Lots to update you on–from authors to politics, church life to tour dates–so let’s dive in…
First off, I failed to mention the ever illustrious Bryan Davis on last week’s Post-FFT Blog Tour. The man is a prolific writer, amazing father, and passionate man of God. And not without his own mysteries: Like how a devote, conservative, homeschooling dad can write about dragons? (Say what?) You should ask him! Bryan’s incredible heart for young people (as displayed through his numerous hours spent online in his forum each week) and passion for the Gospel make him the most outspoken Christian Fantasy Apologist that I know! If you’re not familiar with his work, please visit his website and tell him I sent you.
Part of the delay was due to the fact that my home church, New Life Christian Church, is moving into our new building this week! This is a momentous occasion for us (to say the least!) as we’re vacating our 1836 limestone chapel for a renovated movie theater in the rapidly developing area of Watertown. The transformation has been nothing short of a miracle in itself, and the community of Believers that has pulled it off is simply astounding. I spent all last week painting the logo on a massive wall directly across from the waterfall (you heard me…waterfall), and my team is preparing to install the first phase of the audio and video systems tomorrow morning. Please keep us in prayer as we kick off this Sunday in our new home!
This week on the Post-FFT Blog Tour, we’re all featuring Mr. L.B. Graham. I had the privilege of meeting L.B. for the first time when we arrived in Abbotsford, BC at the start of the tour. Each one of the tour members is so unique, I was quite amazed at how so many different people from so many various backgrounds could survive ten days tunafished into a 15 passenger van! But L.B., apart from his brilliant mind, set us all at ease. As easy going as they come, I knew right away he was passionate about some of the same things I am. Like food (“It’s a Jack In The Box!”) and music (“Rockin’ the suburbs, baby!”). Of course he is well known as an author, too, but it’s nice to know that your writing hero’s are also people with many diverse tastes in music and food! To learn more about his Binding of The Blade series, please visit his site and, again, tell him I sent you.
Next on the agenda, I just want to give a shout out to all those who we’ll be worshiping with us this weekend at Saturate @ Elim in Lima, NY. We’ll be leading some worship alongside Isaiah 6, Adam McCain, Jude Fouquier, and Jeff Clark. As soon as that conference is done, we’ll be headed to Rochester and pick up with the November DIBOR Conference that will already be underway. So please keep us in prayer as it will be a long weekend, but hopefully very fruitful.
Lastly, I felt I should say something about tomorrow’s election given the fact that it’s an important subject and I’ve tried to make my blog something that addresses important subjects. And as I was thinking about all the things I could say, two things came to mind.
The first is that the President of the United States does not hold the country in the palm of his or her hand, although that’s the impression the media gives us (at last one thing that’s truly bipartisan!); nor is this the “most important election of our generation,” even though that’s been said during every election for the past 36 years (as reminded to us by my pastor in yesterday’s service); nor is this president going to fulfill any more “promises for change” than all the presidencies before (also as stated by all presidential candidates for the past 36 years). There is only one who holds the nations in the palm of his hand…and last I checked, he’s laughing (Psalm 2:4).
The point I would like you, my reader, to remember is that if there are any major catalysts for change in this country, it is not the politicians, although they certainly have had their day. It is not the media, even though they’ve picked up what we’ve dropped in most cases. It’s the Church. Whether she realizes it or not is irrelevant. The fact is we have been given the power and authority to be ambassadors for a different Kingdom, and it’s your birthright if you’re a Believer (2 Corinthians 5:20). We are seated with Christ in heavenly places and therefore have the distinct ability of having a different perspective on all matters of the earth, one that is uniquely divine (Ephesians 2:6). And one of the most holy things you can do as a Christian is to actually live among the world and influence them (1 Peter 2:9-12). If you think only “certain people” have power, it may be in part because you haven’t been exercising your own, realizing that you, dear brother and sister in Christ, have been called to influence the world around you just as Jesus did. In paraphrasing one of my favorite authors, Watchman Nee once wrote that we are not to be affected by our environment, but are called to affect our environment.
There is a call in the Spirit saying, “Church, rise up!” Will you respond?
Secondly, I’d like to submit something on the political level–this, my thesis for why I vote the way I do. It seems to me that there are three main cultures that comprise the human existence in our current day, at least for me up here in beautiful northern NY. Those are: Family, Church, Community. While I traverse the world as much as anyone of my contemporaries, I want to be as simple and realistic as I can, so I’m leaving “State, Country, World” out of this (sorry U.N.). But understand that I believe Communities are called to affect those last three cultures.
A Biblical study will show without question that I first have a commitment to the institution of marriage and those that are my kin, parental as well as children. Family is the building block of humanity. And remember, its God’s invention, not mine. He liked the covenant he fashioned between himself, Adam and Eve, and those after them. Next, I have a Biblical mandate to be an active part of the Body of Christ, not forsaking meeting together, nor teaching the tenants of the faith as well as the demonstration of the power of the Gospel which is life to those who are perishing. Lastly, I have a Biblical mandate to see to the well being of those in Community around me, to their needs and welfare. This Community also serves my personal command to work diligently and be fruitful. Since both Family and Church serve this end, the three are interlaced at their very core, such that interfering with one affects all the rest.
When examining those running for public office–those who represent me–the basis of my vote stems from my analysis of who is seeking to keep these three foundations of culture in the greatest health with the least amount of intrusion. Let me explain.
.: FAMILY :.
If someone is attacking the very essence of the covenant of marriage by trying to redefine it, I see them as a threat to the foundation of God’s idea, and thus undermining my first cultural commitment to Family. Likewise, if they are trying to justify taking the lives of unborn children, that too is a direct assault on the core right to life that God decided was a good idea. If the argument here is a lack of compassion, so be it; forgive me for not being compassionate enough to help all the “victims of abuse” to see their babies to life and health. That one I take on the chin. But do not endorse legislation that permits murder under the guise of compassion.
.: CHURCH :.
These same attacks on the Family also take their toll on the Church, my next cultural commitment. Here, they bring into question the very moral fiber of the belief system and seek to undermine what is being taught, as well as the teachers themselves, and the manual the teachings come from: The Bible. Of course this doesn’t even touch the fact that such “advances” placate enmity with God himself. But the assault on the Church goes further, in many cases picking up where she failed. Where she was to be caring for the needs of the Community, the government stepped in. In what I can only believe was a demonic plan, the Church abdicated her responsibility of the welfare of her Communities to politicians. That, my friends, is something I long to take back…I burn for it.
.: COMMUNITY :.
The Communities that form the furthest cultural ring around us are, among other things, meant to be sources of support and revenue, continual streams that feed the Families and the Churches to keep doing what they do. But when the businesses in those communities are taxed beyond their means, all in the name of “helping,” they begin to collapse. As a business owner myself, I could not be more intimately aware of this. And the fact that a far-off-and-distant ruling body somehow knows how my money should be spent not only belittles my stature as a human being by assuming that they know better, but removes my ability to invest myself into the lives of employees and Families alike. They, do it for me? The incentive to continue doing business is removed as well as the blessing I receive from giving.
So who do I vote for? I look for the people that stand behind God’s definition of Family, seeing such entities as the foundation of our nation; leaders that empower and inspire the Church to not only care for its Communities but reinforce the morals that she represents; and politicians that believe Communities and the businesses within them have strength to carry the burden’s of her people without their help.
For more good, thought provoking commentary on voting from a Christian world view, please read Wayne’s piece here.