Archive for April, 2003

how firm a foundation : can evangelicals be nonfoundationalists?

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Defeated the Spicy Soup

Defeated the Spicy Soup
Coop, Jeb, and many of the other Lakeview detainee/refugees enjoy the vaunted spicy soup.  I guess finishing a bowl of this soup, which I really didn’t finish cuz I was way too full, is some rite in to manhood.  I had finished enough without whimpering, whining or crying so they deemed my sacrifice acceptable. 

The Free Methodists are a strange bunch sometimes.

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More thoughts on Dual OS

Expanded Thoughts on Dual OS (Operating System)

Why should the emerging church build alternative structures to fulfill the purposes of the church?

Reason #1: The fundamental values are different

Let me illustrate with an example from my life. One of my most deeply held values is authenticity. I believe in being myself. Authenticity is a commonly held value in the emerging church.

My time at school over the last two years illustrated how authenticity works in one context but not in the other. My first example is common practice in the modern church, teaching as an authority. The second example is the peer to peer community I experienced in residence while I was taking classes at the college.

Teaching as Authority
For my internship I taught sections of two of the first year core courses. In my teaching style I tried to be as open and authentic as possible. I used many illustrations from my life. Most of them highlighted an area of weakness and failure because these were the times I learned the most. At the end of the year I received some very poor evaluations from the students and it hurt terribly.

I poured my life in to that class I felt rejected. When so much of the material you use is from your own personal life you leave yourself very vulnerable. It hurt, but that wasn’t the worst. What really bothered me that no one thought of telling me where I could improve.

For many of the students the class I taught was just some religious consumable that they could freely treat with contempt. The class isn’t much different from a book or a movie.

In the modern setting ministry is often divorced from relationship. Inevitably leaders get stomped on. Those in ministry need to develop a callousness to this, a thick skin. As soon as this starts authenticity suffers. I find pastors and other Christian leaders are the most guarded people I know.

Modern ministry is consumeristic and divorced from relationship
The church gives certain people the authority to minister at the most important level. There aren’t a lot of these people to go around so they must minister to a large group of people. It’s impossible to have relationships with all the people so the minister has to deliver their ministry in such a way so that everyone can receive it. This ministry flow is one way and thus all the people can do is consume it. Now that ministry is divorced from relationship the people feel little obligation to care for the minster and some of them get nasty. Some people are just nasty regardless of the situation they are in. Ministers must then protect themselves by elevating themselves with their authority. By living out their elevated status and maintaining a certain level of control over the communication they can protect themselves and their institution. This makes authenticity a pipe dream because ministers can’t lower themselves in the minds of the congregation. Their life blood is their status.

Teaching as a peer
Last year I spent two semesters living in residence at the college. It was a little odd as I was about 9 years older than everyone else. I had no formal ministry position. No elevated level of status. I spent my team forming relationships with people. I spent many evenings walking from room to room just looking for opportunities to build relationships, to teach and to care. Looking back I believe those 8 months bore more spiritual fruit than I ever had before. Was I leader? Sure! I had respect and influence because I earned it. I challenged people as a peer and some of them challenged me, as a peer. One of the most satisfying things I ever encountered was that the people I taught had lots of freedom to totally disagree with me. Many of the guys knew that I deeply cared about them. I had to learn to restrict some of my freedom for the good of community but I always felt like I could be real with people and they could be real with me. In short it was a very good experience, much better than my internship.

I believe that if you keep community small and remove the levels of status and authority leaders can be themselves. I’ve seen it. I’m not suggesting there isn’t authority, but it is a different type of authority. Authority and respect that is earned carries more weight and has fewer negative side effects. How can you earn respect from people who never see who you really are? Leadership becomes more about oversight than control. At Len’s says he’d rather see servants that lead rather than leaders that serve. I think this coins the difference.

Bringing this back to the dual OS
Based on the set of assumptions you start with end up with very different looking ministries. If you hold to credentialed authority and hierarchy things like authenticity and relational community will always be difficult. Bethany is one of the few institutions that I know of thatRe creates an environment where peer to peer ministry couched in relationships can happen. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen as much as it could because people are so busy trying to take advantage of all the programs.

What about small groups?
Many churches have implemented small groups as the community component of their ministry. Here people can be authentic and minister to each other. This is a step in right direction but community can never be a component. Some of my ministry training courses were taught by pastors who follow the Purpose Driven methodology. I was taught that we need structures to facilitate all the purposes of the church. For example we could have worship services for worship, Sunday school for discipleship and small groups for community. The problem is all these purposes are better fulfilled when everything is done together like some big church stew. The purposes are not effectively fulfilled when they aren’t tightly integrated in to the same community. Discipleship outside the community group just doesn’t work. No one can adopt a holistic God following lifestyle from just sermons and Sunday school.

This is one of the reasons why modern churches can’t simply adopt a postmodern program.
The values and the differences go too deep. Each aspect of the church is connected with another.

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Reconstructing Church: Anabaptism

Reconstructing Church : Take a look at Anabaptism
I became a Christian in my teen years.  My first church was Mennonite with a little charismatic flavour to it.  Since then I’ve been a part of Baptist, Pentecostal and non-denominational institutions.  Today I still resonate strongest with the Anabaptists.  The Mennonite tradition is rooted in Anabaptism but most of the Mennonite churches don’t reflect their roots. This saddens me because I think this lesser known wing of the reformation has a lot to offer to the emerging church and the church in general. The Anabaptists are one of the faith traditions that the emerging church can look to in their reconstruction efforts.

Some of their distinctives are very similar or somewhat similar to that of the emerging church.

  • Radical faith community
  • Descontructed the established church
  • Non-hierarchical leadership
  • Interprets truth as community
  • Ethic of Peace and Non-Violence
  • Embodied truth/discipleship

There are some elements of Anabaptism which seem to fit better in a15th century context. They viewed a sharp distinction between God’s kingdom and the world. Many Anabaptist groups, like the Hutterites, ended up cutting themselves off completely from the world. They were persecuted by both church and state, and because the two were linked they ended up viewing both as evil elements of the worldly kingdom. 

You can find a great article on Anabaptism here.

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Mark's Top 10

Mark’s Top 10
The following are Mark’s top 10 list.  My responses are in italics.

1. I want the mass distribution of educational materials to be free. The web cuts out the middle man and gives the opportunity for anyone to learn at virtually no cost. The preacher is worth a wage but is it the preacher that is receiving the money or the distributors (of which, the top three are said to be owned by secular organizations)?

I am completely with you.  The church has bought in to the idea of intellectual property to its detriment.  Many teachers/leaders use teaching to elevate their financial value.  When the disciples of John Baptist asked Jesus if he was the One he responded.

And Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.’” Mat 11:4-5

Today we charge for most of our good news. 

2. I want the social gospel and gospel of eternal salvation to be reunited. The emphasis must return to holistic ministry. Romans 10:5-17 & James 2:14-26

I think a big part of the problem is found in most forms of Pre-Millennial Eschatology.  When people think the world is going down the tubes and is about to end in 3 years they aren’t as motivated to make it a better place.  We are often too obsessed with our next building project.  We rarely question whether spending money to promote or expand our own organizations is proper stewardship.  Because we are always looking to the next project we don’t see the world suffering around us.

3. I want leadership in the church to become decentralized so that we can live out the priesthood of all believers. This does not mean the end of paid pastors but the move towards pastors becoming equippers of the saints. Eph. 4:11-12

Now you are truly getting dangerous, but I’m with you.  There will be some difficulties transitioning to this kind of leadership model.  Even the people who graduate from 3 or 4 years of bible school feel unqualified to conduct ministry.  The top down model reinforced by academic status reinforces the idea that only certain people are qualified to minister.  People have been trained to consume and many don’t know how to do much else. 

4. I want to see the denominations reunite under the banner of Christ as Lord, Savior and God. I don’t care if it is an organizational union (because that is really not the point). I want to see the Church unite in effort, purpose and renewal. I also want to see an end to competition and back biting between communities and denominations.

The role of denominations is definitely in decline.  Most denominations distinguish themselves based on theology.  As our culture becomes increasingly postmodern and less sure of what they know as universal truth division based on theology will seem silly.  If we are only sure of a few core things why divide based on things we are not sure of.  The idea that churches should associate to do things they can’t do alone is biblical.  I see two good ways to associate, by style and by geographic region.  I think its cool that the seeker sensitive churches have their WCA and the like.  These types of associations truly benefit the members without moving everyone to an us/them mindset.  Grouping by city has obvious benefits especially when tackling social needs.  We need to adopt a kingdom model of ministry. 

We should be primarily concerned with the building of God’s kingdom, not our own ministries and not our own organizations.  Far too often we suffer from a narrow perspective that limits us from looking beyond our own personal or corporate success.

5. I want to see an appreciation grow for the heritage of the Church and openness to what the Lord might be doing today?

I agree.  There is incredible richness in understanding the theology and practice of other traditions.  The more I read the great authors in other traditions the more denominationally plural I become.  I remember reading a debate Erasmus was having with Luther and I realized I actually agree with the Roman Catholics. Event though the RC’s were the bad guys” in the reformation.  Our bias and propaganda has hindered us. 

6. I want to see communities act in love and sacrifice towards each other and the world that surround them.

7. I want to see churches that will help other churches in their communities grow in experience, knowledge and numbers. I would like to see more ministry sharing and caring for communities outside of their own.

Jesus’ pleaded with the Father that we would be one.  We may have a lot of reasons for having developed the fractured church we have but Jesus’ words condemn us.  The level of blatant competition makes me ill.  We waste a lot of resources fighting over the same people.  I wonder how much more blessed we would be if we co-operated.  I believe that God empowers those he can trust.  As long as we fight each other, I don’t he trusts us.

8. I want churches to care less about their business and more about their spirituality. When will we tell our pastors that they need to take more time off to care for their families and for their own relationships with Jesus.

To make this happen we need to redefine success in a ministry context.  We need to let go of the idea that people, money and buildings are the symbols of ministry success.  Once we free people from the burden of delivering on this type of success they will have the opportunity to connect with God. 

9. I want to see more dialogue in the church. I want to see people who disagree talk with each other while maintaining the charity and patience of Jesus.

The church has often suffered the mindset that only the ordained have the authority to minister.  Thus we have only a few ministers and they dominate the communication.  When all the communication is one-way obviously dialogue is rare.  It’s sad because monologue is a terrible way to communicate or teach anything.  When monologue is not accompanied with dialogue people don’t learn.  I’m amazed at how fiercely loyal we are to preaching when the people we preach to rarely get the point, quickly forget what we said, and don’t change. 

10. I want to see the Church re-embrace symbolism and the sacred. I want to see the church discover new languages of worship.

This is one aspect of the emerging church that I personally am less excited about.  Not because it’s bad, but because I’m perfectly content to connect with God in a relatively bare room with some carpet on the floor.  That being said I loved watching what happened at the 24/7 prayer room here at the college during our youth event.  People really connected with the idea of a sacred space, rather than a sacred event.  I think it would be cool to have a place where one could go 24/7 to connect with God.


Defining Christian Postmodernism

Defining Christian Postmodernism

I don’t think I’ve been really clear with some of my terms. I’ve been using postmodern and and emergent interchangeably. Postmodern is a difficult term to define. At its heart its a reaction to modernism. I believe that the Christian reaction to modernity is very different from the secular one. Thus I see a sharp difference between secular postmodernity and Christian postmodernity. They share common tools and values but end up taking things in very different directions.

The lack of clarity on our terms may be one of the reasons there is so much fear associated with a postmodern” church. Those educated in academia hear postmodern and they think of the following definition.

“Description of a contemporary intellectual and cultural climate as a stage beyond the “modernism” introduced by the Enlightenment. It is marked by a rejection of “objective truth,” the powers of reason, and claims of universality. Texts and symbols are emphasized together with a corporate understanding of truth that is relative to each community in which one participates.”
This quote almost stolen without proper footnote from the “Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms”

However I have yet to meet a postmodern Christian that rejects all objective truth, has given up on reason and the universal claims of scripture. Instead they generally tend to believe that truth isn’t found through reason alone and that heart of truth goes beyond abstract principles in to context and relationship to God.


The Homeless Guy

The Homeless Guy

Here is a great article on the homeless guy.  It even mentions Coop’s role in his life.
Very cool.

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Arguing with "Arguing with Signposts"

Arguing with “Arguing with Signposts” 

This is my response to some comments left on this post.

A) Dual boot. That’s cute. Of course, it’s not biblical. It smacks of a sort of pomo-centrism that is shockingly egotistical. In fact, it’s such a modern attitude to have: “We have an answer that the people of the past would never understand.” Hmm. Postmodern modernism.

Christ’s analogy of the news winekins for the new wine is a relevant biblical analogy to this. There is the part where he said, you will be thrown out of the synagogue and people will kill you think they are doing a service to God. History is full of examples where God inspires people to do something new and the establishment resorts to using violence, suffering and torture. I don’t claim to have an answer people of the past would never understand. I just expect that a lot of them wouldn’t. I have seen this demonstrated in real life examples, and in your post.

The church isn’t like a computer at all. It’s not a hard-wired piece of metal. God doesn’t “upgrade” the church. The true Church is, and has always been, just fine. It operates within human organizations and fallible structures. But it is NOT those structures.

I agree that church is not its structures. The idea that God’s people have always been fine” doesn’t take in to account the myriad of prophetic voices throughout history that have sought to bring correction. In my analogy an upgrade symbolizes a correction in theology, spiritual desire, and practice. A change in theology or our understanding of God will inevitably result in a change in practice. Practice also influences theology. You cannot dualistically separate who the church is from what the church believes and what the church does. They are all intertwined. Every theological revolution has brought about practical change. Some structures have been with us from the beginning. Christ instituted the Lords supper and baptism. These structures are an inherent part of the church.

Creating a post-modern church just creates another human shell for the Church to inhabit. But the post-modern church will not be the Church, anymore than the modern church is the Church. All this rot about “new wine and new wineskins” is similarly egotistical. It’s really about rearranging the furniture, isn’t it?

If you boil a postmodern” church to be nothing but a way of doing things you are correct. I am member of the church and my thinking is postmodern. It’s also modern, Charismatic, Prophetic and Anabaptist if you like labels. The bottom line is that there are two dominant mindsets in the western world and they tend to clash. A large percentage of the people in the established church have left it behind because church had a more negative impact on their spiritual lives than positive. The western world is in steep moral decline. The church is weak and fruitless.

I truly believe that one mindset is an improvement over the other. It could be considered egotistical, but then so could the Lutherans, Anabaptists, Baptists, Methodists, Calvinists etc… They all claim to know something a little bit better than the rest.

For me postmodern Christianity is far more than rearranging the furniture. It’s an attempt to deconstruct church to find it where it has gone horribly and terribly wrong.

Do you think there is *one* thing the “emergent” church can offer in the area of worship, evangelism, discipleship, mission and community that hasn’t already been practiced in the 2000 year history of the church? Do you think there haven’t been people throughout the ages who worked outside the “establishment”? Surely you’ve heard of the anabaptists. Perhaps I could introduce you to some people who, like you, don’t get “paid” to do ministry. They do it on their own time, and they do it through traditional churches. Imagine that.

I’m not concerned with being new. I think postmodernity is very similar to Anabaptism. They were a radical faith movement that was anti establishment and sought to deconstruct church to find true biblical faith. If the emergent church reflected the values and ideals of the Anabaptists or the early church I’d rejoice and be exceedingly glad. This week I consulted an adjunct professor, at the Anabaptist college I work at (for money), about how the Anabaptists credentialed their leaders. Why? Because much of their theology is the similar to postmodern Christianity and I wanted to see how they fleshed it out.

Postmodernity breeds diversity, questioning and challenge.” Really? It seems to me that it breeds contempt for the past. Diversity? accepting everything except the people who have been practicing Christianity for years. Challenge? except for the basic premises of the movement itself.

Where did you get the idea that postmodernity rejects all knowledge from past Christianity? Postmodernity rejects a lot of modernity and has begun to rediscover elements of the premodern church. The reformation made a much stronger break with Church tradition than the emerging church. Modern evangelicalism rejects much of church history and separates the church in to camps that compete with each other. I personally love Martin Luther’s view of the sovereignty of God and grace. I look to the Methodist’s in awe as they managed to reform the moral climate of an entire nation. I love the community aspects of Anabaptism. I am a spirit filled” believer and I’ve been molded by the charismatic and prophetic movements.

I really like this comment: “I just expect us to resemble Jesus and those who have been transformed into his likeness. The most common forms of Christianity resemble Christ little on the outside and even less on the inside.” How incredibly pompous of you. Do you suddenly know how to judge the hearts and minds of millions of believers throughout the world? Who are you to be the person to decide who resembles Christ on the outside and, more difficult still, on the inside?

Jesus gave us a simple test. He said that a good tree bears good fruit and bad tree bears bad fruit. He told us that the world will know Christ’s disciples because of their love. Paul tells us the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, longsuffering etc… Paul also said the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. The church in my context is almost universally fruitless, loveless, and powerless. Most studies of morality and conduct show little difference between those in the church and those outside. Moreover most people I meet agree with me.

You might find it interesting to know that Christians for centuries have been looking for “the next big thing,” which is exactly what PoMo is. Dress it up in new clothes and call it “different.” “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” I wonder what would happen to a post-modern church when its members began demanding some “modern”-style accoutrements? It would probably explode. Just like a modern church. I hope that’s not where you’re going on your journey.

I’d be interested in seeing the evidence you have for Christians looking for the next big thing. I’d be interested in seeing the evidence that Lutherans were just dressed up Catholics. Anabaptists and Calvinists dressed up Lutherans. Anglicans dressed up Catholics. Methodists are dressed up Anglicans. Pentecostals and Charismatics are dressed up versions of everybody else. I’m very familiar with church history and I disagree heartily with your conclusions.

Might I suggest a couple of people to you who seem to have no problem hanging around the modern church, but have radical ideas? Rich Mullins (a musician you’ve probably heard of) and Brennan Manning, an author. Read them sometime.

Because Rich Mullins thinks differently and has no problem with the modern church that means everyone who thinks differently and does have a problem with the modern church is fooling themselves? I work inside a modern ministry context in which people I highly respect and love are faithful members of their modern church. I’m currently being mentored by one. Just because they are comfortable with modernity doesn’t mean I should be.

I would further mention a statement you make in your bio: “I’m a firm believer that modernism skewed the gospel of Christ.” I would ask this: How does that make modernism any different than any other age of Church history? Finally, I find it fundamentally ironic that something that is supposed to be so “emergent” and “post” as the new century church seeks to more accurately reflect the origins of a 2000 year old religion. Perhaps you’re not so pomo after all.

In its essence postmodernity is a correction to modernity. Where did you get the idea that it intends to be completely new? A big part of postmodernity is a reconnection with the past. I don’t believe that you understand postmodernity at all.


Dual boot the Body of Christ

Dual boot the Body of Christ
I think there are a couple of models in which postmodern Christians can coexist with the modern church. I’m going to use a computer analogy.

Modern evangelicalism and the emerging church are incompatible. The fundamental assumptions that shape both mindsets are completely different. The tension causes a strong polarization. Like every radical faith movement in the past some elements of the established church will attack the new movement. There will be elements of the new movement who will arrogantly dismiss and look down upon the old. Today the conflict is light because this new movement is still very young and it has yet to attract large amounts of the two main things the established church is devoted to. People and money.

I’ve been thinking about my college and how it could make moderate change to better fit in with postmodern culture. You could try offering different academic programs, courses and mission trips. You could bring diversity and imagery in to the public worship times. You could increase the amount of mentoring and create facilities that enhanced community.

Even if you change all these things there are still some fundamental problems. No matter how much the school changes it will still be:

  • An expensive consumer driven religious business
  • Confined by the rules and resource intensiveness of academics and accreditation
  • Top down leadership model reinforced by academic status with less room for dialogue and peer to peer interaction

Postmodern Christians value authenticity which doesn’t work well with degrees of status and prestige. They value embodied truth and incarnational ministry but the college system and classroom setting separates teachers from students through sheer busyness.

How can the emerging church coexist with the established church?

Dual boot the institution
A dual boot system is computer language for running two different operating systems on the same computer. When the computer is turned on the user selects which operating system they want to load. Usually the choices are Windows and Linux or Windows and another version of Windows.

Dual booting the institution would mean two different groups of people use the same facilities (hardware) but have completely different structures to fulfill the purposes of the church. Only at the top level would there be some level of accountability and oversight.

For Bethany a dual boot system would involve offering a different program during the summer months. It would share the same facilities and some of the same staff but there the similarities would end. In a sense the computer would boot in to Windows for 2/3’s of the year and Linux for the other 1/3.

The biggest downside to this is people. Inevitably there will be some people who donate money to Bethany who really wouldn’t like what is going on in the alternative discipleship program. Conflict is assured. The established side of the ministry might grow concerned at the thought of the alternative ministry attracting to many students.

Create a heterogeneous network
A heterogeneous network is computer talk for having two or more computers on one network running two different operating systems. The OS is installed on new hardware and simply connected to the other computers through the network.

A heterogeneous church network would mean postmodern and modern institutions have different facilities and share resources.  They would cooperate within the framework of there denomination, association or city.

Throughout history many upgrades have occurred. The new group tries to upgrade the old. Resistance comes and eventually the new group ends up making there own network. Lutherans and Catholics. Anabaptists and Lutherans. Methodists and Anglicans. However in the last 50 years the charismatic movement was able to upgrade” churches without forcing a network relocation”..

In my college example, this would mean the alternative discipleship program will have its own facilities and staff and would simply share its resources with the established institution. Chances are the alternative discipleship ministry would share its resources with multiple other ministries as well.

There is a little more distance and less opportunity for conflict.

Attempt to Upgrade the OS
Postmodern Christianity and modern evangelicalism are much more like Windows and Linux than Windows and Windows. I never upgrade” an OS, even from Windows 95 to Windows 98. It just doesn’t work that well. Some programs don’t work. Hardware can go flakey. It’s usually less effort to backup all the old files, format the hard drive and install clean.

I don’t think pushing a mass upgrade is fair to people. In the movie the Matrix they discover that some people just aren’t ready to get unplugged”. I believe modern evangelicalism is flawed, but I think that pulling unwilling people out that system causes more harm than good.

Some modern Christians with a strong desire for ministry success want to implement postmodern programs to attract people to their church. This thinking is shallow. It doesn’t work. This year Bethany had one very postmodern professor. By the end of the year there were concerns raised” about him and at least one of the people he has influenced.

A church can start up an alternative worship event and as long as its coffee and candles things will remain relatively peaceful. The problem is that alternative worship goes along with alternative theology, philosophy, discipleship, community and evangelism. The people who fit in well with the alternative worship gathering (if its more than just a layer of cool on the status quo) will not be satisfied with modern discipleship or community.



Peace movement not discredited

Peace movement not discredited
There have been many in the anti-war camp who have shown a blind bias against everything the coaliton was doing.  However I don’t believe this discredits the entire peace movement.  I oppose this war on a number of levels which have yet to be resolved.

Is this a war of liberation or expanding American influence or both?  It is true that many Iraqi’s are happy their tyrant is gone. That doesn’t mean this war was entirely about liberation.  This question has yet to be answered.  The war has successfully convinced the American public that they are right and invincible.  A dangerous combination.

Will this war bring about more terrorism than it solves?
Osama Bin Laden, the one sure enemy to cause mass destruction was motivated by that last stunning western victory in Iraq.  How many more Bin Ladens have been so motivated?

The pro war movement seems to be thoroughly convinced that there was no other option in Iraq.  A careful study of non-violent action would reveal that the “peace niks” have successfully overturned many oppresive regimes in the last 30 years.  These revolutions are far less bloody and far more effective at bringing true peace.
Military action may bring regime change but it rarely brings lasting fruitful peace.

For hundreds of years Christians believed that they could trust God for “regime change”.   Martyrdom was considered a real possibility and suffering was integral to the Christian journey.  God brought thousands of people to himself, in to his kingdom through this.  Are American Christians more concerned with the defence of their kingdom or God’s?  Do they really believe in God?  Did the prayers of the saints fill up God’s throne with petitions for regime change in Iraq in the last 20 years?

Many regard those who hold the same position as the early church and the anabaptists as cowards.  These noble Christians stood proudly against oppression and went willingly to suffering and torture trusting that justice will be delivered by God.  Who is more courageous?  One who puts themselves in the line of fire, ready to defend themselves with a weapon.  Or those who go as lambs among wolves trusting in the supernatural power of God? 

Throughout history God used war.  Any study of the OT will affirm this.  I don’t deny it.  Today don’t we as Christians have more powerful weapons than cruise missles.  The testimony and the blood of those in the kingdom of God can shake entire empires let alone the battered regimes of petty tyrants.


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