- Party in Hell. Hell, Michigan, is doing its best to capitalize on American evangelical superstition. (Justin, are you going? If so, pick me up one of the official titles to "1 square inch of Hell.")
- Tim Lahaye's newest end-times histrionics is arriving.
- The remake of Omen, the movie, is opening today.
And, oh yeah, the Lord's compassions are new this morning.
Pastor Long preached a powerful sermon on death Sunday morning. Part of the spirit of the Lazarus story is that, despite the real pain of what may come, Christ is over all for the church. It's a matter of heavenly, eternal perspective that ought to keep us in the right state of mind. Then Sunday night I preached on Proverbs 28, the first verse of which states unequivocally, "The righteous are as bold as a lion." Boldness, confidence, certainty. These are Biblical adjectives of Christ's church in relationship to the world.
While God's Word gives us no wiggle room in realizing that hard times may and will come, what is the foundational attitude the church is to have regarding this life, this world? Confidence! In ourselves? No. In our nation? Nope. In the progress of humanity? Nada. In the promises of Christ to build His church and include us in that great work? Absolutely!
To be clear, there are things to fear: we have an enemy far more powerful than us (though not more powerful than our King). But as long as our fear of evil drives us to Christ, as long as we believe Jesus when He speaks about His kingdom, the basis of our mission to this world is confidence. Whatever reasons lay behind American evangelicalism's culture of fear, it needs to be put in the grave. The slight broo-ha-ha of 6/6/06 is a reminder that the church's zeitgeist is to be blown and tossed by the wind by every wind of doctrine or hint of scandal.
When we live in confidence in the gospel, things will change. We will make decisions about our kids' schooling based on Christ's kingdom, not based on fear of what the public schools can do to our kids. We will be more evangelistic, believing that we lay hold to the very power of God for salvation for all who believe! We will view worship as a wonderful foretaste of heaven, not a life-preserving icebox of the soon-to-be raptured. And we will love our city. We will care for the environment. ...and so on.
Let's put away fear that denies the gospel promises of Christ. Let us, by the Spirit of power and love, put on confidence and boldness like a lion.