I have recorded and published a new podcast in my “What Does it Mean to Be a Christian?” series. This one takes on the topic of authority.
Here are a few of the highlights:
- Christianity uses the language of authority. For example: God is sovereign, Jesus speaks with authority. Jesus is the King. Christians are servants, of Christ.
- As a culture we have become uncomfortable with authority. It feels oppressive. Freedom comes when we throw off authority. In fact, a lot of good has come from throwing off oppressive authorities.
- There have been many abuses of human authority in the realms of government and religion. We misuse authority when it becomes merely a tool of the powerful against the weak as a way of securing self-interest.
A Christian vision of Authority:
- Jesus came as a King, but did not act like the people thought a king should act (with power, coercion, military strength).
- Instead Jesus came in humility. He taught an “upside down kingdom”. He died on the cross.
- Nevertheless, his death (and subsequent resurrection) was an act of victorious power over our most vicious enemies: Sin and Death.
- The pattern of Jesus’s life and death undermines the human vision of authority of the powerful over the weak and gives a truly Christ-centered vision of authority that serves instead of demanding service.
- Finally, God has authority as Creator that humans can never have. Abuse of human authority comes when we reject Jesus’s pattern or try to take God’s authority for ourselves.
You can listen to the podcast here. You can also subscribe through any number of podcasting Apps.
“Do I need to forgive someone right away?”
This question came up during our church’s Q&A after the sermon that Pastor John has been holding. I decided it might be interesting to expand on this in a podcast. Here it is.
Can’t listen to the podcast right away? Here’s the basic outline:
- We use the term “forgive” in two senses: (1) Stop feeling angry/resentful toward the person who hurt you and (2) Restore the relationship with the person who hurt you.
- In the first sense, it is possible to immediately give up the right to judge to God, but it may take a while for resentful feelings to go away (and that’s OK).
- In the second sense, full restoration might not be possible, and even then, the nature of the relationship may need to change.
- Biblical forgiveness aims towards reconciliation, but it’s possible to live at peace even when new boundaries need to be put up.
- You can (and should) decide immediately to give up vengeance to God. But, emotional and relational healing take time.
This is obviously just a partial answer, I would love to hear other responses.
My latest podcast is up.
Today is the day after the 2018 mid-terms. For the next few days we’re going to hear a lot of narratives, or stories, about what happened and about what is happening in our country, maybe even more broadly. In fact, we tell stories about our world to help us make sense out of our lives and give them meaning.
In the Bible, God is telling us a (true) story, and it’s the story of God’s rescue. This episode looks at how the Old Testament fits into that broad story.
Oh man, I’m way behind on my blogging these days! But, I did just record the next episode in my “What Does it Mean to be a Christian?” podcast. Here it is: The Bible – Creation and Corruption