Disney's new film, Soul, offers a profound and subtle rebuke of one of our culture’s central and mistaken assumptions, that meaning can be measured by paychecks and popularity. In the end, the film echoes one of Christianity’s central insights: that all of life, when lived for a higher purpose, is sacred
As we noted yesterday, many are blaming evangelicals for the Capitol riots and calling on us to repudiate “Christian nationalism.” There are many ways to understand this term, but a common definition is that “the United States was founded as a Christian nation and must continue to be one.”
This subject is far more complex than we have space to discuss fully, but I will note that nations are geopolitical entities with borders, populations, and governments. By contrast, a Christian is a person who has trusted in Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. A nation cannot do this. As a result, neither America nor any other nation can logically be a “Christian nation.”
This is not a gospel presentation, but I would suggest that, while the entire Bible speaks to the roots of this crisis, we can, just from the Book of Romans, see where we are to go from here.
Recently, I was asked how we should respond to cases when a Christian leader or teacher is caught in sexual misconduct. Is it possible to separate the good that they’ve done and the truth they’ve taught, the person and their sin? And, what about when the perpetrator is gone and has no further opportunity to acknowledge his sins, repent, and seek forgiveness? On a Christian worldview analysis level, to borrow a phrase popularized by Christian educator Arthur Holmes, it is important to remember that “all truth is God’s truth.” In other words, if Ravi Zacharias ever said anything true in his life, and of course he did, he was not its source but only its medium. Any truth – all truth – comes ultimately from God, outside of time or place or context.
Faith leaders were “nearly unanimous in condemning” the assault, as NPR reported on January 7. But evangelicals are nonetheless being widely blamed for the riot.
The Washington Post headlined: “Trump’s evangelicals were complicit in the desecration of our democracy.” The Atlantic called the riots “a Christian insurrection” and added, “Many of those who mobbed the Capitol on Wednesday claimed to be enacting God’s will.” Religion News Service stated, “Evangelicals must denounce the Christian nationalism in Capitol riots.” This article is one such denunciation.
I’d like to write the sermon for you that I would preach this Sunday. I am doing so after spending all day Thursday in radio interviews with stations around the country; the questions I was asked are questions everyone seems to be asking today. I hope my “sermon” will help answer them and offer you a path to empowering purpose.
The violence in D.C. and across the United States reveals the state of our hearts as a country. Storming the Congress and the Senate is not the solution to the problems of our country. The solution isn’t in political activism either. The solution is found in Jesus Christ alone.
Yesterday, when President-elect Biden said that the actions of the mob did not reflect America, I wish he were correct. But he wasn’t. We are not a moral nation. We are lawless. We are not a nation that cultivates the kinds of families able to produce good citizens. Our institutions cannot be trusted to tell us the truth or advance the good. Our leaders think and live as if wrong means are justified by preferred ends. Our churches tickle ears and indulge narcissism. Our schools build frameworks of thinking that are not only wrong, but foster confusion and division.