Politics and Loneliness

Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Most Christians understand that the problems facing America are not going to be solved in Washington. But it is noteworthy when a sitting U.S. Senator says that “Politics Can’t Solve Our Political Problems.”

That was the title of a commentary by Senator Ben Sasse. He believes that the tribalism in our nation has a deeper source and is tied to loneliness in America. We are relational beings and want to be in tribes. He observes that, “the traditional tribes that have sustained humans for millennia are simultaneously in collapse.” Those would be family, friendships, and communities of worship.

 

At the core of this is loneliness in America. It is not a new problem, a quarter century ago I wrote a book with the title Signs of Warning, Signs of Hope.  One of the chapters dealt with a “crisis of loneliness.”
( Read or listen to the rest of the above commentary at   https://pointofview.net/viewpoints/politics-and-loneliness-2/.)

Easter on-both-sides-of-the-dirt

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I had the last handful of dirt. Many of our dear Native American friends had led the way. They really loved my Karen. As I threw mine into that six-foot hole, I spoke three words engraved inside our wedding rings, “Til Jesus comes.” And then just quietly I said, “See you soon, baby.” And I know I will because of Easter. Easter didn’t stop the tears. Easter didn’t cushion her adoring grandchildren from the shock that they would not see again on this earth the one whose hugs and laugh and love had lit up their lives. Neither would I. Neither would her children who never stopped depending on her prayer and her wisdom. Easter doesn’t shield us from the grim reality of the casket, that hole in the ground, the empty blue recliner. Or the gut-wrenching emotional ambushes when the “I’m missing her” feelings that usually whisper, suddenly scream. But the reality of that empty tomb near a skull-shaped hill in Jerusalem is a game-changer in so many ways. For the one by the grave, and the one in the grave on both sides of the dirt.

(   https://hutchcraft.com/a-word-with-you/your-most-important-relationship/easter-on-both-sides-of-the-dirt-8671 )

A gruesome picture of China’s covert lies

https://tinyurl.com/yx2yztbx

A fun suggestion to battle cabin fever

A Christian organization for boys is calling on families to take part in an upcoming nationwide get-together.

Trail Life USA, a Christian outdoors adventure program for boys and young men, is planning a National Backyard Campout. On April 17th, families are encouraged to pitch a tent in the backyard and participate in camping activities together.

 

“It allows families to just get outside, enjoy the outdoors together, and create memories,” says Trail Life CEO Mark Hancock. “For kids right now, this can be confusing and be full of anxiety. This is an opportunity for them to look back on this time and say, ‘Wow — that’s the night we all camped outside.'”
(  
https://tinyurl.com/vjsnytr )

Helping and giving

Penna Dexter Have you found yourself tipping generously these days? Americans are of a mind to be generous with those working hard to deliver food and supplies and the things we need during social distancing. But fears and uncertainties also arise. Even for people who are fully able to pay their bills, the specter of some disturbing economic scenarios gives rise to the temptation to cut back on giving to ministries for the time being. We should do our best…

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BREAKPOINT Truth. Love. Together.

https://tinyurl.com/vlkkdlx

 Each year, the Colson Center family gathers for the Wilberforce Weekend conference in Washington D.C. with friends new and old. The Weekend includes incredible Christian worldview teaching, networking with Christian leaders from across the country and beyond, the commissioning of a new class of Colson Fellows after they’ve studied with us for a year, and, of course, honoring together the Wilberforce Award winner.

As you may have guessed, the live gathering we had planned for next month can’t happen, at least not in person. However, all of this year’s Wilberforce Weekend content will be delivered virtually and, the best part is, it is absolutely free. Given the difficult and uncertain times, not to mention the rising unemployment rate, we’ve removed all costs associated with this event and are trusting God to use this virtual event to equip and lead His people for such a time as this.

When we developed our theme for the event months ago, none of us imagined that “Truth. Love. Together.” could possibly be even more relevant somehow. I mean the clash of worldviews in our culture is pretty steep as it is, but now, in the wake of a global pandemic, nothing is more central to the Christian mission in the world than to love our neighbors enough to share truth with them, and to make sure whatever we say and do is couched in true, authentic Christian love.

In fact, Bob Fu, this year’s Wilberforce Award winner can tell you that sharing truth in a context of crisis is difficult and can be costly. Even dangerous. Pastor Fu is founder and president of China Aid, a Christian “human rights organization committed to promoting religious freedom and the rule of law in China.”

Fu and his team expose the systematic persecution, harassment, torture, and imprisonment of Chinese Christians and human rights lawyers in China, while also “financially support(ing) Chinese Christians and their families who have experienced persecution by the Chinese government,” and “provid(ing) leadership and rule of law training for Christian and church leaders in China.”

If the biblical phrase “for such a time as this” comes to your mind too, it should, though Fu never intended this would be his life. Born in Shandong Province to a disabled father and beggar mother, he enrolled in university, fully intending to join the Communist Party and become a government official.

God, however, had other plans. An American professor gave him a biography of a Chinese intellectual who converted to Christianity, Xi Shengmo. As Fu told the Wall Street Journal, “that book changed my life.”

After graduation, Fu taught English at a Communist Party School in Beijing while he and his wife, Heidi, became active in the house church movement. They even established a Bible school there that used chairs borrowed from the Communist Party’s school.

Well, the Communist Party didn’t share Fu’s sense of irony. He and his wife were jailed. About a year after their release, with Heidi pregnant with their second child, the Fu’s fled China and its “One-Child Policy.” After emigrating to Hong Kong, Fu was granted political asylum in the U.S. in 1997.

Just as the persecution of the Church has, at times throughout history, led to the unintended spreading of the Gospel, Pastor Fu’s forced emigration has increased his influence. From his base of operations in west Texas, he operates what the Wall Street Journal has called “the most influential network of human-rights activists, underground Christians and freedom fighters in China.”

What Fu and China Aid have accomplished is the stuff of movies: In 2009, they helped smuggle the wife and children of Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, called by Amnesty International “the bravest lawyer in China,” out of the country. More recently, Fu worked closely with human rights lawyer, Cheng Guangcheng, a.k.a., “the barefoot lawyer,” whose harrowing escape from China was the topic of a BreakPoint commentary a few years ago.

Fu has earned the nickname, “the Pastor of China’s underground railroad,” and I can’t think of anyone better to help the rest of us think through how truth and love can go together, and go forward in the name of Jesus, especially in times of crisis like ours.

Though our typical banquet honoring Pastor Fu with the 2020 William Wilberforce Award will have to wait until this fall, he and a host of world-class Christian worldview thinkers such as Os Guinness, Lee Strobel, Andy Crouch, Uju Ekeocha and others will be part this year’s Truth.Love.Together virtual event. And again, it’s free and on-demand starting May 15. Sign up at WilberforceWeekend.org.

Churches should never ask for help from Uncle Sam

I heard today on the Tony Tony Perkins radio show that under the package just passed by Congress churches can get help from the government. Shouldn’t churches depend on God and his people for support not the government. Here is the program https://tinyurl.com/vtxq3x5.

Cal Thomas – From USA to ATM?

Cognitive dissonance is when a person holds two or more contradictory beliefs simultaneously. 

I would argue it does not apply to those of us who support the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill Congress passed while at the same time worrying about the increasing national debt. If you’re keeping track, it’s $23 trillion and counting.

It’s fair to ask: Are we mortgaging our future for the sake of temporary relief from the economic side effects of the coronavirus pandemic? If our elected representatives and unelected bureaucrats can effectively order the U.S. Treasury to print more money and borrow in continuing excess, what happens when the next crisis hits? Where will it end? 

Historically, debt has been a major contributor to the decline of great nations. It is why James Madison warned—quote—“If Congress can employ money indefinitely, for the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every state, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public treasury. Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America.” End quote. 

 

We are ignoring the prophetic nature of Madison’s statement at our peril. The philosophy of individual freedom is under assault.

 Republicans used to consider national debt their issue. They are now joined at the pocketbook with Democrats and can never again argue against debt with any credibility.

(  https://tinyurl.com/yx7e9x3s )

The Words of a Child

https://tinyurl.com/u9bbghx

Hospitality in churches for those with psychiatric disorders

 

Hospitality For Jessica