Recently, several timely and expedient articles were published that we found valuable and relevant. We also regularly share videos, sermons and podcasts on our Instagram and Facebook feeds as well as weekly emails, with the aim of saturating our lives and online interactions with with edifying, challenging, and encouraging content centered our lives in Jesus’s Kingdom.
What is the “political gospel” for the church under persecution?
The gospel is a kingdom story. As such, the church’s very existence is a manifestation of a kingdom that bows to an alternate king than the kings of this world, that loves a single master rather than two. In this sense, it is made political by the kingdoms of the world who require their people’s highest allegiance and ultimate submission, asking of their people, “Who do you love?”The Center for House Church Theology
Pastor “Gao Hang”, writing under an assumed name, writes about “The Political Dimension of the Gospel” for The Center for House Church Theology. His reflections on the Kingdom of God are not only poignant, but timely and apt.
Coming from a country with so many freedoms, including to publicly profess allegiance to Jesus’s Kingdom, I am immediately struck by the privilege it is to learn from the perspective of believers who truly suffer for the gospel and whose lives are lived in a state of precarity. It is true that the persecuted church, such as that of the early church, usually does not need a “theology” of God’s Kingdom or separation from the world as this is already a given. They are in a situation whereby they have no choice but to reject the world to follow Christ. It makes our attempts as comfortable Christians to pursue radicality seem rather paltry in comparison.
This article challenges me as I dive into Kingdom theology not to engage in intellectual naval-gazing. Perhaps a theology of the Kingdom is most needed in times of relative comfort, to remind us not to lose sight of what we are here to do.
Are we too quick to label our brothers and sisters “heretics”?
Peter Northcutt, writing for Relevant Magazine, challenges to think about “For Bad Reasons Christians Call Each Other Heretics”. This is something that resonates with my heart. The more we learn, the more we realize what we do not know, truly, and that imbibes us with a sense of humility.
Pride explains almost all human behavior. Our desire to elevate ourselves is an innate quality tracing back to the Garden of Eden, and this poison often hijacks our theology.
When we label someone a heretic, we are implying that we aren’t. By claiming someone’s theology is incorrect, we are claiming ours is. It’s a roundabout way of elevating ourselves in relation to one another.Peter Northcutt, Relevant Magazine
This article challenges us in a very Anabaptist sense: is doctrinal orthodoxy the yardstick by which we determine who deserves Christ’s love and who doesn’t? We owe all men and women the love of Christ.
It’s completely possible to be theologically correct, but completely wrong and heretical in action. This does not mean rejecting all convictions, because doctrine does affect practice and have significant ramifications. Perhaps just as faith without words is dead, so profession without practice is as good as no profession at all.
How can we “reclaim sanity” in the midst of chaos?
This year has certainly been crazy, but I think the craziest part of it all is discovering how many of us have simply lost sight of the Story. It’s not that we’re heretics or bigots as much as that we’ve been discipled more by our earthly allegiances than we’ve been by our heavenly one.Asher Witmer
Asher Witmer reflects on chaos and turmoil in the church today and how we can emotionally make sense of it all. Navigating division and polarization in the church seems one of the hardest things we now face, as we see social media amplify those disagreements and social crises bring them to a head.
How do we find clarity and hope?
This article challenges me to rethink how I approach interactions especially online, and whether my life and my conversation is imbued with shalom (peace and wholeness), tov (goodness) and ahavah (love). The world is broken, that much is apparent, but are we the lights that bring about healing, or do we continue to manifest the chaos of the Satan’s empires?
How do we develop servanthood?
Servanthood is the pinnacle of the Christian and calling of ministry, since that was the entire mission of Christ. Frank Reed, teaching at Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute, taught a series called “Stand in Awe”. One of the classes in this series is about “Developing the Servant”.
Also check out brother Frank’s blog and his articles published here on the Kingdom Outpost.
Do we build the Kingdom through power and wealth?
Joel Nisly and Dru Lattin recently shared a carefully presented, edifying and Scripturally rigorous talk on Strength to Strength regarding concerns about harmful “dominionist” and “Kingdom Now” theology that permeates various Christian settings, one that calls Christians to take on worldly power, wealth and imitate the ways of society to “build” God’s Kingdom.
Joel Nisly also presented an article in which he carefully examines the issue and why it is a kind of “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.
According to this view, believers advance God’s kingdom by taking over seven “mountains” of culture: education, religion, family, business, government, entertainment, and media, and so taking over society. This means prosperous businesses play a role in taking over the business mountain and channeling the world’s wealth into the kingdom… This stands in contrast to the true Kingdom of God as embraced by the early church, the early Anabaptists, and other faithful groups through the centuries.Joel Nisly
Finally, in a follow-up episode, Joshua Lloyd Parker joined Dru Lattin and Titus Kuepfer on That Jesus Podcast to discuss embracing the gifts of the spirit while rejecting harmful misconceptions about His Kingdom.