Monday Mind Dump (3/14/16)

March 14, 2016  |  Luke Simmons

  • Nice break from preaching yesterday.
  • I find that staying fresh means that I shouldn’t go more than about 8-10 weeks in a row.
  • Yesterday would have been week 10 in a row, so it was great to have Tyler Johnson there.
  • I so appreciate his friendship and his pastor’s heart.
  • Amazing to think back to meeting him in weight training class as a freshman at Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, CO.
  • God has grown him into one of the most remarkable people I know.
  • Not just because of how smart or insightful he is, but because of how he loves people.
  • That’s godliness.
  • After hearing yesterday’s message about ‘being known,’ somebody sent me this song.
  • It’s good.
  • Have some family coming in late tonight, so I’m looking forward to taking some time off this week, enjoying the gorgeous weather, and relaxing a bit.
  • Already looking forward to preaching again next week — this one’s about money.
  • It’s not going to be a giving message, but more of a message that helps us think differently (and be less paralyzed by fear) related to money.
  • Along those lines, we’re offering another Financial Peace University class soon.
  • Folks have averaged a $6,000 positive swing during the class — with other big results in the weeks and months that follow.
  • I used to dread preaching about money but not anymore.
  • I wrote about it here if you’re interested.
  • I’m anticipating the pastors meeting I’m leading this afternoon.
  • Once a month we do more of a training meeting with the pastors, where we try to learn something important together.
  • This time we all read chapters 16-17 from Center Church by Tim Keller, where he breaks down the four main ways that churches and Christians attempt to relate to culture:

Keller 4 Approaches to Culture

  • I think these different approaches help explain why Christians who share basically the same doctrine can have such different approaches to politics, cultural engagement, faith and work, and evangelism.
  • It also seems that most people have formed these approaches more intuitively and subconsciously than intentionally or knowingly.
  • Should be an interesting conversation, and will hopefully help us shepherd different kinds of people more effectively.
  • Speaking of politics, I continue to be amazed at the popularity of Donald Trump.
  • I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise anymore, but it is.
  • I’m especially baffled at real Christians who support his candidacy.
  • If I were asked to describe the qualities of a candidate who represented the polar opposite of Jesus’ approach to leadership, I’d end up with a description that–amazingly–looked a lot like Trump.
  • Along these lines, Stephen Prothero’s recent article, “The Huge Cultural Shift That’s Helping Trump win Evangelicals”,  was insightful and filled with penetrating critiques of “evangelicals” (I didn’t agree with all the critiques, but they’re still worth listening to).
  • Like this:

Though it’s common to talk about the Republican Party having been captured by white evangelical activists, if you really look at the way the two groups have interacted over the years, it’s more accurate to say that evangelicals have been captured by the Republican Party. They ape its talking points about welfare cheats rather than the Bible’s compassion for the poor and the oppressed.

  • Or this:

The Trump candidacy is no outlier. He has not hypnotized evangelicals into forgetting the foundations of their faith. He is simply revealing the fact that their faith is now more political than theological.

  • One more:

Today, when born-again Christians hold up posters at rallies that read, “Thank you, Lord Jesus, for President Trump,” when they say they are sick of false promises from supposedly pious presidents on abortion or gay marriage and just want a strong man in the White House who can stop illegal immigration or keep us safe or just “smash things,” what are they saying? They are saying that their political identity has trumped their religious identity. They are saying that they are conservatives first and Christians second.

  • Ouch.
  • I can’t help but agree.
  • And it makes me really sad — for our country and for the sake of the gospel.
  • I know that some folks think I shouldn’t write or talk about this stuff, but I think our church needs a prophetic voice that is calling us to live with Jesus as Lord over everything — including politics.
  • And I know that for people with mostly politically conservative views (like me), the thought of a Trump nomination creates quite a quandry.
  • The difficulty of this situation was perfectly illustrated in this conversation I heard between radio host Bill Bennett and National Review’s Jonah Goldberg.
  • Worth a listen.
  • Well, on a much more encouraging note, we’ve got a great team of folks headed to Juarez this week to bless some folks in need.
  • We asked people from Gateway to bring diapers, wipes, and formula that we can give to some of the local churches down there.
  • The response was amazing:

Diapers for Juarez

  • The generosity of Redemption Gateway strikes again!
  • Such a huge honor to pastor people who see themselves as blessed to be a blessing.
  • Thank, you Gateway!
  • Well, you know what your last day of work before vacation is like?
  • That’s my day — gotta run.
  • All of life is all for Jesus.