Oppose Gambling For The Right Reasons

Conservative Christians can’t talk about gambling, if we don’t see the bigger picture.

We must understand that gambling is an issue of economic justice. We can’t really address the gambling issue if we ignore the larger issue of poverty. Evangelicals who don’t care (as does Jesus, the prophets, and the apostles) about the poor can’t speak adequately to the gambling issues. By this I don’t simply mean caring about individual poor people but about the way social and political and corporate structures contribute to the misery of the impoverished (James 5:1-6). We will never get to the nub of the gambling issue if we don’t get at a larger vision of poverty and the limits of commercial power.

Too many of our “opponents” see us as morally-prissy Victorians who don’t want people doing “naughty” things in our presence. Let’s demolish that pretense, by being the gritty colony of the kingdom that sees the economically downtrodden among us as, when in Christ, “heirs of the kingdom” (Jas. 2:5). And let’s hold out a vision, for all of us, of an inheritance that comes not through predation, and not through luck, but through sonship, through grace.


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God Commiserates When You Are Angry At Injustice

I got angry at others who did not feel the same as me—all of those nice people on Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram, living their normal lives while everyone I knew was falling apart. I tried to poke sticks at other people, bring up genocides and conflicts and statistics on poverty and racism. I wanted them to bleed like I was bleeding too. I wanted others to be overwhelmed, just as I was.

But soon enough, I found them. My tribe. The crazy emotional, the broken, the ridiculous, the happy-one-minute-sobbing-into-their-coffee-the-next tribe. I found people who very much believed in God and got very very angry with him at the state of the world. I found them in the place I least expected, the place I was scared to go all along. I found them in the Bible.


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Ferguson Is About The Failure Of Fathers & Families

At the heart of the Brown case was the responsibility of parents to train their children rightly. “If the parents don’t turn back to God, love Him with all their heart, soul and might, get married, and by good example guide their children in the right way to go, it’s never going to get better, because that is the order of God,” Peterson continued. “According to the Scriptures, God advised us to train our children up in the right way to go, and when you do, you don’t have to deal with this stuff when they go out into the world.”


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What Happens When The Mission Shifts From Making Disciples To Bringing Justice

Unfortunately, in some of our circles there’s been a subtle shift away from the main thing. Justice has replaced Jesus as the new North Star. First priority is no longer bringing Jesus to a lost and dying world. It’s bringing mercy and justice to a suffering and disadvantaged world. Jesus has become an optional add-on.

The shift from offering mercy and justice in the name of Jesus to offering mercy and justice without mentioning his name may seem subtle. After all, we’re still doing the things he has called us to do. But it’s a subtle shift with huge consequences because the moment Jesus becomes optional, the Great commission has been redefined.


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