Monday Picks ~ 10-31-2016

Picks Monday

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

The Crack Begins at the BottomTim Challies
The Cracks Begin at the Bottom
Great ruptures in the church often begin with just one member gossiping about another or just two quarreling members who have no desire to pursue reconciliation. Great division often begins with a clique that refuses to integrate with the rest of the congregation or with a small group of people who make a disputable matter into a matter of spiritual life and death. Sometimes it’s one person who asks questions meant to cause others to doubt the good intentions of the pastors…

But if that is true, so is the opposite. You have the ability to promote and maintain unity in your church. And your task as a member of a church is not only to avoid disunity, but to actively pursue unity…

This thought actually crossed my mind last night as I listened to the fans at Wrigley Field sing…

Unashamed to Sing: Lesson from a Cubs Fan
Matthew Westerholm
…imagine someone after a Cub’s victory turning to his neighbor and saying, “This song is corny and old-fashioned. It’s not my style.” A thoughtful neighbor would respond, “You’re missing the point. Our team just won!”

Perhaps that disconnect between the victory and its celebration is at the heart of some of the squabbles over preferences in our worship services.

3 Truths You Should Remember, No Matter What You Do in the Voting BoothTrevin Wax
LightstockI’ve heard some Christians claim that this election matters because America is the last great hope for Christianity. That’s silly. Surely it’s the other way around. It’s Christianity that is the last great hope for America. Christians believe that Jesus is King—His Court is higher than any Supreme Court and He will hold the world to account.

We are most certainly political. But we cannot put party over principle or partisanship over the proclamation of the gospel. Christians believe God is sovereign over all human powers and authorities. We answer to Him, not the party bosses, not the “establishment,” not the political pundits, not the populace, and certainly not the president.

That’s why, at our best, Christians ought to be those who can easily cross political dividing lines. For 2000 years, church leaders have gained a reputation for being the champions of the poor, for lifting up the marginalized, and for speaking on behalf of those with no voice. This year alone, we’ve seen evangelical Christians on the front lines in settling refugees, ministering to immigrants, and protesting the ongoing violence of abortion.

Right, left, middle, wherever—political parties always tend to turn away from people who are “inconvenient,” to ask “Who is my neighbor?” as a way of shirking our duty to others. Christians, however, are called to see the image of God in every human being, and to call all people everywhere to bow the knee to our King.

Bizarro – Click image for a larger view.

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