Is Jesus saving the world from us?

Is Jesus saving the world from us? It’s a different way to talk about salvation, but honestly it’s the gospel that I’m hoping to be true as an evangelical afflicted by what Rachel Held Evans calls “the scandal of the evangelical heart.” When did we become the Pharisees Jesus came to Earth to stop us from being? How many of us have been secretly asking that question in our minds? How many of us need to be saved from a toxic salvation? I really feel that we are in the midst of a great awakening. The legion of demons that poisoned our gospel for so long is running off a cliff in a herd of hateful pigs, leaving us to wake up in the graveyard where we chained ourselves. We are discovering that Satan is our accuser and oppressor, not God.  We are realizing that our need to be right and justify ourselves has kept us inside a tomb whose stone was rolled away by Jesus. So I wanted to share five things God has been teaching me over the past few years about what Jesus saves us from and what He saves us for. Continue reading

Election Day Communion vs. Pulpit Freedom Sunday

A few weeks ago, I started getting spam from Jim Garlow, the pastor of the Skyline megachurch in Lemon Grove, California, about the Pulpit Freedom Sunday initiative that he has been spearheading with Glenn Beck. This past Sunday, about 1500 pastors across the country heeded Garlow’s call to preach about the presidential campaign in defiance of the IRS prohibition on public political endorsements for 501-C3 tax-deductible organizations. Around the same time that Garlow started spamming me, I accidentally stumbled across a different initiative started by two Mennonite pastors and an Episcopal layperson, who didn’t have nearly the resources of Garlow, called Election Day Communion, which has the modest goal of getting 100 churches in all 50 states to celebrate communion on Election Day in order to remember our unity as Christians in a season that has tried to redefine us according to our partisan affiliations. These two contrasting movements capture two radically different visions for how to be the church in a contentious political season. Continue reading