APOSTLESHIP AND SERVANTHOOD

Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ… ~ 2 Peter 1:1

I want you to notice Peter’s tone regarding his apostleship. It is secondary to his being a servant of Jesus Christ. Peter places himself on the same level (as a servant) with those to whom he is writing, saying to his audience that they had obtained like precious faith as he and the other believers in Christ had obtained.

As an apostle of Christ, Peter viewed those to whom he was writing as his fellow servants of Christ, and not to subjects spiritually beneath him. Peter had been equipped by Jesus as a witness of authentic ministry of Jesus. As an apostle of Christ, his calling included being an example of servanthood among Christ’s servants to help their devotion to Christ.

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul declares we don’t have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. ~ 1 Corinthians 1:24. Other translations render this as “helpers for your joy.” The ministry of the New Testament apostles included that of helping Christ’s servants continue in the joy of their service to Christ, even in difficult times of struggle and persecution.

The Apostles in the New Testament were helpers in Christ’s Kingdom in the service of Jesus Christ, the King. There are far too many in our day who like to call themselves apostles, and they do so because they want to have the preeminence and spiritual authority over the faith of others. This is completely contrary to the ministry of the first century apostles.

These modern day self promoting apostles, and that’s what many of them are, know very little if any, about the true calling of an apostle. The true calling of apostleship is to authenticate Christ’s ministry where Christ has not been preached, and to establish disciples for Christ who will continue in Christ’s service.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE GOSPELS

Rooted and Grounded In Christ

From the four gospels, we read how the Jewish leaders persecuted Jesus and sought to slay him because he had done such things as healing on the Sabbath and claiming that God was his Father.

On more than one occasion they tried to stone him for declaring that God was his Father but he was delivered from them while the stones were still in their hands. On numerous occasions they attempted to end his life but they could not touch him because his hour (the hour in which he would glorify his Father by his death and resurrection) had not yet come.

Luke tells us that at the beginning of his ministry he came to Nazareth where he had grown up. While there, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day according to his custom and read from the book of Isaiah that was handed to him to read…

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GALATIANS 3:13, CURSED IS EVERYONE THAT HANGS ON A TREE

Rooted and Grounded In Christ

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. ~ Galatians 3:13-14

Some have taken Galatians 3:13 (referenced above) which says that Jesus was made to be a curse for us to support their claims that Jesus became the object of God’s righteous wrath when he died for our sins.

Those who teach such things often present the cross in a manner as if what actually happened to Jesus in the flesh wasn’t sufficient, and therefore some other manner of suffering or torture was needed, such as God punishing Jesus by spiritually condemning him as a substitution. 

However, Paul qualifies his declaration that Christ was made…

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USHERING IN THE COMING OF THE LORD

This will be very short and to the point.

There is a saying that is often repeated from pulpits. I am sure I have even said it myself in the past, but it is wrong and there is absolutely no truth in it. It is the idea that we can do things that will usher in the second coming of Jesus.

Oftentimes this idea is advanced as a way to get people involved in a certain line of thinking and action, because by doing so they will supposedly be aiding the ushering in of the coming of the Lord, but the reality is there simply is no such concept taught in the New Testament. If there were, the apostles who gave us the New Testament would have accomplished it.

The idea that we can do things that will usher in the coming of the Lord is false and it gives fertile ground to other false teachings. According to the scriptures we are called to live godly and holy lives because the time of the Lord’s coming is to always be viewed as at hand.

We are instructed over and over again in the New Testament to live in a manner that will be pleasing to the Lord when he returns. Throughout the centuries many saints have done just that. This alone refutes the notion that anyone can do anything to usher in the coming of the Lord.

Jesus is coming in the Father’s timing, which he has reserved to himself. 

ECCLESIASTES BRIEFLY EXPLAINED

Recently while on a painting job I let the book of Ecclesiastes play on my Bible app on my phone. Often times people think of this book as depressing (vanity of vanities, vexation of spirit, etc.). However, I believe the point the writer is making is that all the labor an toll of man is meaningless and in vain if we don’t master the one thing he leads us to:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, Fear God, and Keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. ~ Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Everything in this life truly is vain if we do not live with pleasing God as our motivation in life. Without this everything we do is in vain.

JESUS WAS MADE PERFECT BY THE THINGS HE SUFFERED: HEBREWS 5:8 -9

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him… Hebrews 5:8-9

What is the writer of Hebrews referring to when he says Jesus was made perfect by the things he suffered? Wasn’t Jesus already perfect, being without sin and one with God?

Certainly he was, but the writer of Hebrews is not addressing Jesus’s divine nature and oneness with God when he says Jesus was made perfect by the things he suffered. He is addressing Jesus’s oneness with human suffering and temptation, and if you will really catch on to what the writer of Hebrews is teaching us, your heart will leap with praise at the wondrous Savior God has given to us.

The writer of Hebrews emphasizes the reality of Jesus’s humanity and how Jesus (as a man) obtained an eternal priesthood through the things he suffered. In scripture, both the deity and humanity of Christ are expounded on. In Hebrews 1 the writer of Hebrews refers to Jesus as the One by whom God made the worlds, and the Lord who in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of his hands.

This very same Son who was with God, and was one with God as creator, is the one who also came and took on humanity in every respect so that he might make perfect reconciliation for our sins.

In chapter 2 the writer of Hebrews says the following:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.~ Hebrews 2:14-17

His partaking of flesh and blood was in like manner as ourselves so that he could be the perfect intercessor and mediator between an infallible, Holy God, and sinful man. Though Jesus had no sin, he suffered in his flesh by being tempted in every way as we are tempted.

For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. ~ Hebrews 2:18

This is specifically what the writer of Hebrews is referring to when he says Jesus was made perfect by the things he suffered. Jesus became acquainted with the depths of human suffering in every respect so that he could be the perfect intercessor. It does not mean that Jesus was not perfect with regards to his divine nature and oneness with God, but was made perfect as the sacrifice and priest we needed from the humanity standpoint.For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. ~ Hebrews 4:15-5:11

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To learn more about Jesus’s Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek follow the link below:

WHAT DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACH ABOUT OBEDIENCE TO GOD?

Below is some (not all, but some) of what the New Testament has to say about obedience.

According to the apostle Peter, believers were chosen by the foreknowledge of God through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and cleansed from sin by his blood. ~ 1 Peter 1:2

God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey him. ~ Acts 5:32

We are called to the obedience to the faith. ~ Romans 1:5; 16:26

By the obedience of Jesus many are made righteous. ~ Romans 5:19

We are servants to whom we yield our members (our bodies and mind) to obey. Thus we are either servants of sin that leads to death, or servants who obey God which leads to righteousness. ~ Romans 6:16

When we believe the gospel, we obey from the heart the doctrine of God we have heard. ~ Romans 6:17

The gospel is to be obeyed. ~ Romans 10:16; 1 Peter 4:17

We can be bewitched into not obeying the truth. ~ Galatians 3:1; 5:7

We run our race well when we obey the truth. ~ Galatians 5:7

Obedience is how we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. ~ Philippians 2:12

When Jesus returns he is taking vengeance on them that don’t know God, and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ 2 Thessalonians 1:8

We are to bring our imaginations and thoughts into obedience to Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:6

Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience by the things he suffered. And he was made perfect (through suffering) and has become the author of Salvation to all who obey him. ~ Hebrews 5: 8-9

We purify our souls by obeying the truth through the Holy Spirit which leads to a sincere love for others (our brethren in Christ), and so we are to love one another with a pure heart fervently. ~ 1 Peter 1:22 

JUDGING VISIONS, AND CLAIMS OF SUPERNATURAL EXPERIENCES

I received a comment from a lady named Nancy, and I want to publicly thank her. She graciously commended me for one of my posts and asked  a follow up question. My answer to her question may benefit others so I want to share it with you.

Nancy wrote, Good analysis/synopsis of this insanity. Wanting to ask you about all these sincere people who have claimed to have visited hell and some repeatedly with Jesus. Many claim to have seen Christians in hell. TY

Nancy, thank you for inspiring me. Here is my response to Nancy’s question:

The older I get and the longer I serve Christ, the less I believe any of them because there is nothing new under the Sun.

There are always contradictions against the scriptures that can be found in their testimonies. There is a reason why Paul described his experience as “hearing things that cannot be told, which man may not utter”  ~ 2 Corinthians 12:4. Paul would not even boast in his experience, yet these people use their experiences to promote themselves and to profit.

When Jesus gave the story of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus said the rich man went to hell and pleaded with Abraham to have mercy. Notice what Abraham said in response regarding the scriptures:

And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime received thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. ~ Luke 16:24 -31

Moses and the prophets is a reference to the scriptures that resulted from Moses and the ministry of the prophets.

In John 5,  Jesus told the Jews, Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. ~ 39-40

Later in the same chapter Jesus told them, Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? ~ v. 45-47 

I know of a preacher who claims to have gone to Heaven years ago and in his book about that experience, he claimed that Jesus informed him that he (Jesus) had brought him (the preacher) to heaven to tell him (the preacher) to tell people he (Jesus) was coming again. That was the message he conveyed.

You don’t need a supernatural experience to preach the coming of Jesus, but if Jesus were to give me an experience in Heaven and told me that he had brought me to Heaven to tell people he was coming again, you can believe that I would preach what Jesus had told me to preach more than anything else.

I don’t think I have ever heard this preacher preach on the coming of the Lord even once, Possibly I have heard him say the Lord is coming, but don’t remember ever hearing him emphasize it. Yet his book and testimony about going to heaven has been widely accepted and I am certain, profitable. In fact, I have my suspicions about his testimony for other reasons I won’t go into here. Suffice to say, I find holes in his claims as I do with many others.

Paul told the Colossians, Let no one disqualify you, insisting on ascetic practices and the worship of angels, claiming access to a visionary realm and inflated without cause by his unspiritual mind. ~ Colossians 2:18

The truth is these visionary claims often lead people to elevate the visionary’s words above the teachings of scripture.

Those who claim to have had such visions and experiences appeal to the masses of carnal Christians who often have no depth of spiritual understanding and who are very limited in their true knowledge of the teachings and doctrine of scripture. These visionaries teach and cause gullible believers to be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine.

I do believe it’s possible that a person could have an experience in which they had a divine encounter with an angel or a vision of Jesus, but those experiences are sacred and not equal to the authroity of the scriptures. A true experience would cause a person to likely not want to talk much about it because it would be too holy of an experience to just tell anyone. Real experiences that people in the Bible had with angels, or seeing the Glory of God were very sacred.

About 35 years ago, I had a very vivid dream in which I encountered Jesus. When I woke up I was aware of God’s holiness and the fear of the Lord was present. I don’t preach or teach based on that dream and don’t promote my ministry with it. It was a dream and a powerful one to me at the time, but it is not what I am called to preach and teach. I am called to preach and teach the Word of God and walk with Jesus daily. Honestly, that dream adds nothing to my life now, because Jesus is real to me because of the presence of the Holy Spirit who abides within my heart. That dream is not something I use to bring people under a spell to place me on a “spiritual pedestal.” In fact people should be free to judge it by the Word of God if I ever shared it and reject it if they found it wasn’t in line with the sound doctrine of scripture.

My wife can tell you I’m not all that – I’m not some spiritual giant because of a dream I had some 35 years ago.

When Peter described the voice that he and other disciples heard in the mount of transfiguration when they saw Jesus’s glory, he writes,  Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.” ~ 1 Peter 1:19

If anyone’s testimony of visions does not amplify the truth of scripture, and point people to the scriptures, they should not be accepted. Those who preach their visions, and make their visions equal to the scriptures in any manner, have embarked on being false teachers in error, and should be rejected.

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My article on Kat Kerr which Nancy commented on. This article will show you how to hold visions and experiences accountable to the Word of God

https://rootedandgroundedinchrist.com/2021/01/20/kat-kerr/



DECONSTRUCTING CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM: POST THREE – NEW TESTAMENT EVANGELISM

When Paul confronted fornication within the Corinthian church, he told them to judge the sin in their own house, and to leave the sin of those outside the house of God in the hands of God. Paul writes, It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”  ~ 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 NLT

As Christians we are called to live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity to be a testimony of the goodness of God. Our conversation is to be gracious and attractive so that we will have the right response for everyone. ~ See Colossians 4:5-6

Waging political warfare against groups of people outside the Christian faith such as the LGBTQ community is not walking wisely towards them, nor is it gracious and attractive for the cause of Christ. It only further isolates them.

In Titus 3, Paul instructs that we should not slander anyone and we must avoid quarreling and to be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Paul then reminds us that once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other…

But then something happened!

But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life. ~ Titus 3:4-7

As Christians we are not called to condemn the world for not living up to our moral standards, and neither are we called to wage political warfare against various groups of people such as the LGBTQ community. Rather we are called to be light to those who are lost in darkness. If you are a Christian, the gay married couple is not your enemy, they are your mission field!

This is understood when we consider the ministry of Jesus.

And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. ~ Matthew 9: 9-13

There is a whole lot in this one portion of scripture that upends the entire ideology that many Christians have been indoctrinated with.

First, consider that Jesus called a tax collector (Matthew) to be one of his disciples who would later become an apostle. Secondly, Jesus actually sat and dined with publicans and sinners in Matthew’s house.

How often have you heard of Christians inviting a gay couple from their neighborhood over for a meal? Yet Jesus modeled this when he sat with the publicans and sinners and ate with them. Jesus did not lead them to repentance by isolating them and dehumanizing them as untouchable sinners. No, Jesus led them to repentance, as a physician helping the sick. And he tells those who were appalled by his dining with publicans and sinners, go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice.

Unfortunately, many within the church have yet to learn what it means, and if you are indoctrinated with the ideas of christian nationalism and you have made the LGBTQ you political enemy, you certainly don’t know what it means.

In closing, consider the words of Paul who writes the following:

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. ~ 1 Timothy 1:12-16

DECONSTRUCTING CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM: POST TWO

I recently came across an article that was saturated with the ideology of Christian nationalism. While the author does not sound extreme, and I trust he is sincere, the beliefs he espouses are rampant within Christian nationalism. Among them is the belief that the United States has a covenant with God. In his article he compares the United States to Old Testament Israel. He writes the following:

In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses reflects deeply on the kind of character and activities loved by God and the type of behaviors and pursuits scorned by God. The first bring blessings, while the latter lead to reprimands. Like ancient Israel, America is in dire need of a covenant renewal. Obedience and knowledge of His Word are keys to a covenant relationship that equips “kings to reign and rulers to decree justice.”2

The fallacy in his position is comparing America to ancient Israel. The United States is not a covenant nation as Israel was. God personally chose Israel and made covenant with them and through Israel God brought the Messiah, Jesus, into the world.

For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? ~ Deuteronomy 4:7-8

God gave the law to Israel, not to America! And even so Israel could not keep God’s Law. Why then would any Christian think that America could keep God’s law? Israel is the only covenant physical nation that God has ever raised up as his own possession.

I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; t
o whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. ~ Romans 9:1-5 

Notice that Paul says concerning Israel: to whom pertains… the giving of the law.

Israel was given the law, and the responsibility of upholding God’s law so that all nations would know that there is a God in Israel, but Israel failed in this commission, because no nation can uphold God’s law, not even Israel. Thus God sent the Messiah, Jesus, to be the Savior of the world.

The church (God’s people in the Messiah) is the body through which the grace of Christ is ministered to a lost and dying world. We are called to be people of reconciliation, bringing healing and hope to the world through the love, mercy, and grace of Christ.  We are not commissioned to enforce the law, which is the agenda of the Christian nationalists, who themselves do not keep the law – this is exactly what Paul deals with among the Jewish nationalists in his day in the early chapters of Romans.

Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. ~ Romans 2:17-24

Rather than dealing with adultery, fornication, and other sins in their own house, christian nationalists would rather make “political emenies” against the likes of the LGBTQ community, because after all, the LGBTQ community are violating “God’s law.” Such hypocrisy is clearly seen by those outside the church and as Paul says, the name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles because of you.

In the same article I mentioned above, the the writer also makes the following statement:

When we fail to pass the Christian culture along to the next generation[s], then the nation, as Ephesians 4:14 warns, will be “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.” [NKJV]

Christian culture is not what needs to be passed on to the next generation. The truth of the gospel needs to be passed on. Christian culture often turns people away from the gospel because Christian culture can often be legalistic, judgmental, religious, cliquish, and hypocritical.  Furthermore, there are so many sects of Christianity, which form of Christian culture do you choose to pass on? People need Jesus not Christian culture.

Paul’s words in Ephesians 4:14 are not for the secular nation in which we live. Paul’s words are for the body of believers who are to grow up in Christ. This is precisely what is not happening if we think the church is called to christian-ize society within the nation though political means.

Christian nationalists want to enforce their culture & morality on the rest of the nation because they have no interest in the real work of evangelism. It’s much easier to oppose gay marriage, rather than show the love of Christ to gay couples.

Being judgmental, condemning, self righteous, and legalistic, requires no prayer, no dependance on the Holy Spirit, and no growth in grace. Walking in the truth of the gospel does.

The gospel reminds us that we are strangers and pilgrims in this world, and our true citizenship is in Heaven. The gospel also tells us that we are ambassadors for Christ, through whom God calls people to be reconciled unto him. These two truths are in no way compatible with the spirit and message behind Christian nationalism which seeks to christian-ize society with their version of God’s law.

The church is not called to Christian-ize society. Rather we are called to shine as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. And how do we do that? By loving our neighbor as ourselves.

Rather than being enforcers of our version of the law (condemning others by cherry picking verses, and using the Bible to undergird our prejudices), we are to be people of grace. For the person who offends the law in one only point is guilty of all James 2:10). None of us can point the finger because God has concluded that we are all under sin so that he can have mercy on us all – we all need Jesus.

Thus we embrace the love of God! For if we embrace the royal law of love according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, we will do well! ~ James 2:8

Follow the way of love and people will follow you to Jesus.