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The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Alister McGrath: Mere Discipleship (Encore Presentation)

January 11, 2020

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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.