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Year 2020 seems to be the Year-of-Discord. We’re a divided and fragmented people, and it feels like it’s getting worse.

Christians used to disagree about music, church worship format, versions of the Bible, and lifestyle issues. Remember the old ditty, “I don’t drink, and I don’t chew, and I don’t go with girls who do?” That was funny, and though it strikes us as innocent now, it captured some of the church battles of the past fifty years.

In 2020, issues are more intense. 

We strenuously disagree about COVID-19: Wear a mask—Don’t wear a mask.

We disagree about how to deal with racism and position slogans in opposition: “Black lives matter” vs “Blue lives matter” vs “All lives matter.”

We disagree about sexuality – LGBTQ, same-sex marriage, and much more. 

…about the 2nd Amendment and defunding the police.

…about climate change, and what causes wildfires or hurricanes.

…about immigration, borders, and how to help the poor.

…about “Make America Great Again” vs. “Build Back Better.”

These issues are dividing the Church. The Body of Christ is increasingly at odds with itself.

Yet God said, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” There is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all. (Eph. 3:4-6).

Discord makes a field day for the Devil. A divided Church, one lacking unity, is a less effective Church. If we are not able to get along with other Christians in our fellowship—or God forbid we’re exchanging rancor and distrust—we are not blessed with fellowship. And worse, we offer nothing to those seeking peace and hope.

Now this does not mean we cannot disagree. In fact, respectful disagreement promotes critical thinking or spiritual discernment and wise decisions. Nor is this an argument for the moral equivalency of all issues, because this is untrue. The Bible speaks directly to the morality of some issues, while providing principles upon which we can draw to decide our stance regarding other issues. 

In all this, we must disagree in a context of a Christian faith, meaning 

--we affirm biblical values, 

--we embrace Christian liberty and allow for differences of conscience, 

--we speak the truth in love, 

--we exercise grace with humility, knowing we all see through a glass darkly.

Politics are important but not more important than Christian faith. 

We must honor others above ourselves…even and especially those with whom we disagree.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Is it possible to feel safe in an unsafe world?

Years ago, political activist Ralph Nader wrote a bestseller about the auto industry called Unsafe At Any Speed.  The book put Nader on the map and was the subject of controversy for years.

Most of us care about safety.  We want our family to enjoy life but be safe in the process.  Yet we live in what the Scripture calls a “fallen world.” 

Sin affects everything in God’s beautiful creation.  Criminal behavior, disease, conflict and wars, not to mention bad weather, all confront us.

So how do we stay safe in an unsafe world?

In Psalm 142, King David is hiding from his enemies in a cave.  He says, “I cry aloud.”  “I pour out my complaint.”  “No one is concerned for me.”  “I am in desperate need.”

Then he refocuses on what he knows to be true: “O Lord, you are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” 

When the seas of life seem ready to overwhelm us, the surest way to steady the ship is to trust in our heavenly Father.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Is it possible to know “Why” God allows certain developments in the world?

Human beings are inquisitive people.  We want to know why things happen, what they mean, what might happen next.  It’s human nature.  

And to some extent we can discover answers to our questions because God made us in his image, with the ability to reason and learn.  We can think, but we are not omniscient.

When bad or destructive things happen, like tornadoes or weather events the insurance industry calls “Acts of God,” we want to know why.  When tragedy occurs, like an accidental death, we want to know why.  When serious illness strikes, we want to know why.

Sometimes we might be able to discern why, but usually this is long into the future when we benefit from hindsight.  But often, we will not know.

Scripture reminds us,

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

When we do not know, yet we know God’s character and promises, so we put our trust in him.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

In the country, the virtues of a pastoral life are evident. It reminds me what matters in life: Faith, Family, Friends.

Sure, Food, Fortune, Fun are OK too, as long as these things don’t misdirect our lives.

Solomon said,

“Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

In this 2:22 min video I reflect upon our family verse, Psalm 126:3, "The LORD has done great things for us; whereof, we are glad." We chose this verse in January 1976 when we had our first of what was later four babies. This little girl was our Bicentennial Baby, and we were overjoyed. Indeed, the Lord had done great things for us and we were glad.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemonium, let's consider some good things, what the Lord has done for us.

By virtue of my birth, I am a citizen of the USA and with it am beneficiary to political freedom and civil liberties someone else sacrificed to give to me. I did nothing to earn them.

By virtue of my rebirth, I am a citizen of heaven and with this forgiveness of sin by grace through faith in Jesus Christ I am beneficiary to spiritual freedom that Jesus sacrificed to give to me. I did nothing to earn this.

Indeed, the Lord has done great things for me; whereof, I am glad.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020

This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com Follow him at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.

 


This 1:37 min video was produced atop Mt Nebo in Jordan, the place where Moses looked into the Promise Land.



© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020

*This video may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.