CampusPride and Chick-Fil-A make peace

o-SHANE-WINDMEYER-CHICKFILA-570It’s not often that something I read on Huffington Post gives me “hopey-changey” goose bumps. But CampusPride director Shane Windmeyer’s post about “coming out” as a friend of Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy is one of the most hopeful things I’ve read in a long time. I challenge you to put your ideology aside for a moment, whatever it is, and consider the witness of love that has happened between these two men. Continue reading

Looking Back on 2012: Aug-Sept

August and September were busy months for my blog. There was the Chik-Fil-A drama and other culture war nonsense. Both political parties held their conventions. Then the Benghazi attack happened. In September, our church did a sermon series called “Jesus is My Candidate” that I tried and spectacularly failed to turn into some kind of bigger “movement.” The idea was to transcend partisanship and avoid saying and doing things that would dishonor Jesus’ name. So here are 10 posts on culture wars, morality, marriage, American Pelagianism, holy war, the fear of God, and other matters. Continue reading

Looking back on 2012: June-July

In June and July, I wrote about my family reunion, the culture wars, a whole lot in Ephesians including a sermon in which I talk about sin as a zombie apocalypse, and the little noticed moral pragmatism that Paul seems to exhibit in Romans 14-15. So here are ten posts from those two months. Continue reading

Staying “on message” for Jesus

Burke United Methodist Church is doing a campaign this fall called Jesus is My Candidate: I Vote for Him Every Day. A dimension of this campaign is thinking about how we “vote” for Jesus (maintain our allegiance and focus on Him) when all around us people are screaming for us to make either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney our Lord and Savior (or perhaps saying that the other guy is the anti-Christ but our guy is at least somewhat reasonable). One way that we “vote” for Jesus is by staying “on message” for Him. Political campaigns strive not to let reporters trick them into going “off message” by saying anything that detracts from the real issues. Satan is constantly trying to trick us into committing “gaffes” on the Jesus campaign trail that make our Savior look bad. So here are some ways I thought of that we can stay “on message” for Jesus during a campaign season full of distractions. Continue reading

Are we an interest group or a kingdom of disciples and evangelists?

I get that we live in a morally complex world, but I want us to do better. The Chick-Fil-A drama has been a series of disappointments for me on all sides. I’m disappointed at progressives for uncritically circulating misinformation about what Chick-Fil-A’s Don and Dan Cathy actually said and who their foundation actually supports (only several thousand of the alleged $3 million in donations can truly be said to go to “anti-gay” activist groups). I’m disappointed at the mayors of Boston and Chicago for inappropriately responding to something that shouldn’t have merited their attention in a clumsy gesture to a segment of their donor base that turned this into a “free speech” issue for culture warriors to rally around. I’m disappointed at my fellow evangelical Christians for letting themselves get baited into reinforcing the stereotype that all Christians care about is policing the sexuality of other people. I’ve already spoken to several other aspects of this issue. Here’s the question I want to ask my fellow Christians: are we an interest group or a kingdom of disciples and evangelists? Continue reading

Accusers vs. advocates: the real sides in the culture war

One of my favorite pastors Jonathan Martin of Renovatus Church in Charlotte, NC recently preached a sermon called “Don’t Stand Up For Jesus.” Listen to it here. His point was that Jesus can stand up for Himself. What we should be doing is standing with Jesus while He stands up for sinners as their advocate and intercessor, instead of thinking we have to “defend” Jesus by signing online petitions, saying we’re not going to take it anymore through our facebook status updates, or eating chicken sandwiches. Jonathan was responding to the tendency of Christians to get sucked into the never-ending, all-consuming argument in our society that we call the culture war. As Jonathan talked, I realized that the real battle in the culture war is not between liberals and conservatives, but between advocates and accusers. Those who take the side of Jesus join Him in His role as the advocate for sinners (1 John 2:1); those who take the side of Satan join him in his role as the accuser (Revelation 12:10). The battle between Jesus and Satan takes place on every side of the surface battle that we think is going on. Continue reading

Insults, Jared & Doug Wilson, and Chick-Fil-A (Romans 15)

The Daily Office epistle reading today was in Romans 15. I was most struck by the first three verses: “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.'” That last line in particular really gets me. Jesus said the insults of those who insult us (or perhaps those we insult) have fallen on Him. When we witness insults against other people, do we join in the insulting or do we let the insults fall on us too? What about if it’s Jared or Doug Wilson or the Cathy brothers at the helm of Chick-Fil-A? Continue reading