Peace, Be Still

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  • On Sunday morning, George Tiller, a well-known late-term
    abortion doctor was shot and killed in the church lobby of Reformation Lutheran
    Church in Wichita, Kansas. He was an usher, and worship had just begun in the
    sanctuary.
  • In San Diego, a code enforcement officer warned a pastor
    holding a bible study in his home that he would, in the future, be cited for holding
    a “religious assembly” without a permit. Outrage ensued, the city dropped it.
  • Prop 8 was upheld by the California State Supreme Court last
    week—upholding traditional marriage and making gay marriage unlawful. Protests
    are planned on both sides.

This is a mere appetizer plate of 7 tumultuous days in
today’s America. As such, it seems a good time for the church to do some thinking about how to live faithfully in the cultural storm in which we find ourselves. In these times, it’s all the more important that Christians honor Christ not only in the ethical norms by which we take positions
on today’s issues—but also the manner
in which we engage on the issues.

Perhaps our best bet is to remember Paul’s words from 2
Timothy 2:4: “No soldier gets entangled in
civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”

However, when we must engage civilian pursuits in order to please the one that enlisted us, we do so with great
care, gentleness, and humility. The Spirit will guide us in determining which time it is–a time to engage or a time to stay focused and avoid entanglement.

No one need be murdered. We need not always depend on the law’s force to overpower. At the same time, we cannot simply hand over society to the powers and principalities of this age. We
are, after all, to be light in darkness.

Whenever the storms around us rage—in politics, economics, or
in the church–let’s remember Jesus. Let’s remember that He said those who live
by the sword die by the sword. Let’s consider Him who endured such opposition
from sinful men so that we will not grow weary and lose heart. And let’s
remember the marvelous truth that He who is in us is greater than He who is in
the world…and live accordingly. And may he say, through us, "Peace, Be Still."

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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