Benedict rose to the challenge (calling others who would awake to it also) of another way than that offered by the Church of his day – creating alternate counterculture learning communities to live simply, biblically and faithfully. He didn’t set out to change the world and had no idea how important these little groups of faithful, obedient disciples would prove to be for generations to come. What might such ‘apostolic hubs’ look like in our day?
Now here in the West the question arises more than any time in my life whether the light of the gospel that we have been handed on, that we are to shine before all people, may be in danger of going out? The historic value of the church in society, the idea that this is a Christian nation, that the word of God has a hearing, that flame is burning down in society, in churches and, yes, believers.
Here’s something that the church should be known for and it seems to me to be more needed in the world than ever. We are constantly told that so many things are in short supply and I know at times, as I reflect now on sabbatical, I’m asking God to increase this attitude and put it into action. I’m not always as kind as I could be. Who do you know and when you think of them you’d say ‘that’s a kind person.’ (Let me know in the comments?) Maybe some people are kinder than others by nature? But I am talking about the supernatural gift the Holy Spirit wants to be more evident in you and me. That famous passage in Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit— characteristics that are meant to grow inside of us as we live for God and let his life and love change us from the inside out. LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE…. the Holy Spirit wants to develop these in us so we mature in our lives as Jesus followers. And number 5 on […]
There’s no room for questioning in the simplistic ‘Disney World’ caricatures – only villains and us, the heroes of course. Those who agree with our ideology are the only ones we listen to.
The further any culture, company or country goes down this path, the more good hearted, reasonable ordinary people end up being bullied and intimated into silence. It’s dangerous to speak your mind so we keep our thoughts to ourselves, while those who only allow certain small and angry thoughts to be approved and voiced get louder and more vociferous. This sleeping giant must rise up. It starts with you and me.
The word of God is our only weapon against such attacks. Human strategies, philosophies and arguments are a vain hope – useless to push back the darkness. But hell trembles when we open our mouths and declare, “It is written.”
Is that too simple? Do we want to fight him on his own terms?
The Lord Jesus Christ did not do so.