A Place Of Sanity and Encouragement: Kevin H

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20 Responses

  1. LInn says:

    Kevin,
    I totally stopped talking about politics at my church a long time ago after being shot out of the air a few times. It wasn’t worth the time or the arguing. I’m in the middle on most things, and then rather passionate on treating immigrants with care and kindness no matter where they come from. We called a new pastor in 2017 who turned out to be political conservative (i.e. MAGA) and preached it from the pulpit. After COVID hit, the insistence from the pulpit became almost palpable. I’ve been in the church 20+ years, and I wasn’t ready to leave yet, especially because i have so much invested emotionally and spiritually in our Spanish congregation.

    Somewhere in all the Zoom sermons and scoldings about the right way to do things, something happened to our pastor. We did lose some dear members of our congregation to COVID, we had seniors (about 1/4 of the congregation) terrified to return to church when it opened up and many precautions were taken to entice them back, precautions that were continued laughable previously. The sermons softened-good preaching, less politics. I don’t know what brought about the change, but I’m thankful. Maybe it was Jan 6, or the continued ranting of a former president who does not seem connected to reality.

    I am hopeful that the church will continue to stand for what is true, not for what is politically expedient. I continue to pray specifically for the leadership that will not be the MAGA church, the Republican church, the anti-woke church, the anti-vaxxer church…I think those are all distractions from what God calls the church to be-a place where His Word is pre-eminent and where discipleship and service to one another and to outsiders is expected.

  2. Michael says:

    Linn,

    Well said.
    We both hope that folks like you who have a real “biblical worldview” will be encouraged her in the Lord.

    Kevin has been standing by himself over on Facebook for a long time…I’ll stand with him.

  3. Kevin H says:

    Linn,

    I’m glad to hear of the turn at your church. Sadly though, your experience is probably the opposite of how far more churches have turned the other way over the last several years.

    When a church presents itself (whether overtly or subtly) as MAGA or Republican or anti-vaxx, etc. (or all the opposite ways), it is setting up impediments and barriers to it functioning as a church should, both to its own members and in its witness to outsiders.

  4. Donner says:

    Would that you would wield your corrective insight on the left as well. When the pendulum of correction begins to swing, it overcorrects until it finds the balancing point. I often see as much rabid angst directed toward MAGA extremes and even hatred of the former President from those piously taking a supposed “high road.” We would do well to remember that we have brothers and sisters in so-called MAGA territory, for example, who are NOT on the extremity, but rather merely wanting the best for the country. They are not extremists, yet by painting with a broad brush of societal “correction” we splatter these Christians with condemnation. Doing that hardens people on both sides. Strive to encourage the godly and the biblical, and most importantly, the truth.

  5. Michael says:

    Donner,

    I would be as zealous correcting the extreme left if they were baptizing their beliefs and distorting biblical truth to the degree of the MAGA right.

    My MAGA brothers and sisters no longer believe me worth their time.
    MAGA by definition is extremist.

    My opinion of the former president borders on hatred enough to be a stumbling point and a place for repentance.

    I’m willing to have reasoned discussions with anyone…the feeling, as yet, hasn’t been mutual.

  6. Donner says:

    So by comparison to MAGA, you think the extreme left “progressives” are not distorting biblical truth? Certainly I don’t know what maga you encounter. For me, progressive belief is horrifically more biblically destructive. I should say, certain progressive beliefs. Abortion rights, Same sex unions, outright drag queen solicitation of children ….. these are false, anti-biblical beliefs that are holding sway in the marketplace of ideas. There is a natural (human nature) reaction against such ideas that I believe created MAGA. But for me, I am liking less and less political extremism on both sides of the political spectrum. Don’t dismissively brand me a “republican” because I stand for what is biblically moral. I am against abortion, for example; many Democrats are against abortion. If we’re going to engage in discussing the political realm, let’s match the Bible against whatever political ideas are discussed. Let’s take THAT high road of truth, and not any so-called high road of political party/belief, Republican or Democrat.

  7. Michael says:

    Donner,

    I’m going to be as clear as I can be.

    There are indeed progressive Christians with anti-biblical beliefs.

    My own sect is plagued by them.

    The difference is that their churches are empty and they are minimally affecting the church or society at large.

    Very few of them conflate the U.S. with the kingdom of God.

    Progressive mainline religion is dying…

    I have no personal affinity for either party, or politics in general.

    I am an old theologian anticipating the kingdom.

  8. JanetLinn, BrideofChrist says:

    Kevin, I am very glad to hear that you will be posting more of your writings here as they are always encouraging to me. I don’t post often, but I often check here for solid Christian advice and encouragement during these turbulent and confusing times. Michael posted a few days ago about the the New Testament Jewish followers who turned on Jesus because He failed to give them the political domination and power they expected. Michael then noted how very similar in attitude today’s MAGA Christians are. I know that sacrificing the Kingdom of God for raw political power will always be wrong, but Michael’s post really hit me hard. It’s chilling to accept that some evangelical churches today are actually behaving the same way as those New Testament “believers” who rejected Jesus Christ and his teachings and eventually crucified Him. I hope and pray both you and Michael never stop calling these overly political churches to repentance. I hope and pray that their church leaders will have the scales removed from their eyes and that they can once again can lead churches that are salt and light to their communities. I also hope and pray that readers will be able to gain discernment from your postings and be able to recognize when their church has strayed far from Christ’s teachings. I pray that they will know when to leave such a church so that they can find a true Christ honoring church. May God bless you both in your callings here!

  9. Michael says:

    Janet Linn,

    Thank you…I never know if these things move people…I’m glad you heard me .

    We’ll keep Kevin busy this year…

  10. bob1 says:

    Very well done, Kevin! Looking forward to your writings and wisdom.

  11. Kevin H says:

    Donner,

    I will from time to time address some of the troubling issues on the political/theological left, but I made it clear in my article where the focus of my writings will be and why.

    Additionally, I pretty much wholly agree with everything that Michael has already responded back to you. The degree of quantity and loudness that the religious right has conflated and contaminated the faith with politics in recent years far, far outweighs the same type of impact that has occurred on the religious left.

  12. Kevin H says:

    Janet Linn and bob1,

    Thank you for your kind words.

  13. Captain Kevin says:

    Glad not only to continue reading Kevin’s offerings here, but hopefully for a lighter load for Michael. Blessings on you both.

  14. Michael says:

    Just for the record…I’m really acquainted with both sides here.

    I’ve spent the last few years studying and working to be ordained in the Anglican communion.

    I’ve chosen not to pursue orders in the Episcopal Church because of the homosexual controversies.

    I won’t pursue orders in ACNA because of MAGA influences.

    I want to be a priest, not a politician or social activist.

  15. Kevin H says:

    Aye Aye, Captain.

  16. bob1 says:

    Michael,

    I really respect your position WRT ordination.

    Curious, though — I was under the impression that ACNA has
    pluralistic (more than one) views on current events, though
    probably skewing more conservative.

    My acquaintance with ACNA is mainly through ACNA authors I’ve read and respect, specifically Esau MacCauley and Tish Harrison Warren.

    I would hope there’s room there for diversity of opinion…but I know that an author doesn’t necessarily represent a denomination’s rank and file…

  17. Michael says:

    bob1,

    ACNA depends on which diocese you’re in.

    I have been instructed and trained by a true, traditional Anglican scholar and priest. (Duane)

    I have studied the works of incredible Anglican divines.

    You all know what an influence Dr. Packer was on me.

    What’s left of our tradition is an embarrassment to Packer, Ramsey, and Arnold.

    If my day ever comes, there will be no rainbows or flags near our altar…

  18. Donner says:

    I guess what I’m trying to emphasize is that I’m against MAGA “Christians” not BECAUSE they are MAGA, but because many of them are boorish, arrogant and display a holier than thou attitude. In other words, because they are sinning. I am against progressive “Christians” not because they are progressive, but because they tout many unbiblical viewpoints (as described above) and because they tend to virtue-signal conservatives (not the same as MAGA). In other words, because they are sinning. These are just examples from each camp. For me, I am increasingly moving away from an inculcated expectation that a particular political entity has answers to our current problems. I’m moving more and more toward setting my eyes on things above, where Christ is, and still keeping my wits about me. This discussion has been fruitful for me; thanks to all.

  19. Kevin H says:

    Donner,

    With that I agree.

  20. Michael says:

    Donner,

    What I know about you from our encounters here is that you are a brother and fellow disciple.
    We may disagree on all manner of things, but our primary identification is the same.

    That will be the basis of how I interact (and I’m sure, how Kevin interacts) with folks as we navigate the difficult year ahead together.

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