Bible blog – Three Wise Men Blog http://threewisemenblog.com/ Fri, 13 May 2022 06:50:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://threewisemenblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/3.png Bible blog – Three Wise Men Blog http://threewisemenblog.com/ 32 32 The Power of Presence | creed of jesus https://threewisemenblog.com/the-power-of-presence-creed-of-jesus/ Fri, 13 May 2022 06:06:09 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/the-power-of-presence-creed-of-jesus/ A friend told me a long time ago that a person, especially a leader, must keep their essence. That is, a person has only a certain “essence”, a certain amount of personal power and energy that he can give to any thing. Once given, it cannot be retrieved. She is gone forever. Also, he warned […]]]>

A friend told me a long time ago that a person, especially a leader, must keep their essence. That is, a person has only a certain “essence”, a certain amount of personal power and energy that he can give to any thing. Once given, it cannot be retrieved. She is gone forever. Also, he warned me further, there are always people who would like to use your essence to achieve their goals.

I hadn’t thought of this conversation until recently when I attended an event and the event manager thanked me for coming. He said my presence at the event showed how important the event was. He said I added weight to the event. I hadn’t thought of it that way. My friend is part of a vital and life-changing ministry in Middle Tennessee, and I wanted to support his work.

But his comment got me thinking. What am I giving weight to without knowing it? What do I consider valuable just because I give it my time? And why am I giving my attention – the very thing that tech giants are willing to pay huge sums to secure – why am I giving it away so cheaply?

This internal conversation has grown since I turned 65. Things change with age. Suddenly you realize that you don’t have much time left. I’m not morbid, just honest. Even though I live to be 100, there is more of a road behind me than there is in front of me.

You start to see things differently when you realize your time is in short supply. Since time is scarce for me — and for all of us — I started looking at the things I was spending my time on, and here’s what I found. Many things do nothing. A meeting is called, things are discussed, then we decide to meet again. A wise sage once said that all is said and done much more than it is done. I’ve given up on these obligations – including a lot of social media – because it doesn’t add anything to my life.

I started a very disciplined practice of focusing on the things to do, and only doing the things that mattered. If something has no substance, I don’t want to do it.

So here are a handful of things I started to focus on.

I love my wife. Jeannie and I have been married for almost 42 years. She is beautiful, funny and graceful. She is my best friend. Sometimes I say I have something on my schedule when I just want to go home and spend my time with Jeannie. When I die, she’ll be the one I hate to leave, and if she dies first, she’ll be the one I’ll never get over. I will draw life from every moment with her.

I love studying the scriptures. I rediscover a fascination and admiration for the wonder of God. I spend most of my time reading and studying the depths of scripture. Honestly, I think I could preach every night if my church would let me. I don’t read many books on leadership or culture anymore. I read them once and then noticed that no one said anything new. So I like to study the Word and that’s where I will spend my time.

I love my children and my grandchildren. Nothing brings me more joy than being with my sons. Unless it’s spending time with my grandchildren. I confess. I am a terrible grandfather. My grandchildren stay up too late, eat more candy and buy more toys – I never say no. Being with them gives me confidence in life. My hope is restored. It’s one of the best things I do with my time.

I love my friends. Notice, I said friends, not acquaintances. If you can’t count your friends on one hand, you’re very lucky. I am very blessed. These friends make me laugh. They give me courage. They tell me the truth. They answer my call in the middle of the night. They have my back and I have theirs. They are worth my time.

I love my ministry. I love being the pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church. Every day I see Jesus appear in unexpected places and to unexpected people. I’m having too much fun to call it work.

A friend called and wanted to talk about his appointment to a prestigious, but largely ceremonial, position. I asked him, “What will be different after taking this position?

“Nothing,” he said.

I replied, “Then why would you want to give your life to something that does nothing?”

There is a power to our attention. There is an energy in your presence. You only have a limited amount. Make sure you use it for what matters…and only for what matters.


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Joe’s Morning Cup – JoeBucsFan.com https://threewisemenblog.com/joes-morning-cup-joebucsfan-com-11/ Wed, 11 May 2022 08:02:36 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/joes-morning-cup-joebucsfan-com-11/ Welcome to your Morning Cup of Joe, an eye-opener to help Joe readers adjust to their busy work day with some football links, goofy news and a pleasant distraction. Entertainment of the day If the NFL was smart, it could make the schedule a five-day event. [PFT] NFL meetings that should take place. [CBS] It […]]]>

Welcome to your Morning Cup of Joe, an eye-opener to help Joe readers adjust to their busy work day with some football links, goofy news and a pleasant distraction.

Entertainment of the day

If the NFL was smart, it could make the schedule a five-day event. [PFT]

NFL meetings that should take place. [CBS]

It almost made Joe vomit: Look, Urban Meyer is a dirty backpack. But little kicker Josh Lambo is now suing the Jags for emotional distress. That’s almost enough to ban all kickers and punters and bring the NFL back to the days when a kicker/bettor had to be a positional player. [Yahoo!]

All-Salary Team. [NFL]

An article on how Dane Brugler became bigger than Mel Kiper and Todd McShay. [Jacksonville]

Stinking Panthers quarterback Sam Howell says he’s never eaten a steak or burger. No, he is neither vegan nor vegetarian. [BroBible]

Next time, the non-basketball association types get haughty and judgmental with you, which they seem to appreciate. [Outkick]

EXCEPTIONAL! [Twitter]



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24 mistakes and misplaced missionary energy https://threewisemenblog.com/24-mistakes-and-misplaced-missionary-energy/ Mon, 09 May 2022 10:05:00 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/24-mistakes-and-misplaced-missionary-energy/ When the movie celestial fall released in 2012, it was the 23rd installment in the James Bond series which began 60 years ago in 1962 with Dr. No. celestial fall has been heralded as the best Bond movie in years and Daniel Craig the best Bond movie since Sean Connery. This is, without a doubt, […]]]>

When the movie celestial fall released in 2012, it was the 23rd installment in the James Bond series which began 60 years ago in 1962 with Dr. No.

celestial fall has been heralded as the best Bond movie in years and Daniel Craig the best Bond movie since Sean Connery. This is, without a doubt, a party for Bond lovers. From Q revivals to Miss Moneypenny, returning villains to Aston Martins, it deserved its critical acclaim and box office success.

However, there are 24 errors in the film.

I know this because someone poured over the film several times and counted them.

For example, when Bond drinks Macallan in M’s apartment and puts the bottle down, the label is facing the audience. A few scenes later, the label faces the audience.

Gasp!

During the London Underground scenes, Bond gets on at Temple Station and gets off at Westminster, but Embankment, the station between these two stops on the District Line, cannot be found.

Oh my!

Bond is seen driving through Whitehall in London. Behind him, bus #38 is visible. However, the #38 bus does not get off and is not particularly close to Whitehall.

Scandal!

When Bond fights atop the train at the start of the film, his shoes change from black lace-ups to black slip-on ankle boots.

How dare they!

Of course, the 24 errors in celestial fall are nothing compared to the 395 found in Revelation now nor the 310 found in The Wizard of Oz.

When I came across the 24 Mistakes article, I sat down and thought: Really? Who has time to count such tiny errors? Who has the kind of “life” or spirit that would want it?

Who watches the larger-than-life story told through skillful acting, writing and cinematography in such a film – let alone Oscar winners such as Revelation now and The Wizard of Oz – and leaves with bottle labels, metro lines and bus timetables? Who wants to specialize in minors?

In fact, I know. Most leaders do. They are the same kind of people who scan a number of other people, places, or things for errors. And I know at least one of the reasons why they do it too. (We’ll bracket personality for now.)

They have lost the missionary energy.

When I speak of missionary energy, I confess that I have no verse to take you to, no great theological architect of history to quote. Just decades of working with people as a leader. But I will tell you that I believe it is very real and needs to be taken into account. When I talk to other leaders, they also believe it’s real. They may not use my language, but they know what I mean when I describe it.

Here’s the idea: It’s like there’s a certain amount of missional energy in a person and, by extension, in a community of people.

This energy can be turned inward or outward.

If it is turned outwards, towards an authentic mission, the life of the community is relatively peaceful. There is neither the time nor the energy to focus on minor disagreements or small arguments, insignificant mistakes or inconsequential missteps.

In the life of an outward-facing church, no one cares about the color of the rug, the intricacies of another’s eschatology, or the dividing of a Sunday school class in two for make room for others.

Instead, Kingdom victories are celebrated by all, grace is extended to all, and minor mistakes are ignored by all.

Why?

There are obviously much bigger issues at hand.

However, if this energy is not turned outward, the energy still exists. And when that energy is not devoted to a genuine mission, it turns inward, like a dog gnawing on a leg wound. Pseudo-missions resurface, feigning equal importance to the genuine mission. Suddenly, minute questions of order, insignificant variants of biblical interpretation, and insignificant questions of way of life all rush to the fore with a sense of gravity that is wickedly disproportionate.

Of course, this is not limited to churches. You see it in schools, homeowners associations, sports leagues…anywhere people gather.

Yes, there are times when it is necessary to point out faults and errors, moral failings and incongruities. It’s not about turning a blind eye to incompetence.

But let’s make sure the errors we report are major, shall we? Which ones really matter?

And in the meantime, let’s focus on using our energy for something more productive than finding 24 inconsequential mistakes in a 143-minute movie.

Like making a movie or two yourself.

James Emery White

Sources

“Fans notice 24 errors in the new James Bond movie Skyfall” The TelegraphNovember 23, 2012, read online.

The actual compilation of errors on which the article is based was made by moviemistakes.com.

About the Author

James Emery White is the founder and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the assistant professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His last book After “I believe” is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore. To take advantage of a free Church & Culture blog subscription, visit churchandculture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive, read the latest church and culture news from around the world, and listen to the Church & Culture podcast. . Follow Dr. White on TwitterFacebook and Instagram at @JamesEmeryWhite.



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The 100 most popular baby names in Quebec in 2021 https://threewisemenblog.com/the-100-most-popular-baby-names-in-quebec-in-2021/ Thu, 05 May 2022 23:50:28 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/the-100-most-popular-baby-names-in-quebec-in-2021/ Quebecers are quite conservative when it comes to naming babies. There is no “Pomme” or “X Æ A-12” to complete the list of Retraite Québec’s most popular nicknames this year. Instead, Emma and Noah took the top spot in 2021, fending off previous favorites Olivia and Liam. Most of the top titles of the last […]]]>

Quebecers are quite conservative when it comes to naming babies. There is no “Pomme” or “X Æ A-12” to complete the list of Retraite Québec’s most popular nicknames this year. Instead, Emma and Noah took the top spot in 2021, fending off previous favorites Olivia and Liam.

Most of the top titles of the last year are surprisingly English-language. Emma is a Latin name meaning “universal” that originated in the United Kingdom and made its way to North America in the 1990s. It can be used as a standalone name or as a nickname for Emily. It regained the top spot for the first time since 2018 and in 2019. Presumably parents were inspired last year by feminist icon Emma Watson or award-winning actress Emma Stone when deciding what to name their children .

Noah comes from the biblical figure in Hebrew, which means “rest”. The name has grown in popularity since 2016, overtaking the supremely popular name William, which remains in second place.

William topped the charts for 14 years and held No. 2 six times. It held the top spot for a decade, from 2004 to 2011 and then from 2012 to 2013.

Liam, a thinly veiled variant of William, topped the charts in 2020. He has since risen from number one to number five.

The first name Jacob made a notable rise, rising from ninth to sixth position. Zoé and Félix both made it to the top 10, pushing Clara and Logan off the list. Among the more unusual names on the list are Océane at 42 and Maelie at 50 for girls, and Mayson at 50 for boys.

The most popular names for girls include:

  1. Emma
  2. Olivier
  3. Alice
  4. Florence
  5. Charly
  6. Livia
  7. Charlotte
  8. Leah
  9. Romy
  10. Zoe
  11. Claire
  12. Juliet
  13. Rosalie
  14. Beatrice
  15. Pink
  16. Chloe
  17. Eva
  18. Sofia
  19. Mia
  20. Mila
  21. Victoria
  22. Jade
  23. Julia
  24. Leonie
  25. Maeva
  26. Raphaelle
  27. Joan
  28. Camille
  29. Amelie
  30. Flavié
  31. Ophelia
  32. Elizabeth
  33. Helen
  34. Adele
  35. Eleanor
  36. Sophia
  37. Jasmine
  38. Lawrence
  39. Lexi
  40. Alicia
  41. Lily
  42. Oceane
  43. Elijah
  44. Sarah
  45. Anna
  46. Flora
  47. simone
  48. Noelie
  49. Sophia
  50. Maelie

For boy names, the first choice includes:

  1. Noah
  2. William
  3. Thomas
  4. Leo
  5. Liam
  6. Jacob
  7. NathanA
  8. arthur
  9. Edward
  10. Felix
  11. Logan
  12. Emile
  13. Louis
  14. Charles
  15. Raphael
  16. james
  17. Arnaud
  18. Theo
  19. Victor
  20. Adam
  21. Elliot
  22. Alexis
  23. Henry
  24. jules
  25. Benjamin
  26. samuel
  27. Gabrielle
  28. Milano
  29. Olivier
  30. Lawrence
  31. Theodore
  32. Nolan
  33. jackson
  34. Jayden
  35. Lucas
  36. Anthony
  37. Zack
  38. Eloi
  39. Ethan
  40. Matheo
  41. Axel
  42. James
  43. Eli
  44. mathis
  45. Hubert
  46. xavier
  47. Zechariah
  48. Leonardo
  49. Loic
  50. Mayson

Retraite Québec compiles the annual list of popular baby names based on data collected from family financial assistance.


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2022 midterm referendum on the Trump Court! https://threewisemenblog.com/2022-midterm-referendum-on-the-trump-court/ Thu, 05 May 2022 21:45:00 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/2022-midterm-referendum-on-the-trump-court/ Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barrett and Thomas……..names that will live on in Infamy! The history of the United States is at stake! Elections have consequences, they say! This was certainly the case in 2016…. when by hook or by crook…..DJ took the presidency! Donnie was not a nice person, not a great person, not even a […]]]>

Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barrett and Thomas……..names that will live on in Infamy!

The history of the United States is at stake! Elections have consequences, they say! This was certainly the case in 2016…. when by hook or by crook…..DJ took the presidency! Donnie was not a nice person, not a great person, not even a special person. Like all old despots, he knew how to make the system work… we should give him credit for that. He knew how to use intimidation, threats, dismissive name-calling, and actual criminal intent…so he could outsmart the system and then win. After I left office…these techniques haven’t changed. DJ has found and is still looking for every sellout, lying, vulgar person he can find to support and run for office on his behalf.

We remember so many early DJ rallies where a few protesters were taken out and beaten up…with his complete agreement: “Take them here….take them back to their mommies…..and do whatever you want to do to them.
and I will pay for your legal defense! It was called: “Welcome to Trumpian politics”. Each rally had two blonde girls or women with MAGA hats and t-shirts supporting it in front of the camera. Today, it’s two or more black people with Trump shirts. Insults were in order and DJ did not hesitate to attack the disabled, women in general or small sizes! Image politics…..via the Trumpian edict! The white Christian exception, even though he never went to church. His Sunday church has always been the golf course! It could also hold any Bible upside down with no problem!

The boy knew how to make the system work and so DJ did his best for four years culminating in one last insurgent attempt to overturn the legal 2020 elections and stay in power on January 6th like any despot across the world could do it on several other continents. The Trumpian world includes those who wish to overturn women’s rights, gay rights, black and minority rights and empower a few of his pseudo-oligarch cronies in the process.

This current Trump-filled Supreme Court will make the first of so many bad appeals that are sure to follow, some of which they have already made against the rights of all Americans. Next June, their judgment will determine whether Roe v Wade and Roe v Casey will stand and/or remain key Establishment Law precedents, or will they simply be thrown out the window and placed in the dustbin of history. . This is, however, only the basic prelude for other decisions that will follow, such as those that followed German conduct in the 1930s. This 2020 midterm election could in fact determine the very fate of our country for the 100 years or more to come.

This all might sound a bit alarmist, but if we ask you to look back on the days after the Civil War and what happened when Andrew Johnson took over from Abe Lincoln……those decisions lasted over 100 years.

So, America must be educated, the American must be energized. America should not allow four hand-picked Trump loyalists to decide the fate of our country now or for the next 100 years. The fate of our Nation and our values
does not rest in their hands but in OUR hands. Simply ask anyone who may be applying for a position at any level….where they stand on Roe Vs Wade or Roe vs Casey….and then YOU make your qualified choice of available candidates!

Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barrett and Thomas……..names that will live on in Infamy! If allowed to stand!

2022 midterm referendum on the Trump Court?

Time to vote your will?


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Regime change in the South Pacific https://threewisemenblog.com/regime-change-in-the-south-pacific/ Wed, 04 May 2022 05:54:17 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/regime-change-in-the-south-pacific/ As you read this, the US Central Intelligence Agency will be planning regime change in the South Pacific. The target will be the Solomon Islands. The United States was caught off guard by Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s signing of an agreement with China with security and development benefits for the Solomons. Beijing has […]]]>

As you read this, the US Central Intelligence Agency will be planning regime change in the South Pacific. The target will be the Solomon Islands.

The United States was caught off guard by Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s signing of an agreement with China with security and development benefits for the Solomons. Beijing has already concluded security agreements with Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Fiji, but none of these agreements provide for the deployment of Chinese armed police and military to deal with local unrest in the Solomons.

The United States had left the South Pacific to Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand to manage on its behalf, but the lazy racism of European colonizers and condescending attitudes towards the Solomons led Sogavare’s government to look elsewhere – and the United States is not satisfied.

None of us want to see the militarization of the Pacific and our backyard become contested terrain for the major nuclear powers. But the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia have already decided to follow this path with nuclear submarine projects in the South Pacific as part of the American strategy of “containment” for China.

The United States has worked hard for decades to encircle China and Russia with military bases and increase the pressure on them both, as they represent a challenge to the American goal of “total dominance”, which means that the States United States, and only the United States, will have the power to shape the world, in every respect, for its own interests. To achieve this, the United States will tolerate no opposition.

As a sovereign country, the Solomons have the right to decide their own destiny and to enter into agreements and alliances with whom and when they choose – except when it intersects with the strategic interests of the United States.

In response to the Solomons’ decision, a high-level US delegation visited the Solomons for a 90-minute meeting with Sogavare last week and pledged to open a US embassy in the capital Honiara.

This is their opening piece. From this base, they will meet with various tribal leaders, community groups and opposition politicians to decide who they want for the post of prime minister. They will oil their most promising relationships with vast wads of cash while working hard to massage grievances and open up fault lines in Solomonic society. Massive civil unrest will be encouraged in an effort to render the Solomons ungovernable, after which they will intervene and help install some kind of pro-American “unity” government with their chosen leaders.

TDB recommends NewzEngine.com

How much money will it cost? Not as much as the supposed $5 billion spent by the CIA to orchestrate the overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected, pro-Russian government in 2014, but enough to get the job done.

And what will be the response of the government of Aotearoa in New Zealand? Lots of angst and twist but nothing else.

This country refused to stand with the people of East Timor invaded by Indonesia in the mid-1970s and we still refuse to again support the struggle for independence of the people of West Papua – Indonesia under occupation.

When regime change occurs in the Solomons, we will stand with the United States rather than with the people of the Solomon Islands.


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The Newcastle United Blog | Italian journalist claims Newcastle are on the trail of 23-year-old striker https://threewisemenblog.com/the-newcastle-united-blog-italian-journalist-claims-newcastle-are-on-the-trail-of-23-year-old-striker/ Tue, 03 May 2022 18:46:55 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/the-newcastle-united-blog-italian-journalist-claims-newcastle-are-on-the-trail-of-23-year-old-striker/ Newcastle will be looking to land a top young striker this summer. There are a few high profile targets who continue to enter the conversation with Benfica’s Darwin Nunez and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen. However, it might take a miracle to rival our recent rise in the leaderboard to land either. If they became available, they […]]]>

Newcastle will be looking to land a top young striker this summer. There are a few high profile targets who continue to enter the conversation with Benfica’s Darwin Nunez and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen.

However, it might take a miracle to rival our recent rise in the leaderboard to land either. If they became available, they would be in high demand and cost a small fortune. Newcastle may have to move on to other targets.

Sport Witness cite a claim from Italy that Newcastle are tracking Sassuolo’s Gianluca Scamacca, who was briefly linked in January. The 6’5″ Italian equaled Osimhen’s tally in Serie A with 13 goals, but with 9 more appearances.

According to Italian journalist Ciro Venerato, Newcastle and the two Milan clubs are on the trail of Scamacca. Napoli also view the 23-year-old as a potential replacement should Osimhen leave this summer.

Prior to this season, Scamacca spent the majority of the past three years on loan with Cremonese, PEC Zwolle, Ascoli and Genoa. He ended his loan spell at Genoa with 6 goals in his last 8 appearances.

This is his first serious outing for the Sassuolo side, which he joined from PSV in 2017. Scamacca also has three caps for Italy, most recently last March. A potential problem is that he signed a contract extension last month until 2026.

Venerato has his price tag at €40m which is very high but probably half of what Osimhen would command. With Newcastle desperate to add options up front, Scamacca could be one to watch this summer.


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Joe’s Morning Cup – JoeBucsFan.com https://threewisemenblog.com/joes-morning-cup-joebucsfan-com-10/ Mon, 02 May 2022 15:50:48 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/joes-morning-cup-joebucsfan-com-10/ Joe’s morning cup May 2, 2022 Welcome to your Morning Cup of Joe, an eye-opener to help Joe readers adjust to their busy work day with some football links, goofy news and a pleasant distraction. Entertainment of the day Lamar Jackson must have been bitter about the Crows’ draft. [PFT] Better adjustments for the remaining […]]]>

Joe’s morning cup

May 2, 2022

Welcome to your Morning Cup of Joe, an eye-opener to help Joe readers adjust to their busy work day with some football links, goofy news and a pleasant distraction.

Entertainment of the day

Lamar Jackson must have been bitter about the Crows’ draft. [PFT]

Better adjustments for the remaining free agents. [CBS]

Did the Packers go faster than the bottom? It’s an old Al Davis thing. [Yahoo!]

Chris Simms: Pot mouth. [Awful Announcing]

Booing Roger Goodell. [BroBible]

Documented evidence supporting Sage Steele’s claim that she was targeted by her employer Disney/BSPN for not espousing wokeism. [Outkick]

Danica Patrick had breast implants? [Page Six]



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The Mark of a Christian (2022) https://threewisemenblog.com/the-mark-of-a-christian-2022/ Mon, 02 May 2022 10:30:00 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/the-mark-of-a-christian-2022/ We live in a time of deeply contentious disagreements over a number of things, but most are political in nature or over things that, while not overtly political, have been politicized. When we disagree with each other, we have two choices: we can retain the ultimate mark of Christianhood, or we can abandon it and […]]]>

We live in a time of deeply contentious disagreements over a number of things, but most are political in nature or over things that, while not overtly political, have been politicized. When we disagree with each other, we have two choices: we can retain the ultimate mark of Christianhood, or we can abandon it and betray it.

In the biography of Jesus written by John, we have the poignant last words and prayers of Jesus to his disciples before his death on the cross. It is considered by many to be one of the most moving sections of the New Testament.

So what occupied Jesus during the moments before his death?

No wonder he wanted the world to know that his death was a sacrifice – that he gave his life for theirs, paid the price for their sins and offered his death as a gift so they could receive the forgiveness and enter into life. a full and intimate relationship with God the Father.

But how would that be?

How would people know, without a doubt, that what Jesus offered came from God? How would they know that Jesus Himself was God the Son in human form, who came to planet Earth to show the way? How would it be authenticated in a way that would be unequivocal and compel people to heed it?

Most would say, “The Resurrection,” and they wouldn’t be wrong. But that’s not what Jesus suggested the night before he died. He said one thing, and only one, would confirm all of this to a watching world:

Loving unity among His followers.

And to lead this house, he first commanded it (John 15:9-12), then prayed specifically for it (John 17:20-21). For Jesus, the observable love between those who called themselves his disciples was everything. It would be this unity that would attract the attention of the world and confirm that He came from the Father.

We often marvel at the growth of the early Church – the explosion of faith in Christ in such numbers and at such speed that in the twinkling of history the Roman Empire officially passed from paganism to Christianity. We are looking for formulas and programs, services and processes. The simple truth is that they fleshed out Jesus’ challenge and prayer. As the second-century writer Tertullian noted, the impressed pagan reaction to Christian communal life was, “See how they love one another.”

When the Bible speaks of such unity of love, it does not mean uniformity, that is, everyone looks and thinks alike. And the biblical idea of ​​unity should certainly not be confused with unanimity, which is complete agreement on every minor issue at all levels. By unity the Bible means first and foremost a unity of heart – a relational unity.

It involves being kind to each other, gracious to each other, forgiving each other – without imagining the worst, shooting the wounded or being quick to be suspicious. Biblical unity is about overcoming conflict, avoiding slander and gossip, and being generous in spirit.

Such unity and such love, as Francis Schaeffer wrote, is the “mark of the Christian”. Not just a feeling of love or an acknowledgment of love, but rather a expression of love. And that’s the litmus test that Jesus gave the world to know if we really reflect him.

As Schaeffer wrote:

“Jesus gives the world a right. On his authority, he gives the world the right to judge whether you and I are born-again Christians based on our observable love for all Christians.

“It’s pretty scary. Jesus turns to the world and says, “I have something to tell you. On the basis of my authority, I give you a right: you can judge whether an individual is a Christian or not on the basis of the love he shows to all Christians.

Schaeffer then added that the world cares little for doctrine. That the only thing that will hold the attention of a world that has disavowed the very idea of ​​truth is “the love that true Christians show for one another and not just for their own party.”

By party, Schaeffer meant any segment of the Christian faith you might belong to, such as a Baptist or a Presbyterian. And these divisions can run deep. But this is not where love and Christian unity are most violated today. It is the observable unity and love between Christians despite political divisions.

At this moment in history, we can either be a shining light to the world – another example of how the Christian faith creates radical community even in the midst of honest disagreement – or we can allow our faith to to be cast aside in the name of politics and therefore unloving attitudes and words cause a stench that the world can smell and destroys our testimony before a watching world.

So why is it so bad right now? What’s going on with us? Why are so many Christians behaving so badly, in ways that are no better than non-Christians, if not worse?

Two reasons come to mind.

The first is that we don’t know how to pleasantly disagree with someone. We only know how to indulge, demonize, belittle, belittle, cancel. We don’t even try to sympathize with others, enter into understanding, or put love before opinions. We can barely treat them with basic human dignity.

In other words, we only know one way to disagree: to wage war.

As Robert Morris wrote, to choose war is to set someone else apart as an enemy, often through a process of disrespect and dehumanization. And we love war! Being at war and having enemies can be exhilarating. It brings a sense of moral clarity and purpose in life. The trick is that when you demonize your opponents so much, especially when they are fellow Christians, you don’t have to think of them as Christians at all. You simply relegate them to a sub-Christian level and absolve yourself of any responsibility for civility, let alone charity.

Which leads to another reason why this happens:

We stopped seeing it as a sin.

Whether on blogs or chat rooms, on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, we spit the most caustic and petty words, actions and attitudes as if they were not objectionable before heaven. But they are. According to Jesus, and throughout the New Testament, this is equated with second degree murder (Matthew 5:21-22; James 3:5-10).

The one thing we must not do as followers of Christ is engage in partisan bickering in such a way that we put party before faith. We are not primarily Republicans or Democrats. We are first and foremost disciples of Christ. And as followers of Christ, we must bear the mark of our Savior.

And the mark of a Christian is love. This means that we see our brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of party or position, as our brothers and sisters in Christ. And the way we should interact and engage should be the way a healthy, loving, functioning family should interact and engage.

One of the stories that surfaced around the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was her deep friendship with another Supreme Court Justice who died before her, Antonin Scalia. You couldn’t imagine two people more politically distant. However, the icon on the left and the icon on the right were extremely close.

They went to the opera together.

Their families spent Christmas Eve together.

And while vacationing with their families, they even rode elephants together in India.

No, it’s not Photoshopped.

It’s Scalia and Ginsburg.

A little-known story is that Scalia once bought Ginsburg two dozen roses for her birthday. One of her clerks, knowing how divided they were on countless court cases and that she had never given him the vote he needed on a 5-4 decision of any significance, asked him why he had done it. Scalia simply said, “Some things are more important than votes.”

Yes they are.

To claim the relational unity that we are called to demonstrate before a watching world, we must have an underlying trust of our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we can find that, we’ll flesh out the only true, real mark of Christian faith that Jesus said would be the only thing that would hold the attention of the world and prove that what He came to establish was real. And this mark has been and always will be,

… love.

James Emery White

Sources

Tertullian’s Apology, AD 197.

Francois Schaeffer, the Mark of the Christian.

Robert Corin Morris, “Christians Fight – Again,” weavingsVolume XXII, Number 2, March/April 2007.

Jennifer Senior, “The Ginsburg-Scalia Act Wasn’t a Prank”, The New York TimesSeptember 22, 2020, read online.

Editor’s Note

This blog was first published in 2020. The Church and Culture team thought you might like to read it again.

About the Author

James Emery White is the founder and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the assistant professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book After “I believe” is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore. To take advantage of a free Church & Culture blog subscription, visit churchandculture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive, read the latest church and culture news from around the world, and listen to the Church & Culture podcast. . Follow Dr. White on TwitterFacebook and Instagram at @JamesEmeryWhite.



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Mediawatch: Stuff’s Woke Crusade Against Free Speech https://threewisemenblog.com/mediawatch-stuffs-woke-crusade-against-free-speech/ Sun, 01 May 2022 16:01:13 +0000 https://threewisemenblog.com/mediawatch-stuffs-woke-crusade-against-free-speech/ In New Zealand’s most woke media (behind RNZ and The spin-off obviously), Stuff argues that there isn’t really a fight for free speech in New Zealand… Authorization to express oneself freely: is freedom of expression threatened? The cancellation was both bizarre and totally predictable. Even those that were canceled didn’t seem entirely surprised. It happened […]]]>

In New Zealand’s most woke media (behind RNZ and The spin-off obviously), Stuff argues that there isn’t really a fight for free speech in New Zealand…

Authorization to express oneself freely: is freedom of expression threatened?

The cancellation was both bizarre and totally predictable. Even those that were canceled didn’t seem entirely surprised.

It happened in Auckland on Tuesday. Activist Daphna Whitmore was hoping to present a public lecture at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) on the topic of “feminism, advocacy and free speech”.

Those on campus would have heard Whitmore leading “a discussion of free speech in the context of an often polarizing debate over transgender-critical gender feminism,” according to a Facebook post.

…good to see Stuff following TDB stories, but having the most woke media in New Zealand (behind RNZ and The spin-off obviously) denying that there’s a woke Lynch mob that deplatforms and cancels anything that triggers them, it’s kind of like the Russian version of Seven Sharp cover military casualty rates or get mom bloggers overhauled Dancing with the stars and sex toys.

I mean sure you could have a blogger mom review Dancing with the stars and sex toys, but who in their right mind would read that? It would be like a suburban hellhole of mediocrity endlessly regurgitating into its own mouth.

Why would anyone read this? Why?

TDB recommends NewzEngine.com

I digress.

Personally, I’m surprised that Stuff hasn’t received death threats against his pets for staging TERFs in a free speech debate.

Journalists have a unique relationship with woke Twitter. If they feed the dogma needs of their readers, they get praise, if they challenge the dogma of their awakened audience, they are distorted and nullified.

It’s like how the Green Party is being held hostage by its woke activists.

I like the shots that were fired.

The article does not note that there was an attempted cancellation by Dr. Bryce Edwards.

The article does not note how Rachel Stewart was cut from MILKED or had her guns taken away.

The article does not note that there was a successful media complaint against the way Listener 7 was treated.

The article is cheered at the end by the letter from academics calling misogyny the last failed throw of the dice in defense of woke dogma, but it could be argued that misogyny is part of a stress response to economic backlash and wider socials and is just as much a sign of the times as ram raids and teenagers.

This article disguises the identity vs. class schism as free speech rather than a reaction for glorious progress, but all Stuff is trying to do here is minimize the damage caused by Lynch’s woke mobs because his audience is a passionate lyncher.

The revival cult and the millions of ideological knife fights it has sparked on a thousand different social fronts will be punished when voters can vote anonymously without fear of social reprisal for their views.

Pure temple politics alienates unless your tribe is doing the alienating.

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