Skip to main content

The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Alister McGrath: Mere Discipleship (Encore Presentation)

January 11, 2020

Listen Now!

Sat @ 9AM & Monday @ 12AM (CT)
Listen Live on

When Common Sense is No Longer Common

What do we do when “common sense” ceases to be “common”? Are you awake? Or are you allowing the drifting cultural narrative to lull you to sleep? Do you allow the media to inform, or worse, influence your worldview? With the points I share in this update, I wonder why common sense has disappeared.

Are you committed to being a “Christan Thinker” loving God with your heart, soul, and mind? The mission of the Christian Thinkers Society is to inspire Christians to become Thinkers and Thinkers to become Christians. 

Now it is time for real talk. Here are 5 issues that are concerning me right now. I want you to be informed and conversant as a Christian Thinker.

Favoring Casinos over Churches Why We Must Pray For Our Nation. By a vote of 5-4, the US Supreme Court yesterday denied an injunction from Nevada churches seeking to be allowed to operate under the same COVID-19 standards as casinos and movie theaters. Chief Justice Roberts, a GW Bush appointee, joined with the progressive Justices to deny the injunction. Alito, Thomas, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch all dissented. I paste Gorsuch’s dissent below because it is so short—and on point. If you are a person of faith, you should be very concerned about this.

#1 State bans against worship services (Christian, Jewish, and Muslim, mind you)  while strip-clubs, abortion clinics, and “essential business” thrives. With social distancing and appropriate precautions, churches should be able to meet safely.

Judge Alito on the prolonging of state bans against church services: “The problem is no longer one of exigency, but one of considered yet discriminatory treatment of places of worship.” Read it for yourself herehttps://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/19a1070_08l1.pdf

#2 Elections Matter. There are biblical principles for political engagement. Believers, we need to “vote Christianly” to protect the Judea-Christian heritage of America. I have written extensively in my book Unimaginable on what happens when God is sidelined and Christianity is marginalized in society – evil reigns. We are there now. Do not be discouraged. Our faith thrives under adversity, as long as Christians speak up for and live the truth.  (I include an interview below on this subject).

I also want to equip you with an excellent guide on how to vote your faith. This is the most important election of our time: https://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF19G02.pdf

#3 Does it seem strange to you that we cannot attend baseball games, but it is okay to sit in an airplane packed airplane? There is really not much more I can offer here. Common sense? Where does this end?

#4 People Are Losing Hope. Suicides are escalating. Please be informed. According to the APA, suicide rates were already skyrocketing BEFORE Covid-19: see here.  Calls to suicide prevention lines are surging. See: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates.” I am extremely concerned about the mental health toll on our families, children, spouses, co-workers, and friends. Remember, Christians are the people who bring hope! Our hope is not based in feeling but on the facts of God’s undying love for humanity.

Would you please pray for me as I finish my next book The Spirituality of Happiness and Peace (published by Baker/Bethany House) – what does it mean for God’s people to have Shalom? Do you have His peace? At times, I feel like I am a professional worrier! You might feel that way, too. God wants to unleash his Shalom into our lives.

#5 Stop Being Triggered. Have a conversation. Stop cancel culture. Be informed before you speak. Better yet, pray before speaking. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Speak the truth in love. Be the church that never sleeps.

Here are some other stories we are following at Christian Thinkers Society:

China orders Christians to renounce faith in Jesus & worship President Xi Jinping instead

 

CDC: The Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall

John MacArthur says Grace Community Church ‘has duty to remain open’

Let’s stay humble, informed, compassionate, but be bold for truth!

Let us “think Christianly.”

Jeremiah J. Johnston, Ph.D.

Christian Thinkers Society

JUSTICE GORSUCH, Dissenting: This is a simple case. Under the Governor’s edict, a 10-screen “multiplex” may host 500 moviegoers at any time. A casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there. Large numbers and close quarters are fine in such places. But churches, synagogues, and mosques are banned from admitting more than 50 worshipers—no matter how large the building, how distant the individuals, how many wear face masks, no matter the precautions at all. In Nevada, it seems, it is better to be in entertainment than religion. Maybe that is nothing new. But the First Amendment prohibits such obvious discrimination against the exercise of religion. The world we inhabit today, with a pandemic upon us, poses unusual challenges. But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.

My friend, Warren Cole Smith, interviewed me a while back on the BreakPoint Podcast.

What would the world be like without Christianity? Historian and author Jeremiah Johnston asks that question in his new book, “Unimaginable.” And today on the BreakPoint podcast, Warren Cole Smith interviews Jeremiah Johnston about his sobering conclusions. Click here to listen.

Who do I want to be during COVID-19? Fear Zone, Learning Zone, or Faith Zone?

Never trade what you do know for what you don’t know! This is one of the most important principles of being a “Christian Thinker,” especially in a COVID-19 world. We have a choice to make: We can focus on the problems or we can trust the promises. Our emotions can lie to us, and we need to counter our emotions with truth. We rest in who we are in Christ and the promises of God are for today.

There are 31,102 verses in the Bible (23,144 in the Old Testament and 7,958 in the New Testament). What verse would you guess is the most-searched-for Bible verse? It’s not John 3:16. In fact, for three-years-in-a-row this is the verse:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Jesus likely preached the “Sermon on the Mount” several times (see Matthew 5-7). In Matthew 6:25-34, three times Jesus says, “Do not worry!” This is a command. It is far easier to write the words “do not worry” than apply them to life, but one of the greatest promises of the Bible accompanies the promise. God’s peace will guard your hearts and minds. When we cannot see the hand of God, we must trust His heart and character (I have written about this theme extensively in my Bible study Unanswered: Lasting Truth for Trending Questions).

Audrey and I are blessed with five children. One of our children has struggled with severe anxiety at times since the schools were closed in March. We have seen how fear can paralyze anyone, even those in our family. How should we respond as Christian Thinkers? I have a special message for you. We can live in the “protective presence of God,” which promises God’s presence in our lives, no matter our situation. We mix the promises of God with faith and rest. 1 Peter 1:3-9 says we have a “living hope”

We live in faith, not fear. Like you, as Audrey and I have prayed, ministered, written, flexed, and lived in 2020, we have noticed many people living in the “fear zone” (see image above) rather than the “faith zone.” I ask you to prayerfully review the infographic above and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart about where you are and where He needs you to be.

We also pray. Our family continues praying for all on the front lines. What a reminder to live in the present and enjoy it immensely. We have grace for today and present pleasures (time together) are among God’s good gifts.

We Think Christianly. Being a Christin Thinker means we do not allow our minds to be corrupted by culture. Being a Christian Thinker means we do not allow false-information to steal our joy and hope. Being a Christian Thinker means we anchor every emotion and feeling to the truth of God’s changeless character and unbreakable word. Being Christian Thinkers ensures we are never silenced.

We bring hope. As followers of Jesus, we are the people who bring hope. Hope comes when we have a plan. I hope you enjoy a special Sunday sermon for you today linked below. Authentic Christian faith is never surprised by adversity or problems.

Thank you, Jeremiah J. Johnston, Ph.D.

Watch Dr. Johnston’s recent message “The Protective Presence of God”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jeremiah Johnston Show Podcast