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December 17, 2018 10:12 am
This weekon Family Policy Matters, NC Family is happy to share part two of a two-part speech from our Winston-Salem Major Speakers Dinner. In this second portion, Dr. Bruce Ashford, a provost and professor of theology and culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, discusses the social ostracism Christians can experience and how to stand firm in our faith in a secular world.
We need to let the Bible framed the way we view things in the way we treat people the matter what the radio talkshow host say matter what the political pundits say no matter what. Many of our political leaders do, we will cut our own wake were Christians first and foremost that's our first thing is family policy matters, a weekly radio show and podcast from NC family designed to better inform listeners about the critical issues of the day and encourage you to be voices of persuasion for family values in your communities. Today we bring cartoon of a speech delivered by Dr. Bruce Ashford to RNC family nature speakers dinner in Winston-Salem. Dr. Ashford is Provost at Southeastern Baptist theological seminary and a prolific writer, including a new book entitled letters to an American Christian Ashford Dulles appreciated politics fit together. You give us an example of how one biblical doctrine can shape her view on three different policy issues that we do the something in a secular age for the first time in history in America. You're actually often viewed as a morally bad person for believing that the teachings of Christian Scripture, not just a Christianity's been displaced from the default position is now positively contested by the dozens of other ideologies and ways of thinking and religions so that almost everybody in society feels that doubts about what they say they believe this is kind of the setting that many of the people around us are neighbors people on her Facebook wall. Help me Lord my Facebook will be the people we know. Consider historic Christian teaching on any number of things implausible and even unimaginable, maybe even reprehensible in a situation like this I think were tempted to lose heart load times when watch TV maybe we should stop watching as much as we do the media outlets I'm telling you the media outlets are making money and they make money off of anger and fear, and so everything gets exaggerated, it looks like the entire countries burning down if we keep watching the news might actually burn down, we might all be convinced convinced that everyone else in the country as a bunch of idiots and jerks, but all that to say when watch the news on when I despair a minute been so disillusioned the past two or three years past 1015, because the forces arrayed against us seem so powerful right, but you need to know when you need to remember that God in his word that God in his gospel or even more powerful than any force can be arrayed among among us.
Security is 12 nights is my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. In fact, if you don't hear anything else that I don't you hear this, John 2021 Jesus looked at his disciples and he said as the father sent me so I send you.
When he told them that he show them the hands of the holes in his hands and aside one of the points he was making is this, that if I is the cosmic King of the universe came to speak truth to power to declare that Jesus is Lord and Caesar is not that if I did that I was crucified and when you do that you're going to suffer to solicit if the cosmic King of the universe. The only innocent one amount minus minus could suffer a definite cross we in this room in North Carolina can suffer a little bit of social ostracism. Some people are angry. In her Facebook wall and typing WITH!'s on the steel KEYS and excavation marks release people as if they could even say anything at all you know so so Jesus went when we Jesus came he was prophetic. He spoke the truth to power. We can do the same thing. He was sacrificial was a homeless itinerant teacher had nowhere to lay his head. And so we we can be willing to talk to suffer some setbacks socially. That's the neighbors who don't like us or think were weirder backwards you know we we might set some good stuff for some setbacks as businessmen.
When people know what we believe right the corporate world is right against us in many ways the big corporations are many of Jesus was humbly confident to because he knew he return one day to set the world writes so many before tips that for things that not only for before things I think we need to do as were increasingly marginalized in our country right. Maybe the marginalization. I certainly hope so. That's what I'm looking for.
I want to lose all I'm saying is we can't control whether our view of the good life in our view, politically as and when the day so if we as Christians continue to get marginalized your score. Things were to continue today to do the forces really need to reintroduce God re-center him in public life.
Most people have some sort of a view of our God we believe in and they're wildly wrong about we go to find a way of reintroducing Empire like for you to meet the king of the universe. It never really met them you think you have but you haven't, what are some ways of doing that I would have to go very quickly.
Hear what you, but if what I say. If you don't catch it on. I might have to go very quickly if it resonates with you by the book where you need to learn to realize that the Bible's narrative of the world is the true story of the world that MSNBC's narrative in CNN's narrative and Fox's narrative are not the true story of the whole world. There are smaller narrative of the world that each pick out their own evils in the world and in their own Savior from those evils, but only the Bible is the true story of the whole world. We need to let the Bible frame the way we view things in the way we treat people no matter what the radio talkshow host say matter what the political pundits say no matter what. Many of our political leaders do, we will cut our own wake were Christians first and foremost that's our first team were Republicans or Democrats second team that means that were never intensely or entirely loyal to any political leader or any political party that stuff is what John means what he says were bipartisan we were actually the only person we give full allegiance to his Christ the King who will return one day to install a one world government and one party system for justice roll down like the waters and is not his and make things right.
Okay. And that's our great hope are certain hope. So we want to reintroduce God by letting people sleep the Bible's narrative. The world is a true narrative. Also by showing people the false gods don't deliver the false gods of sexual freedom wealth acquisition power accumulation material quality cultural heritage when you name it anything you elevate about God. Anytime you take something that God created or gave us an elevated above him and worship him. It's good to go badly for you. If we can show that connect the dots for people.
Then we can introduce to them the real and true God, and his vision for human life and flourishing his only real and true vision. So get a re-center God put him back at the center. At the same time we have to decentered the self.
Two people can share the stage in this sort of situation that we decentered the self. Jeremiah 29 seven God tells Israel to seek the welfare of the city to put down roots, plant vineyards have farms have children is when they were in exile.
God was saying is I want you my people put down roots in the city and make it a better place. What we can do as Christians is to make very clear to the people around us that we want what is best for the entirety of the nation were not just special pleading for ourselves, our own tribe. This is not identity politics.
We are seeking the good for every identity and not merely our own identity. A second thing that we can do in this and really important. This is the one that's causing me. I don't know I just test felt like the past two years been a gut punch. We are going to have to learn how to stand there in the moment when people are arrayed against us telling partial truths about us lies about us misunderstanding or motivations thinking were hateful people cursing at us mocking us emergent have to learn to stand there in the moment and not respond in kind is deeply important that we don't respond in kind. We should not take the cues of political leaders who do that we be very careful not to do that. The quickest way to lose our our moral authority to lose our witness. It takes a lot. It takes strength.
It's a weak person who has consult in mock a karate chop and fight its weakness not strength. Strength is to stand there in the moment be a statesman like John Rustin, like Dan Forrest any number of other people in this people on both sides of aisle, care themselves with dignity and strength to stand there in a civil manner and put forth a reasoned discourse and to care about the person you're talking to.
That is strength and we as of all people as Christians should engage in public life in that manner.
Strength, not weakness listening to the family policy matters radio show and cast around family. You can sign up to receive and to listen to the show online and from what resources you need persuasion website family Martin number three. We need to reframe the issues. A lot of times in this contentious issues in American life is cozy up to secular parties who have framed those issues in their own terms. So even if I almost always agree with one party instead of the other the way I reach my conclusions is different or my tone is different or maybe my conclusion is a little bit different. I think it's very important for us to do that for letter to letter Christianity be the master shaper. Listen to this. Too many of us have set in our homes for hours every night thousands of hours of the course of our life. We have been discipled. Our favorite political talkshow hosts so that our view of the world is shaped almost entirely by the talkshow host rather than by the Scriptures and we have absolutely got to fight to reverse that and then finally we need to revitalize cultural institutions.
I don't have time to go through them because I don't want to skip the conclusion all right, but we need to work to shape cultural institutions are schools or legal institutions are families or churches to make those institutions as strong as they can be and that is why local politics and state politics in its own way, is much more important than national politics. That's for school systems get shaped families get shaped churches get shaped businesses or shape so the relationship to Christianity, politics and public life is not an insignificant matter. As I conclude our secular age is in many ways a very challenging one for us as Christians right up to pretty challenging age. Listen to this, our society will lose much of what is good about it. If it loses the Christian influence and we can be salt and light, no matter how tough it gets, or how many, no matter how many of the forces arrayed against us that Christianity is custom-built to give witness from the margins that matter how powerful those forces are God and his word are more powerful God and his gospel is more powerful. One day when I die, when the Lord returns I get to meet him as an American. Now that's not my primary identity. Primary identity is Christian but I'm an American and also me to miss an American and I'll give account to him for what I did with the nation that he put in our hands and so it is just ask you tonight to think about what are some ways that you with the life that God is given you can be a faithful steward to the citizenship with which he's entrusted you so some of the great state of North Carolina is no standard rather live in. It actually turns out to be probably the most important state and national politics right now. So what can we do at the local level at the state level, and maybe even at the national level. Think about what can you do one thing you can do support this institution that it asked me to say that I mean it. One day Christ returns. Lessing immunoassay and he will institute like a set one world government and one party system and justice will roll down like the waters, but until that day. Maybe God in his grace, while allow us in this room to be the heart and strength of the state of North Carolina and maybe of our nation and to be at the forefront of any good movement of social, cultural and political concern, closing prayer and asked the Lord to work in and through a policy banquet to do big things in our lives in the future spray together. Father we come to you in the name of your son by the power of your spirit because of your son, we have we come boldly before your throne with confidence. We ascribe all glory and power and honor to you and to you alone. We thank you for your goodness who is you sent your son to save us. You've given us. You revealed your word to us. We thank you that you have planted us in the great state of North Carolina and that you put us in the 21st century. In the midst of this secular context.
We pray father that you will help us to exhibit that combination that your son exhibited that combination of truth and grace as we seek to be at the heart of every good movement of social, cultural and political concern for your glory Lord in the name of your son, we pray.
Amen. You have been listening to family policy weekly radio show and cast around and see family.
This was part of a speech delivered by Dr. Bruce to our family, nature speakers in Winston-Salem can also hear the entire firstname.lastname@example.org/events and for more resources that will help you need a voice of persuasion in your go to our website and see family.
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