Posts Tagged 'Gospel Witness'

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Truth, Justice and a Better Way: A Conversation about Racism and the Gospel


 


You will most likely read an article similar to this one later this year and probably again a year or so after that. This is not meant to devalue your current use of time and oxygen. It’s meant to underscore a problem in our country that doesn’t seem to be going away.

Much of the time we forget there is a problem. Our 24-hour news cycle ruins our memory. Sorry, can’t recall what happened two weeks ago—something super important is going down right now!

Trayvon Martin was killed nearly five years ago. Michael Brown was killed just over two years ago. But in our collective conscience, these stories may as well have taken place a generation ago. Even the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille, two black men who were shot and killed by police officers on July 5 and 6, respectively, of this year, have already faded from our memories. This is particularly strange given that it was their deaths that prompted the Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas on July 7.

Do you remember Dallas? Five Dallas police officers, who were providing security for the rally, were shot and killed by a sniper. I remember Dallas. I watched it unfold in real time on Twitter. I remember the feeling of despair sinking deeper and deeper into my gut. I remember thinking that our country was coming apart.

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You Learn to Love by Loving (and Listening to Other People’s Music?)


 

Being interested in the interests of others shows that we love them — and are willing to meet them where they’re at.



My dad had his sports talk radio station blaring on the radio … again. It’s not that I dislike it, but, well, it’s tedious. He was feeding horses and I was cleaning stalls, so for a short period of time, I was subjected to listening to radio personalities talking about basketball stars — something that is not my thing.

It didn’t hit me until later: Being exposed to things that are “not my thing” is probably what makes me a more well-rounded and open-minded person. I may have never seen an episode of Game of Thrones (no cable, no time to binge-watch anything on the internet) but I do have an inkling as to what it is about. Likewise, I can recite the basic rules of just about any sport except cricket; I know the Constitution (even though I sometimes get the Fourth Amendment and Fifth Amendment reversed); I understand enough about science to laugh at Chemistry Cat jokes, and I appreciate Pi Day for all the appropriate reasons. This introvert certainly doesn’t like to talk to strangers at a party, but if I must, I certainly can converse on a variety of subjects outside my “comfort zone” and be interested in what the other person has to say.

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Your Neighborhood Is a Parish


 


The unseasonably warm weather has awakened my neighbors from their winter hibernation. Kids cruise by on their bikes, dads take their toddlers on walks to the park and the smell of the grill awakens the atmosphere.

In other words, “neighboring season” comes early this year. Yes, March and April will probably bring some crazy spring blizzards, but as those trained in the art of neighboring, we should pay attention to the weather. Our neighbors already are.

To get your heart ready for loving your neighbors like Jesus, getting your legs in walking shape might be a good first step (pun intended). I’ll let Matt Canlis and the people of Methlick Parish in Scotland explain.

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Dorm It: Inhibitions, Insecurities and Loving Like Jesus in the CSU Dorms


 


The scholarship offer from Summitview to live in the CSU dorms came about a week before move-in. I am okay with quick, large decisions for the sake of spreading the gospel, but this faced me with one of my darker inhibitions: Could I be loving in the dorms? Just three years ago, living in Parmelee Hall as an unsaved freshman, I hated the dorms and the mass moral irresponsibility around me (I was very self-righteous).

I dreaded the thought of wasting the scholarship but I told my peers I would surrender the opportunity to God. I was a bit late in the game, but God was already making preparations. I had to find someone to replace me on my current lease, but a friend I had just convinced to move from California filled my spot. I didn’t have many possessions. The only barrier was my heart. God reminded me that he is always with me and that he is more than enough to overcome my heart. Jeremiah 1:7-8 helped me when I thought I lacked the authority or credentials to share the gospel:

 

But the Lord said to [Jeremiah],
“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.”

 

This is the motif of human life: It isn’t about me or my worthiness; rather, it is about a God who is with and in me. Given that, I decided to accept the offer to live on campus.

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Should the Church Actively Champion the Pro-life Cause?




Editor’s note: Sunday, January 17, was Sanctity of Life Sunday. The current election cycle and the sting videos from the Center for Medical Progress have kept the abortion issue at the forefront of our national conversation (and conscience) for much of the last year. Posts about the issue appeared at All Things New, we encouraged Summitviewers to attend pro-life rallies back in the summer and we’ll be supporting the Alpha Center through their baby bottle campaign for the next few weeks. This, it seems, is what the American church has done, to one degree or another, since 1973: Fight for the rights of the unborn.

But after 42 years of unapologetic activism, it is worth reflecting on
why this has become the de facto cause of American evangelicals. To press further, should the church actively champion the pro-life cause? Summitview’s pastors take turns answering this question.


Nathan Hrouda: Absolutely, the church ought to champion the pro-life cause. This is a question that must be answered with proper emotion, though, because it concerns people and not just policy. Life matters to God, and the fact that we need to state this is cause for grieving (Romans 12:15). We grieve with all the women who have had an abortion and live in shame and pain over what they’ve done. We grieve for the murdered children who weren’t given the opportunity to grow into their full potential as human beings. We grieve with God, who sees his creation torn by selfishness, sin and abuse, and who, because of all this grief, sent his Son to take our grief onto his own self and be sacrificed for the many.

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