted before. Every Christian knows that the one command that was made to every Christian was that we go and make disciples. Many are sad because they don’t feel comfortable talking to unbelievers about salvation. I get that, and it isn’t for everybody. But I don’t know anyone who feels uncomfortable sharing with other Christians about their own walk. That helps to make disciples. I just hope that the book will step folks up in their decision making to become better disciples and to work more proactively to disciple others.

What else would you like to say about your personal values, your Christian faith, or your call to be a Christian writer?

I fall short every single day. But I get back up and go at it again. I think that is all God asks. Randy kirk

Tell us about the book you are launching today.

Our Christian walk is always about how much we trust and believe, and whether we trust God enough to put aside our fear. Each stage of our maturing in Christ depends on our ability to repent of our unbelief, our pride, and our idols, and move to the next stage. This is true from our first profession of faith. It is true when we start each new discipline. It is true when we become aware of the depths of our sin and mindful of our need to be continually repenting. It is true when we become willing to be completely dependent on and open with God—intimate with Him. Then we must repent of our unbelief again if we are to fully surrender to a calling. Don’t put off your decision to move closer to God and hear His voice. Get your copy of God Called – He Needs Your Decision! today at http://bit.ly/GodCalled and get started on a journey that will lead to a fully surrendered life.

 

How to Stop Influencing the Culture

Recently Jim Denison’s blog included a list of eleven things Christians could do if they wanted to avoid changing the culture. The daily news makes it quite clear that the culture does not want to be changed by Christians, but this is the first time I have seen anyone, Christian or otherwise, lay out a real plan to put a stop to Christian influence in the public forum. It is a good plan. It sounds quite realistic. Here is the list provided on the blog:

  1. Stop trusting God
  2. Refuse to try new approaches
  3. Withdraw from the non-Christian world
  4. Trust in yourself more than in God
  5. Ignore personal character
  6. Don’t take time to pray and reflect
  7. Put your faith in people rather than the Lord
  8. Trust the church rather than the Spirit
  9. Lose your focus on the gospel
  10. Be afraid of change
  11. Lose your passion for Jesus

All of the items on the list make complete sense if your purpose is to avoid making waves. The first one is the one that really sets the tone: Stop trusting God.

If churches and Christian social service agencies actually trusted God, they would not be applying for federal grants to operate. If Christian colleges actually trusted God, they would not accept federal student aid for their students. If Christians nation-wide actually trusted God, they would not vote for and advocate for government programs at all levels of government to do the work Christians are supposed to do in this world. To say that is not to wish that poor people had no place to go for help; it simply means that Christians have always known that Christ calls them to serve others. However, when Christians advocate for the government to take on that role, they are really saying they would rather give the government high taxes than give God generous offerings. Why is that so?

If individual Christians and the organizations of Christians really trusted God, they would be praying and serving and giving to the work of Christ, and the poor would receive the care they need. Every time Christians put their complete trust in God, God provides. The World Mission Prayer League is a fine example. This Christian organization does not apply for funds from any government body. It puts its trust completely in God, and God provides. Their accomplishments around the world demonstrate what can happen when people completely trust God.

If you take the time to think and pray about this whole list, it will be personally transforming. Do you really want to see an end to Christian influence in the world? Or do you yearn for Christians and all other people to be free to live according to their faith? What do you see in yourself that is contributing to the demise of religious liberty and the God-given right to worship and serve him in all places at all times? Do you trust God completely? Do you actually trust God to act or do you think it is all up to you? Do you ever really take time to pray about the problems you see every day? Do you believe that God cannot bring his kingdom to pass if your chosen candidate loses the election? Do you actually have a passion for Jesus?

It is a good list for self-examination the next time you step out of the daily chaos and take time for prayer. Ask God if he has something for you to do in his work of bringing the kingdom near to people. Ask yourself if you trust God to empower you to do this work, or do you actually believe you must do it all by yourself.

If someone asks you, of course you won’t answer that you don’t want God’s kingdom to come near. Yet deep down you must ask yourself if you really trust God to accomplish that work.

When the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee, as recorded in Mark 4:35-41, the disciples, riding in the boat with God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, were not able to trust that God could take care of God, let alone them. They cried out, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are perishing?” They looked at the situation and instead of trusting God, they were afraid. We all live in that same place – at the intersection of fear and trust. Satan tries to drag us over into fear and we scream out angrily at God for failing us. Jesus doesn’t let go of us; we let go of Jesus.

Jesus calls us away from fear to trust. He asks us to live in the midst of the chaos and tumult of the massive ocean storm without losing our trust that he will be with us through it all. Like the World Mission Prayer League, we must be willing to step forward, storm or no storm, and trust that Christ will not abandon us. We must trust that he will not fail to accomplish his purposes. We must trust that he will not let go of us.

There are many challenges to our faith in our culture. There are a variety of responses we can make. None is more important than that first item on the list. We will never be able to influence our culture to become more Christ-like unless first and foremost and above all other loves and loyalties we trust God alone.