A bit of editorializing on a few topics… easy like a Saturday evening.
by Michael Todaro
Is Christianity politically incorrect?
I got this from a friend, and it’s an interesting question.
If we are talking about whether we agree with the political consensus at a given time, this could be really tough to answer. There is always a certain “brand” of Christianity that is in vogue. Whether the “Moral Majority” is ever actually the majority is questionable. However, it seems to me that true Christians will always be in the minority.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” —Matthew 7:13-14
In that sense, Christianity will never be the majority for very long. And where it is, it will be watered down with compromise so that it is no longer really Christianity, but some empty shell of Christendom, a cultural church-y power group that has earthly goals with Christian language. When Christians equate political party with the church, there is no good news of Jesus. Instead of the gospel, there are cultural goals and demands.
The other way we could go with the question is whether Christianity is offensive. The short answer to that is “yes and no”. Christians are not to be offensive or wear “politically incorrect” as a badge of honor. You may as well have a name tag that says “Hello, my name is… Jerk”. Christians are supposed to be wholly (holy) unoffensive and loving, above reproach and honorable.
If anything offends, it is the gospel. That will get you killed. But protesting bathroom policies is not preaching the gospel. Boycotting is not preaching the gospel. Building a wall at the Mexican border doesn’t make Trump the equivalent of Nehemiah. Am I saying that we should be apolitical? Not at all. Are these not real issues? Of course they are. However, we must be wise in how we vocalize dissent. We can’t baptize everything in Jesus’ name.
Let’s preach the gospel and have eternal goals. Let love and faith inform our energy to seek change. Too often “politically incorrect” Christians are not “love and faith”, but fear and loathing.
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing… Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.—1 Peter 3:9, 13-17
Should calculators be used in math class?
Let’s be honest. Calculators are used heavily because of standardized testing. Schools use them to get better results on those tests. The test makers, in turn, make the tests less “calculator friendly” and we end up with ridiculously literary questions that are deemed “conceptual”. Before you know it, it’s not math, anymore. Who cares if you can recognize a negative slope on the graph of the calculator if you can’t tell it’s negative in the equation? If you don’t know the difference between two and one-half, please don’t administer my meds when I’m old.
Will the student who passes Algebra be able to buy a house? Or bake a cake?
The whole thing can become more akin to a ballgame—in fact, it’s alot like the movie “Moneyball”. The teacher cuts every corner possible to cull together success from what is arguably fundamentally unsound. It seems to me we are missing an opportunity to teach them to think.
Let’s leverage the calculator. Achieve mastery of the mathematical skill. Use various 4 function, scientific, and graphing calculators for efficiency, critical thinking, application, and confirmation. However, do not use them to teach. Do not use them to “google” an answer.
This makes me think about Bible study, actually. Do Christians still dig and spend long hours in the Word, learning and seeing and delighting in God? Or do we short circuit our knowledge of the Holy, by relying on Bible verse memes and sermon-bites? When we need an answer to a question, do we use a concordance and look up everything the Bible has to say or do we merely google our favorite Bible teacher and call it day. As Christians, do we know how to think about God?
Family Bible Study
If those last two posts were a bit opinionated, please take it with a grain of salt. After all, these are editorials or “opinion” pieces. We can disagree lovingly about many things as long as we agree on the gospel.
For this final Saturday evening topic, I want to merely encourage you to open the Bible as a family. You don’t need a special Bible, bestselling children’s book, or edgy app. Open the Word and talk and pray. Your children will listen. Your spouse will shine. You will find rest for your soul in Christ. If you know the gospel, the Bible is an open book.
My family is currently going through Exodus and Mark. We read small portions and talk about it and pray. We sing songs. We talk about Pharoah’s heart and God’s power and man’s sinfulness. We talk about how Jesus healed withered hands. We talk about the sign of Moses’ leprous hand. When those things show up on the same day it’s a happy “accident”.
If you need a place to start, try Exodus and Mark. Exodus is an engaging story, and Mark is the action gospel. Emma draws a picture after the story. We pray for forgiveness, healing, patience, soft hearts… It’s awesome.
Thanks to our church and our home group for sparking this simple approach. I’m merely passing along this encouragement—Let your Bible study overflow onto your breakfast/dinner table.
Do you love me? …Feed my sheep. —John 21:17
Lux to you,