A Place Of Sanity and Encouragement: Kevin H
I’ve asked Kevin to come on board regularly as a voice I trust and a co-laborer in the turgid times to come. We aren’t going to moderate a free for all…we want this to be a place where we are always checking everything against biblical ethics and standards and encouraging those trying to do so with us.
I’m grateful for his help and his heart…now, here’s Kevin.
Over the past few years I have left the majority of my writings to the confines of my Facebook page, as I increasingly delved into issues which had political implications, because I wanted to spare this community the political anguish and brawling which so often result from posting such things, especially in our current age which is rife with proliferating political division and extremes.
Even so, as I have scrutinized political events, circumstances and the corresponding reactions to them, I have many times made the plea that it’s not about the politics for me. Frequently I have stated my distaste of politics and have said that I would rather not have anything to do with them, as they are so often stained, if not engulfed by nefarious corruption. Nonetheless, I choose to speak to political issues because I am concerned by the Christian response to them, and that concern has only grown over the last several years as Christian activity in politics has concurrently grown in intensity and notoriety. My heart is in addressing Christian actions and attitudes to political issues and not in trying to take some kind of political side, champion some political cause, or win political arguments.
I have many difficulties with both sides of the political aisle in our country and I truly do not have favor for one side over the other, even as I still lean center-right on the majority of my political ideals. However, I have long chosen to speak much more about the difficulties I see on the conservative side of things, both politically and theologically, because that has always been where my “family” resides. I believe in the admonitions given in Scripture to first and foremost be concerned with one’s own wrongdoings, and then the wrongdoings within one’s own church family, well before being concerned with the wrongdoings of “others” or “outsiders”.
Try as I may, I am often not very successful at seeing the log in my own eye instead of the speck of dust in the other’s eye, and so I make no claims at being an expert at this, especially on a personal level. However, what I often choose to speak out about are not personal issues or personal relationships, but rather issues that are public in nature. Thus I see issues, many of them often related to politics, where I believe my church family (meaning not my personal local church but rather the broader conservative evangelical church family that I have always considered to be my own) is committing much iniquity. Personal sin requires a personal response, but public sin requires a public response.
Now, by no means do I condemn all conservative evangelical Christians and churches of such malfeasance, as that is certainly not the case. There are many within my church family, who while imperfectly as we are all human, are faithfully carrying out their lives by honoring God in their conduct and interaction with issues and circumstances that are public and/or political in nature. All the more, my immediate nuclear family has found a new local church body in the past couple years that avoids many of the political pitfalls that ensnare so many within the conservative evangelical community, and this has been a breath of fresh air to me.
However, there also has been a pandemic of sorts (not COVID, but COVID gets wrapped up in it) that has swept across my broader church family that has sickened it and is bringing shame upon the witness of Jesus Christ. The seeds have been planted and watered and growing for a long time now, but these last several years have brought about exponential and devastating growth of the virus. It is not good and I believe God compels me to speak out against it.
You see, contrary to opinion that is sometimes expressed, I actually love the Church and don’t hate it, even the evangelical church which has always been and continues to be my main identification within the Church. I want to see it doing good and flourishing and bringing glory to the name of Jesus Christ. Yet what I and we have witnessed in recent times has been so much the opposite. So many within my family are sick, and their actions driven by this sickness are hurting themselves, hurting others, and hurting the cause of Christ. This should not be, and yet it is, and consequently the truth about it must be proclaimed.
With all that said, I will be bringing more of my writings here once again. Michael and I see a community here that is seemingly more and more yearning for an escape from the craziness and depravity that has become of so much of the American Evangelical world, especially when it comes to matters relating to politics. If my writings can help bring a modicum of serenity, sanity, and encouragement to those who are seeking it, it may be worth it even as the potential of sparking political turmoil lies ever present. At the very least, I would hope that those who do have disagreement with things I write would be able to see my heart.
The path that so much of the conservative American church has gone down, especially in relation to politics in its obsession with gaining power and control and winning cultural and political wars and demeaning, disdaining, and defeating all those deemed to be the enemy, is not good, is harmful to the health of our country and our faith, and is sin. These things must be said if we are to be faithful to God’s Word, yet, I also always want to point to a better way.
“For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. ‘Purge the evil person from among you.'” – I Corinthians 5:12-13
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” – I Peter 2:24