I have talked with many people over the years that were uneasy about the script they felt was associated with Christian faith. It looks to them like some kind of script in which Christians are expected to follow every line—leaving no room for free improvisation in the romance of living itself.
And yet I’ve also run into quite a lot of people who quickly tire of making up everything as they go along. This is especially the case when large groups of people are working together spontaneously in profoundly complex sets of relationships. What if one person wants to get married, but it’s the furthest thing from the mind of another? Is getting a job negotiable? What if a parent wants to write a script that includes their child leaving the house, but their child wishes to read a script of them staying in the basement rent-free?
Is there a script?
Most actors know that there are various relationships that films and productions can have to scripts. Some stick exactly to every word of the script, and others leave some freedom to the actors. But according to this metaphor, following Christ is a little bit more like being in the writing room. Continue reading Living On-Script In The Modern World
By Dietrich Gruen
We know of many needs in the world around us: food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, healthcare for the infirm or disabled. But have you ever considered justice as a category of need?
Consider these scenarios:
- Someone I know borrowed money for a proper funeral for his mother. He was given a 305% interest rate on a title loan, causing him and his family to eventually lose their car, a job that depended on that car, and almost their marriage.
- One individual had to borrow dowry and other funds for a proper wedding of their only daughter, only to go auction off another family member to repay their ever-mounting debts.
- Another family had to work off debts incurred by the father’s illness so they sent their kids into low-wage jobs—never to return for two years—as the loan interest rates rose and other payments for service continued.
The first story unfolded in my office where I counsel Benevolent Fund applicants. The other two stories I heard at the annual Global Prayer Summit in Washington, DC last April. The effect on me was at first shock, then disbelief, and then outrage. How could such injustice happen today? Is it ever right to indenture servants in a free market economy? And what if the fight for justice for widows, orphans, rape victims, and modern-day slaves has to go through a corrupt legal system where money trumps all? Continue reading Mission of the Month: International Justice
By Dietrich Gruen
Several worthy causes vie for where we spend our hard-earned dollars at the end of the year. Toys and travel factor into giving to our families. Charities compete for our attention; we get hit from every angle. From the sound of Salvation Army bells to the clamor of other organizations—at checkout lines, on the phone, in our email inboxes and mailboxes—the ask is ever-present, inescapable. At our favorite stores and restaurants, some worthy cause may also lure us in. And don’t forget the civil servants, housekeepers, news carriers and office staff who serve us so faithfully all year—many of us want to tip them, too.
Somehow, the pervasive marketing and giving strategies seem to work, despite being tiresome, routine and competitive. Given this competition for year-end gifts, why would you give to the gift for High Point Church?
What if we could fund special projects on the global, national and local fronts not in the annual HPC budget? Continue reading Mission of the Month: Year End Gift
By Dietrich Gruen
For one day we will gather to lament, intercede, advocate for and learn from those who suffer for the gospel. This year, the internationally recognized day of prayer was the first Sunday in November. However, so that we can bring in a speaker and tie in with an already-called congregational meeting, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is happening for High Point Church this Sunday, November 20.
What we’re praying for.
Continue reading Mission of the Month: A Designated Day
The problem with a no-win election is, of course, that there is no circumstance in which everyone wins. But the more that is at stake, the more the winner wins and the more the loser loses. We have many no-win decisions in our life that don’t bother us. I can’t tell you how many highway exits I’ve taken and all the times I’ve had to choose between fried fast food and Subway. I don’t much care for either, but I don’t lose much in that situation. It’s just a meal.
When much is to be won or lost
That’s not the case in federal politics. As the size and scope of government has dramatically increased since the second half of the 20th century, much more is now gained and lost at the federal level. Originally, the intention of increasing the size of federal government was to provide more things for people in need and to coordinate large and audacious goals among a vast people. Although this may be a noble ideal, Christians should be shrewd through realism about human nature. Wherever more is to be gained, more attention is paid. The more there is to be won and lost in Washington, the more Washington attracts people looking for a special deal, an angle to cheat, or a way to get a once and for all win for themselves or their ideology. So increasingly, very much against the intention of the American founders, the federal government has become the most intense battle in our society. It has become a winner take all war, and war terrorizes everyone.
Continue reading What Do We Do After No-Win Elections?
My goal with this two-part series is to present a Christian’s reasoning on why to vote for each candidate. In part one, I shared My Obligatory (Unoriginal) Donald Trump Post written by my brother, Stanford Gibson, in which he shared his reasoning for voting for Hillary Clinton. Below is my Christian perspective on voting for Donald Trump. My hope is to provide you with further knowledge to help you prudently and conscientiously make your decision on November 8.
To review, Stanford gave four reasons for voting for Hillary Clinton in his post:
- The office of the president and its cultural power
- Donald Trump’s lack of temperance (specifically in reference to drones)
- Mr. Trump’s positions on immigrants and refugees
- Sentencing reform
In this post, I will address the issues for which an opposite case can be made for Donald Trump, as well as provide additional reasons in favor of a Trump vote.
Continue reading Clinton or Trump? A Christian Perspective on Each Candidate (Part 2)