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By In Politics

The Man Who Wrote, “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down this Wall!”

Even if one knew nothing of Peter Robinson’s past, one would still find him to be one of the most interesting conversationalists alive today. His long-running show Uncommon Knowledge is simply the best of its kind–handily beating, in my reckoning, Charlie Rose and Conversations with Bill Kristol.

In his early 20s, having never written a speech in his life, Robinson landed a job in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building as a speechwriter for Vice President George H.W. Bush. Soon thereafter, he moved to the West Wing, filling the same position for President Reagan. It was this young speechwriter who, after interviewing a family in East Berlin (the Soviet sector of Berlin), penned the famous words for the President, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Virtually the entire White House, the military complex, including Colin Powell, put pressure on Robinson to remove the directive from the speech. Yet, he (rightly) thought it’s what Reagan would have said had he met with those families in East Berlin. So, he stuck to his guns.

The below video in which Pat Sajak interviews Robinson, conducted at the Reagan Library on the occasion of the speech’s 30th anniversary, is a noteworthy piece of media in its own right for two reasons. First, Robinson’s journey is remarkable, and the exchange gives a glimpse into the inner life of a man many of us feel like we’ve come to know through the years. Second, and most importantly, it shows the power of words, particularly words spoken by the President of the United States. I commend the whole interview to you:

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By In Politics

It’s You I Like: Plato’s Cave and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

I recently had a student get injured. Not seriously so, but enough to warrant a few sick days. I told the student I wanted to pray for her, that God would heal her ailment. She responded, “Thanks, but instead please pray that I’ll be more faithful in having quiet times. I don’t think God has much interest in my body, but I know he cares about my soul.” I asked the student if she was able to do the readings from class while she was out. “Yes,” she said hesitantly, “I’ve been up to my eyeballs in Plato!”

Well over two millennia ago, Plato gave an analogy that helped shape much of Western philosophy going forward. Here’s the most famous (though, not best) interpretation of the allegory: There are people in a dark cave facing a wall. Behind the people is a fire and behind the fire is an opening to the outside world. In that world, people walk, talk, dance, live.

Inside the cave, however, the people can only watch their shadows. Having never seen the outside, “real” world, the cave-people foolishly think the dancing shadows are ends in themselves, actual things. They aren’t, of course; they’re only shadows, “receptacles.” Freedom, for Plato, is recognizing the ultimate vapidity and illusiveness of the material world. Physicality—“objects”—lie in the realm of mere opinion and shadow. It’s in the incorporeal, metaphysical world of forms that true life can be found.

Having just completed readings surrounding this interpretation of the cave illustration, I asked the student, “how has this view shaped the church, do you think?” Substitute “objects” with “creation,” “form-world” with “heaven,” and you start to see the origin of the disembodied world many modern Christians inhabit. A view that leads us to think that only the spiritual world is real, and God takes no interest in concussions or broken bones.

This view stands in stark contrast with the biblical understanding of physicality. In Genesis 1 we see a world made by God. It is good, indeed, very good. Sin enters the world and distorts this goodness, but never eradicates the Creator’s handiwork. Sin is like rust on a ship; it’s not integral to the structure of the object. The ship existed before there was rust and will exist after the rust is removed. Indeed, the removal of the rust will only make the ship more of a ship.

The Christian view of creation can be seen well in this exchange between Mr. Rogers and one of his neighbors, Jeff Erlanger:

Jeff was born with a tumor that left him bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. In the video, his handicap is pronounced and his young age only makes the disability more agonizing. Watching the episode, I can see why Plato wanted to understand the world as mere shadow. It explains and relativizes so much of the torment and agony of life. In understanding ourselves as more than physicality, there is hope. However, what do we lose when we understand ourselves as less than physicality? While Plato’s analogy can interpret our pain, I don’t think it can account for the beauty and dignity of this world.

Mr. Rogers no doubt sees Jeff’s brokenness, but he also sees his worth. To Jeff, he warmly sings, “It’s you I like. Every part of you. Your skin, your eyes, your feelings.” He saw the boy—the whole boy, body and soul—as real, as an end, as a creature. The wheelchair did not typify Jeff to Mr. Rogers. Nor was the “real” Jeff simply his spirit. In that moment, Rogers did what he did so often; he recognized and named the humanity in the other. Jeff was not a shadow to Mr. Rogers, he was real, he was worthy, he was loved.

When recounting so many of the difficulties of being handicapped, Jeff reminds us that there is such difficulty for everyone, those inside and outside of wheelchairs. Jeff knows we are all on a scale of brokenness, all in need of healing in myriad ways. So, in addition to praying for my student’s quiet times, I also prayed for her ailment, despite her earnest wishes. Because denying the goodness of our bodies won’t take away the badness. God did not place us in a cave, he placed us in a real-life neighborhood. The question is: will we see creation as a trick of the eye, or as a gift from the Creator? To do the former, ironically, is to choose to live in a cave of our own making. To do the later, however, is to be reminded of our Creator’s love for his creation when we hear Mr. Rogers’ song:

It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair–
But it’s you I like
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you–
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys–
They’re just beside you.

But it’s you I like–
Every part of you,
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself,
It’s you, it’s you I like.

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By In Politics

Adams’ Warrior Children II: A Response to a Response

Heath Lambert released a response to the criticism leveled at him by me and others. First, I want to say I’m thankful for him, his ministry, and his humility. In apologizing for his sermon, he hedged no bets. While I don’t know Dr. Lambert well, I had the opportunity to take a few classes with him at Boyce. I’ve only ever known him to be a fine, upstanding Christian. His response to the sermon only bears out what I already knew to be true of him.

However, I feel the need to defend myself a bit. I suggested that Dr. Lambert leveraged his position at ACBC to get Dr. Johnson fired. I called that fact “indisputable.” Lambert calls this charge “baseless,” “unsubstantiated,” and “slanderous.” Lambert says: “It would never occur to me to try to force, cajole, or blackmail [Dr. Mohler] into anything.”

Far from being baseless, it remains indisputable that Lambert used his position to professionally harm Dr. Johnson. If he did nothing else besides claiming his colleague was terrible at his job, a faithless teacher, etc. *That* was him putting Dr. Johnson’s job in jeopardy. Surely we aren’t supposed to believe Dr. Lambert expected the public to assume he was in favor of such a dangerous man teaching young pastors after hearing that sermon. Dr. Lambert cares too much for pastoral education to want a terrible theologian instructing students.

I don’t think Dr. Mohler was blackmailed. I think he was put in an unfair, untenable situation in which one faculty member publically accused another of being dangerous, if not unconverted. This in no way questions Dr. Mohler’s integrity, as Lambert implies. To the contrary, Dr. Mohler would have been derelict not to have seriously reconsidered Johnson’s employment after hearing Lambert’s allegation. I’m not the one who questioned Dr. Mohler’s integrity, Lambert did when he implied Mohler hired, aided, and abetted a wolf in the sheep pen.

Again, I don’t think there was some grand conspiracy which Lambert orchestrated. I don’t know what part, if any, Lambert’s well-known opinions of Johnson played in his termination. But I do know that Lambert leveraged his position to professionally harm Johnson. There is video evidence of him doing just that.

While I wish Dr. Lambert didn’t blame-shift on that last point, I’m still appreciative of the statement and consider him a brother in Christ. One mistake doesn’t make a man or an institution. I still heartily recommend Boyce College to students, and happily so!

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By In Politics

Adams’ Warrior Children: On the Firing of Eric L. Johnson

Update: Dr. Lambert has issued an apology here and I wrote a follow-up here. I also removed a line which I thought was too definitive in retrospect.

A petition began yesterday to protest the “wrongful firing” of Eric L. Johnson, longtime professor of counseling at Southern Seminary. Though I hold Johnson in high esteem, I hesitated to sign the document for a few reasons. First, I want to give Albert Mohler the benefit of the doubt. I went to Boyce College (Southern’s undergraduate school) largely because of Dr. Mohler. In the few opportunities I had to watch him up close, I saw a warm, compassionate, faithful follower of Jesus. I honestly don’t think there is a finer Christian statesman alive today.

While I was disappointed to hear of Dr. Johnson’s firing, it’s easy to think of reasons such a move may have been warranted, however sad it may be. Southern is known as a “Biblical Counseling” school. Perhaps students who would like to study Christian Psychology are simply going to other seminaries, like Covenant, TEDS, or RTS. Maybe Dr. Johnson’s classes weren’t full enough to merit his salary. Or perhaps Dr. Mohler wanted continuity in the department. While that move isn’t wise in my estimation, it’s his to make and, frankly, understandable. Or maybe there’s some other reason to which I’m simply not privy.

Then I watched the video linked in the petition. The video is of Heath Lambert, Executive Director at the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, publically condemning Eric Johnson. He quotes a section from Johnson’s Foundations for Soul Care, leaving out key sentences and paragraphs. He says Johnson’s words are “a total and utter mockery of God’s Word.” He paraphrases Johnson’s thesis as,

“There’s all this stuff in there [the Bible] about anxiety, but it’s general and can’t really help you. The Bible has this general level of sophistication. The Bible – translation – can’t even help you with the spiritual items it brings up.”

He then says, “I think that’s slander. Honest, I do.”

He says of Johnson:

“The reason that he is wrong, the reason that his counseling advice is bad is because he has not been faithful to the teaching. He has not been faithful to the Word. He is a horrible theologian.”

Most stunningly, Lambert seems to question Johnson’s salvation:

“…you know when I was reading this some [9 years ago] when the book came out, and I was deeply troubled by it, and I was angry about it, and I was frustrated about it ,and then I realized something about this man. This isn’t just a demonstration of faithless teaching. It is a demonstration, is it not, of 1 Tim 4:16 of faithless living? It broke my heart when I realized that. This is a man, who denigrates Psalm 94 because he’s never experienced the consolations of Psalm 94. He can’t teach Psalm 94 because Psalm 94 never got into his bloodstream. He is a bad theologian because he doesn’t understand the teaching and the teaching never changed his life, and so he is a very bad counselor…. If we refuse to allow the Word of God to take root in our heart and change us then the overflow of that unchanged heart to broken people will be just as corrupt as [Johnson].”

After listening to this sermon, I signed the petition. Lambert’s treatment of Johnson’s words were horrendous on two fronts. As a Christian, he should have interpreted Johnson with more generosity, and as a counselor, Lambert should have interpreted Johnson with more honesty. How can a man who gets paid to listen have been so deaf to another’s words? At no point in the sermon did Lambert present Johnson’s position in a way in which Johnson would recognize. Thus, he never actually engaged with the rival position. He built a straw man and condemned that straw man to unemployment, if not hell.

The petition claims that Lambert was behind Johnson’s firing. While I don’t know that his pushing of Johnson was the only, or even main, cause of Johnson’s termination, after watching the video Lambert’s intentions are clear even if Mohler’s are not. Lambert implicitly accused Dr. Mohler of hiring, aiding, and abetting a wolf in the sheep pen. Lambert’s disgust—and I don’t think that’s too strong a word—for Johnson was palpable. Lambert put Dr. Mohler in an untenable situation. One of them had to leave, and Lambert knew his side (the Biblical Counseling side) had the institutional advantage.

Almost 15 years ago, John Frame wrote a prophetic essay entitled Machen’s Warrior Children. The essay argued that John Gresham Machen faced a serious and dangerous enemy: namely, liberalism. Facing a bonafide enemy of the faith, he fought. Those after him, argued Frame, adopted the posture Machen took toward liberalism in each and every battle going forward. Their side was the “Christian” one and the other side was the “faithless” one, no matter how trivial the dispute. For these people, everything was a fight to the death.

I respect and have learned from many in the Biblical Counseling camp. Their perspective is laudable and needed. But even if one thinks Dr. Johnson’s approach to counseling is anemic or flawed, he’s no enemy of the faith. His newest book (which I’m excited to read!) is endorsed by Kevin Vanhoozer, Jeremy Lelek, Michael Allen, Kelly Kapic, and Richard Winter. My goodness, Dr. Johnson’s theology is about as orthodox and mainstream as it gets in Evangelicalism. At least in this particular sermon, Heath Lambert embodies the sort of immature, pugnacious attitude against which Frame so eloquently rails. Lambert was busy winning a war when he should have been having an honest conversation.

Whatever institution Dr. Johnson ends up teaching at will no doubt be blessed to have him. Through his writing, speaking, and counseling ministry he’s ministered the gospel of Christ to thousands. That such a father in the faith has been treated this way is a disgrace and, frankly, an embarrassment to a school which I love and treasure.

Featured image taken from https://www.flickr.com/photos/alexandermason

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By In Books, Politics

Transcendent Faith in a Disenchanted World

To make the Christian faith plausible to the secular mind, we either have to (1) de-mystify their Scriptures or (2) re-enchant their cosmos. In addition to the later apologetic being more truthful, it’s also more beautiful. In his new book Recapturing the Wonder (available here), Mike Cosper has written a truly beautiful book—one able to re-enchant the world of even the most jaded modern. Drawing on the work of Charles Taylor, James K.A. Smith, Dallas Willard, and Thomas Merton, Cosper shows that there is indeed a path—paved in ancient practices—to transcendence in an age of materialism and consumerism. As a High School teacher, I’ll certainly be using the content of the book in classes for years to come. The book is especially apropos for college students. Were I organizing a reading scheme for a CCO/InterVarsity/RUF leadership team, Recapturing the Wonder would be at the top of my list this semester. To whet your appetite, below are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Ours is an age where our sense of spiritual possibility, transcendence, and the presence of God has been drained out. What’s left is a spiritual desert, and Christians face the temptation to accept the dryness of that desert as the only possible world. We have enough conviction and faith to be able to call ourselves believers, but we’re compelled to look for ways to live out a Christian life without transcendence and without the active presence of God, practicing what Dallas Willard once called ‘biblical deism’—a strange bastardization of Christianity that acts as though, once the Bible was written, God left us to sort things out for ourselves.”

“Technology has given us the sense that everything within the universe can be made to appear to our senses and harnessed for our purposes. It may be meaningless, but it can be comprehended and mastered. This mastery, though, is a bit of an illusion as well. The accumulated body of scientific knowledge can tell us all about the canvas, oils, and minerals that combine to make a work of art, but they cannot tell us why it takes our breath away.”

“We hunger for that kind of know-how, for a relationship with Scripture that leads to something deeper than head knowledge. We long for wonder, and we long for communion with God, but we’re so afraid of getting something wrong that we either avoid Scripture altogether or treat it as a cold, dead abstraction, unable to connect it to real life.”

“In a disenchanted world, we have our own overarching narrative, and its cornerstone is progress—a sense that the world is moving from disorder to order, that humanity is improving not just biologically and evolutionarily but morally, intellectually, and spiritually.”

“The power of habit is in the way it tunes our body and soul to anticipate a return to the rhythm. We’re primed for it, and when we’re starved of it, we’ll feel pangs of hunger.”

“Regular is a word that needs some redemption in our modern usage. We’re so used to superlatives that we tend to be dismissive and suspect of the ordinary. We don’t want regular; we want super-sized awesomeness. But regular is a good word, and it’s important to embrace it in two senses here. Regular means ordinary. But regular also refers to time. We need solitude to be regular in the sense that it’s repeated— a rhythm we return to as Jesus did.”

“Consuming is about possession, and consuming something uses it up. The end goal of a fast food meal is a pile of empty wrappers. The end goal of most consumer products is obsolescence. We are not meant to dwell with cars, smartphones, and running shoes—not for long, anyway. These things are meant to be used up, and once used up, disposed of or recycled into something new.”

“Reading about the lives of saints, I don’t see immovable giants. Instead, I see Merton falling in love with a nurse and having an affair. I see Brennan Manning fighting a life-long battle with alcohol abuse. I see Charles Spurgeon and Martin Lloyd Jones—two of the greatest preachers in the English language—fighting lifelong battles with depression. But Merton came home to the monastery, Manning died declaring ‘all is grace,’ and Spurgeon and Jones kept preaching the gospel… Somehow, grace abounds in a world full of sorrows.”

“Follow Jesus if you must, seek the face of God if you must, but don’t be surprised if, after a while, it feels like you’ve been battling angels in the darkness. Seeking God’s face in a fallen world is not the easy life; it’s the good life.”

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By In Politics

Jesus at Dinner: Salvation Through Hospitality

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” –Jesus, Revelation 3:20

The old hymn commands, “let every heart prepare him room!” This is what a Christian is, after all: one who has welcomed Jesus. Welcoming has been part and parcel of Christian faith and practice since the beginning—first century Christians adopting diseased children, Paul instructing Philemon to receive his former slave back home as a brother, Jesus eating with the outcast, Israel welcoming the sojourners. Even if it isn’t easy to do, we can at least understand how to show hospitality to the weak and vulnerable. But God is not weak or vulnerable. How do we open the door of our lives to him? How do we “make him room?”

Mark tells the story (1:35-39) of Jesus being perfectly disciplined. He gets up early, he prays, he orders his time based on God’s mission rather than the opinions and needs of others. What does it look like to show hospitality to one so whole, so absent of need? Miguel Arteta’s beautiful new film Beatriz at Dinner gives us a clue. After her car breaks down at the home of a client, Beatriz—a new age massage therapist and holistic healer—finds herself stranded at an upscale dinner party.

At first glance, the movie is a contrast between Beatriz (Salma Hayek) and Doug (John Lithgow), a high-powered businessman. He is invited to dinner, the guest of honor, she is unexpected; he’s everyone’s employer, she’s an employee to his employee; he boasts, she demurs; he takes life—showing pictures of his prize kill from a recent safari expedition, she gives life.

Early in the movie, Beatriz weeps as she recounts that an angry neighbor killed her pet goat—“murder.” Throughout the dinner, Beatriz swears she recognizes Doug. Was he the man who built a hotel in her hometown that displaced a swath of the community? No, he’s too young. But how does she know him? By the end of the party, after proclaiming, “all tears come from the same source,” she looks Doug in the eye and mater-of-factly states, “you killed my goat.” On one level, the movie is about the conflict between good and evil.

The brilliance of the film, however, is found not in the leads, but in the near perfectly cast team of character-actors around the dinner table. As two radically opposing forces collide, we see tension, deflection, amusement, and horror in the onlooker’s faces. At its heart, Beatriz at Dinner isn’t about Beatriz or Doug at all; it’s about the guests at the dinner party, and the choice they’ll all have to make by the end of the evening. On the one hand, Doug offers power. Beatriz, conversely, offers the promise of healing, and healing in a way particular to each of them: cancer in one case, back-pain in another.

As the evening progresses, it becomes evident that what Doug and Beatriz have to offer is mutually exclusive. To whom will each guest show hospitality, Doug or Beatriz? While the woman who first insisted Beatriz come to the party attempts to straddle the fence, she too is forced to take sides. To get Doug’s approval, the guests must grovel—they must earn their place around the table. They can’t seem weak or vulnerable. They are valuable to Doug insofar as they’re useful, but not a minute longer. At one point, he jokes about leaving his third wife for a more attractive guest at the party.

Beatriz’s gift, however, is just that: a gift. It can’t be earned, only received. The difficulty, the predicament, the tragedy, is that no one can let down their pretense and airs to see their need—not now, not at a party, not when so much is at stake. To take hold of the hope Beatriz can offer (the unseen) requires abandoning that which Doug is currently offering (the seen). Alas, one can’t serve two masters.

Back to the Gospel of Mark. After describing how Jesus is whole, Mark immediately tells the story of a man who is broken (1: 40-45). When he encounters Jesus, the man isn’t told, as you might expect, to find healing by doing the good things Jesus just did. He’s not asked to earn his place in Jesus’ presence; he isn’t told how to pull himself up by his bootstraps. Rather, Jesus reaches down, out of pity, and heals the man of his leprosy directly. By running to Jesus the man was running away from every other form of salvation; he came bringing only his need, and that was enough.

Like Beatriz, Jesus joyfully comes to dinner, bringing healing with him. However, it’s not a given that we will welcome him. To the contrary, welcoming Jesus involves the painful, uncertain process of letting go of our pride and self-satisfaction. By showing hospitality to Jesus we’re necessarily neglecting those other masters in our lives who demand our complete loyalty and attention. Jesus stands at the door and knocks, ready to dine with us. How do we welcome him? One hymn tells us to “make him room;” another hymn—reminiscent of Beatriz at Dinner—tells us how:

“Come, ye weary, heavy laden, bruised and broken by the fall; if you tarry ’til you’re better, you will never come at all…. Let not conscience make you linger, nor of fitness fondly dream; all the fitness He requires is to feel your need of Him.”

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By In Politics

Should the Church Invite Uncle Sam into the Sanctuary?

 

 

“On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. And the people were shouting, ‘The voice of a god, and not of a man!’ Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.” -Acts 12: 21-23

Today, First Baptist Church Dallas is hosting a “Celebrate Freedom Concert” featuring their pastor, Robert Jeffress, and President Trump, who Jeffress recently called “one of the great patriots of our modern era.” Last Sunday, FBC celebrated “Freedom Sunday;” complete with a presentation of colors, soldiers, guns, patriotic hymns, indoor fireworks, the whole shebang.

While most churches this 4th of July weekend won’t try to bust a bottle rocket from the balcony, many will sing the national anthem, pledge their allegiance to the American flag, and maybe even hear a sermon on 1 Peter 2:9 called “A Royal Nation: Brexit 1776.” Meanwhile, many other church-goers, myself included, will be mortified by such actions.

To be clear, I’m not opposed to mixing religion and government/politics. For one, it’s impossible not to mix the two, just like it’s impossible not to mix religion and music or religion and parenting. Religion, as David Dark has so helpfully pointed out, is ever consuming and all present. It’s the way we live and move and have our being in the world. It can be seen as easily in our credit card statements as in our church attendance.

Not just Christians, everyone brings religion into government, arguing for or against particular policies based on their own core commitments and values—values not shared by the whole of society, mind you. Asking someone to keep religion out of politics is like asking someone to fly by lifting the chair in which they’re sitting off the ground. It sounds swell, but it’s impossible.

Even if it were possible to silo religion in the church, away from the public square, Scripture forbids Christians from taking such an approach. The myth of neutrality is promulgated by secularism, not Scripture. That being the case, if the church isn’t trying to transform the culture, the culture is succeeding in transforming the church.

You see, the Bible isn’t just God’s word to the church, it’s God’s word to the whole world—everyone, everything. So, applying the Bible to every sphere of life (politics, art, family, etc.) isn’t involving the church in those areas, it’s involving Jesus. And it turns out, Jesus doesn’t just claim to be the King of the church, He’s King of the cosmos—which includes every square, even public ones. Nicholas Wolterstorff says it well:

“Since the content of Christian theology goes far beyond church and devotional life to life as a whole, and since its addressees extend far beyond church members to humanity in general, its arena must be civil society.”

I don’t take issue, then, with the church involving herself in national life. To the contrary, I’m quite happy for the church to take her message into the most sacred of State spaces—pray in Congress, display the 10 Commandments at the courthouse. What I oppose is the State taking her message into the most sacred of church spaces. I oppose that which causes a worship service to be marked more by a folksy, sentimental religiosity than a solemn, joyful reverence.

Bringing religion into government is responsible for William Wilberforce’s effort to abolish the slave trade in England and Martin Luther King Jr.’s tireless effort to see all God’s children treated equally irrespective of race in America. Bringing government into the church, on the other hand, brought us the ecclesial malaise and kowtowing which allowed Nazis to exterminate Jews on Saturday and receive the Eucharist on Sunday.

Christians are called to persuade the nation with the message of the church, not persuade the church with the message of the nation. One can faithfully use the State to advance the Kingdom, but God help the man who uses the Kingdom to advance the State. Setting fireworks off in a sanctuary is dangerous, but not just for the obvious reasons. Sure, it may cause someone to lose an eye, but it may also cause someone to lose sight of the purpose of worship, which is far more serious and far more likely.

So, this Sunday let’s observe the sacraments, hear the word preached, confess our sins, and sing about the grace and power and goodness of the Lord of all nations. Instead of This Land is Your Land, let’s sing This is My Father’s World. Instead of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, let’s sing A Mighty Fortress is our God. In other words, let’s pledge our allegiance solely to Jesus, finding our identity chiefly as heirs of God’s Kingdom. In addition to being what we’re commanded to do, it also produces what our nation actually needs: citizens attuned to the true, good, and beautiful; shaped by love in worship, sent out to seek the welfare of the city by promoting the common good.

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