Posts Tagged ‘righteousness’


From the first time I heard it, I’ve had a problem with the slogan, MAGA, Make America Great Again. It’s not because I see the red hat as the new white hood. Nor is it because I do not support the president. As a Christian, I am not commanded to like the president or his policies or agenda, but I am commanded to pray for him, and by the way Schumer and Pelosi and all the rest of the folks who are currently in places of leadership, from dog catcher to president, whether I like and/or agree with them or not. If I believe that prayer changes things, then prayer should be the first reaction to every situation whether I am praying in concern or gratitude.

No my fundamental problem with MAGA is I’ve always believed America to be pretty great. I didn’t say perfect and I am fully aware that there are things in our nation, both in our history and currently that are a source of shame and that need to be changed, but over all a person can still grasp some pretty great opportunities, and have a pretty good life here, or at least that’s been my experience.

The other problem with this statement is “great” is a somewhat fluid/subjective term. Some of the things that one person thinks are great may not be what I would consider great and vice versa. To my mind, there needs to be a more objective standard to work toward than just “great,” and that’s where I came up with MAH.

It stands for Make America Holy. Now I can almost feel the pushback even as I push the keys. I’m not talking about religion by force, or making this a Christian nation, or tearing down the religious freedoms that I, for one, hold dear. No, I’m talking about Christians living as the light of the world we are are called be, living the holiest lives we can live, and living infectiously. I’m talking about sharing our faith in word and deed. I’m talking about living our best lives and representing our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ so well, that others want to know more. Holiness is about living out the standard set by Jesus, as described in His Word, as best we can. It’s about following Jesus no matter what society says, taking on faith that our Lord would never steer us wrong. It’s about love not judgment. It’s about modeling a better way and unashamedly sharing why we live as we live.

Now please note. Holiness has never been popular. The only person who ever pulled this off perfectly got Himself nailed to a cross for His trouble. Holiness has also never been wrong. You should not expect to be loved by everyone if you try to live a holy life, as a matter of fact at times the pushback will be pretty fierce. Jesus didn’t die for us to make us happy. He died to make us holy.

One last thing: If you try to live a holy life, you will fail often, or at least that has been my experience. This should keep us humble and remind us of our constant need for Christ. This is not about being “holier than thou.” “Thou” has never been the standard. Christ is, but consider what would happen if everyone claiming the name of Christ, were in a daily active pursuit of Christ as He is revealed in the Word of God, loving sacrificially and living repentantly, while working toward personal righteousness (which simply means doing the right thing by the objective standard of God’s Word.

I think it would make things pretty great.

 


You’ve probably been hearing about this a lot lately, the idea of fake news. I have to tell you the truth today, fake news is for real. Is it true, of course not, but, and this is something anyone who wants to communicate any message needs to learn, to the vast majority of the public, perception is reality. Think about how many people believe all manner of things after having seen nothing more than a social media meme. Can I tell you the truth? I can generate about four memes an hour, more if I use other people’s images and content and if I didn’t care about truth, I think I could make most people believe anything I put out there. That’s the power if imagery and media and many people are dong just that and deceiving the masses.

Now to be clear I do care about truth, but you have no idea the temptation I have been under to roll out a fake story, just to watch it get legs and then tell people, “I made it all up.” It would be a great way to make this point. Why haven’t I done it? Because like I said before, I care about truth. I’d never want to be responsible for perpetuating a lie, even to prove a point. Also I value the people who come to this site to read and learn and I would never want to lose credibility. I value your trust. Of course all of this pales in comparison to the fact that I’m a minister of the Gospel and as such I represent the personification of truth, Jesus Christ.

Guys there is tremendous power in a story. We can do great good in the form of telling stories. We can also generate tremendous harm and it is important that we are careful with what we share. Do you know this thing to be true? Can you prove it? Will sharing it do more harm than good? All of these questions should help us to decide what to (and what not to) share. Getting caught up in a lie, even unintentionally will destroy (or at least damage) your credibility. Perpetuating a lie on purpose is downright diabolical.

Brothers and sisters, we who claim the name of Christ, have got to get our stories straight. We are called to speak the truth in love, and in this mission, both elements are essential. Love without truth is a lie (and ceases to be love) and truth without love is usually just plain mean (and probably won’t be heard.) All these fake news stories leave us in a place of being less and less sure what we can believe. That can be a benefit if it makes us do our homework, but for the most part, not being able to take anything at face value erodes trust to the point where most people have no idea what to believe. We need to tell a better story. Thank God we have the greatest story ever told in our arsenal. We Christians always need to lead with truth wrapped in love. It will not always be popular, but it will always be right.

A famous man once said, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” This is precisely the aim of fake news, and it cannot be denied because fake news is nothing but a lie that contains enough of a ring of truth that when repeated becomes believable. That famous man was Adolph Hitler, a man responsible for the death of probably upwards of 11 million people, mostly as the result of believable lies. We can and must do better.

Get the facts before you spread information. Tell a better story, and speak the truth in love. Put an end to the fake news. After all it is the truth that sets us free.