“For every century in the life of the Church, there have been places of persecution. In many instances, the persecution has included terrible, physical violence and even martyrdom. Rather than the world evolving into a more and more mellow environment, the persecution has actually accelerated. In the twentieth century, more Christians were martyred than in the previous nineteen centuries put together! Hopes that the world would mature and come to a more civilized and gracious demeanor have certainly not been realized. Increasingly, as the realities of Christendom have faded into a memory, there have been a number of forces assaulting Christians: Secularism, Radical Islam, and Paganism.”

Much, much more here. Must read material!

Agapé Does Not Mean What Many Think It Means

As I have been preparing several essays on ἀγάπη I came across this from Kelly Wright:

“In an article he wrote for Ebony magazine in 1966 titled Nonviolence: The Only Road to Freedom in 1966, King sounded the alarm that it is a moral imperative to be non-violent: “Only a refusal to hate or kill can put an end to the chains of violence in the world and lead us toward a community where men can live together without fear. Our goal is to create a beloved community.”

As King addressed the issues of his time and promoted a society of brotherhood, he wanted to avoid being looked upon as a super and unrealistic optimist in an age of cynicism and pessimism.

He wrote on page 64 of his book, Struggle to Love: “As we struggle to defeat the forces of evil, the God of the universe struggles with us. Evil dies on the seashore, not merely because of man’s endless struggle against it, but because of God’s power to defeat it.”

Dr. King did, and still does, encourage all of us to come to the table of brotherhood, to discuss our differences openly and honestly, to work and pray for a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Dr. King would remind us that in everything we do, we must act in love. Not in some sort of sentimental love.

He explained it would be difficult for men to love their enemies or oppressors in an affectionate sense. Because of that, he pushed the concept of Agape love. He explained that Agape love is not sentimental or affectionate, but is a reciprocal love.

A person will love out of a redeeming good will for mankind. It is the kind of sacrificial love that seeks nothing in return.”

Read it all here.

Seriously, hie thee hence.

You’re welcome!

Conservative Naiveté and Politics…and Church ‘Polity’ and Our Christian Witness to Boot

These are difficult times. Understanding where we stand is a good step toward appropriately dealing with the reality of the times. We must not and cannot plant our heads in the sand. Too much rides on our being light and salt and the body of Christ for a deeply darkening world.

A snippet to whet your appetite – from Sarah Hey at Stand Firm in Faith:

“…The continued naive cluelessness from conservatives in our country and in various smaller organizations [like TEC] being eaten alive by revisionist parasite ideas continues to astound me. Most of us simply do not have discernment, and we continue to act “as if” something is not true that is true. That thing is well-described in this political theory article I’ve linked to over at RedState and from which the below is excerpted. Time after time after time, Our Allies act as if our opponents are one way, when in fact they are the other way entirely. You can’t act or think or write or discern effectively when you’ve completely and totally misunderstood the nature of your opponent or his future actions and responses. …

Hie thee hence for the remainder of this very timely word. P.S. – Read the comments as well.

Uncomfortable Words about Conduct, Critical Analysis, and Be-ing

Dear ἐκκλησία,

We live in the midst of a time in history where myriads upon myriads of voices are competing rather cunningly not only for our attention but more importantly for the most prominent places in our decision making, advisory, and influential capacities. Constitutive Christian doctrines, tenets, principles, teachings, ethics, practices, and beliefs suddenly become negotiable to the point of being unrecognizable from divine design and purpose; or optional; or even archaic.

At the following link, Dr. Wayne Grudem sets forth  a “reminder of what God’s Word has to say about homosexual conduct, a teaching many believers increasingly prefer to forget”.

It is an uncomfortable reminder that is nonetheless crucial and imperative. Please consider prayerfully and reflectively.

An admonition, if I may: please walk (and pray, think, be, and act) in αγάπη as Christ ἠγάπησεν us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  (Please note the word αγάπη. The love we be and do toward God and others is the love to which I’m referring. Got that?)   ~Ephesians 5:2

Link to Grudem’s article.

χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη πληθυνθείη