Brandon Kelley preaching week 4 of the Citizenship series at The Crossing.
Title: Seeking Asylum
Bottom Line: The peace of His world replaces the panic of ours.
I am super pumped to share that my second book is going to be published early 2017.
It’s called, Crucified to Life: What Abundant Life in Christ Really Looks Like
Today I turned 27. It’s the oldest I’ve ever been. And as I think about getting closer to the dreaded age of 30 (at least for me), many things have come to mind. The biggest thing that comes to mind is the fact that I have so far to go. I’m nowhere near where I want to be as a follower of Christ, as a husband, as a father, as a pastor, as a friend, and as a writer.
But another thing comes to mind – I’ve learned some things along the way. I always try to be a voracious learner. And maybe, just maybe, something in this list of 27 things I’ve learned from 27 years of existence will connect with you.
This is painful to research. It is even more painful to share. I’m sure it is even more painful to hear. But research, share, hear, and do something, we must. The heartbreaking reality of 132 million children is that they are orphans. Young and without parents, many are homeless, starving, and end up dying very young.
Let’s jump in…
Most Americans misunderstand God greatly. The god most Americans worship is the man upstairs who doesn’t take much seriously, who will always bow to the desires of his creation, and has the first and foremost goal of giving happiness to everyone. Americans worship a puny god who doesn’t have infinite power, infinite wisdom, or infinite anything. Oh, you wonder how I know this? Well, Americans have said it. Lifeway Research and Ligonier Ministries recently came out with the results of their research entitled, The State of Theology. And the results? Frightening.
Even among self-professing evangelicals, the results are eye-opening and concerning. No longer do evangelicals reference Scripture to find out what God is like. Instead, they consult their own opinions that have been influenced by half-listened-to sermons, documentaries on Netflix, and the latest book by ultra happy, always smiling, good ole Joel. So, the problem doesn’t just stem within the American unchurched. The problem stems in the pews of small church America all the way to the stadium seats of megachurch America.
When numbers get this high, it’s hard to comprehend. We live in a world where, every year, 40-50 million are systematically killed for the worship of self. Individualism is the culprit, manifested specifically through the acts of abortion. Every year, 40-50 million children in the womb are aborted and killed by mothers who have chosen self above them (Source: worldometers citing World Health Org.).
Let’s jump in…
God then country is a myth for most. In theory, many strive to have their priorities correctly aligned, but all too often, what we are really passionate about and what we really care about come to the surface. And with the implied marriage between political leanings and religious beliefs in America, it’s easy to creep into American first, Christian second. No one will question you. Many will applaud you. But we need to bring clarity to the situation.
Before we go any further, it’s important to note that Jesus’ followers covered a broad spectrum of political leanings. Matthew the tax collector and Simon the zealot couldn’t have been more opposite in the political stances they took. The radical left and the radical right, as manifested in the first century, were represented in the ragtag group we know as the disciples. But what we see happen is that when the realization of what Christ’s kingdom is really like, these men with political leanings like you and me made primary the cause of Christ and secondary the cause of their politics.
Along with a hundred million others, last night I looked upon the site of our two leading presidential candidates take part in a debate. It was filled with everything you would come to expect… Lots of fluff without a lot of substance. More than that, it was a loud reminder of what election season magnifies for the Church.
For many people, once January and February of 2017 roll around, life will go back to normal. And for many in the Church, this important lesson will be lost. Let’s grasp this and hold on to it.