Missions

The Caravan: Our Journey From Compassion to Political Tricks and Open Borders

A “Caravan” of asylum seeking immigrants are currently making their way to our southern border. Most of these people are from Central American countries where they say poverty and other issues are forcing them to flee northward. Others are coming from other nations, gangs and backgrounds.

The march is not spontaneous. Someone is financing it. It’s occurring right before a crucial mid-term election in the United States.

I don’t remember these scenes when I was a kid. In those days we believed in national  borders, compassion for the less fortunate, and fair but hard-fought political battles.

The Democrats have told their candidates to be silent about the matter (but hope for more votes). President Trump has warned  that they will not be able to enter the United States. A clear majority of voters agree with the president.

So how did we go from compassion to political tricks and open borders?

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We’re All on a Mission

New York Times opinion columnist Frank Bruni shared a book review recently that unflatteringly bashed Vice President Mike Pence.

I like Mike Pence.

For many years he served in Congress, then as governor of the state of Indiana, and most recently as VP. Pence is a committed family man, soft spoken, possesses great character and principles, is a person of faith, and was, by most accounts, the best choice President Trump made in choosing his cabinet.

Bruni disagrees and believes that Pence is on a mission.

Hey, Frank. I hate to tell you but ALL human beings are on a mission.

Is yours a worthy one?

Here’s the quote from Bruni while commenting on Michael D’ Antonio and Peter Eisner’s soon to be published book The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence (out August 28, 2018):

“There are problems with impeaching Donald Trump. A big one is the holy terror waiting in the wings. That would be Mike Pence, who mirrors the boss more than you realize. He’s also self-infatuated. Also a bigot. Also a liar. Also cruel.”

What? Mike Pence a Lucifer look alike?  And this diatribe printed in the New York Times, heralded to contain “All the Truth That’s Fit to Print?”

Talk about fake news.

Bruni continues:

“To that brimming potpourri add two ingredients that Trump doesn’t genuinely possess: the conviction that he’s on a mission from God and a determination to mold the entire nation in the shape of his own faith, a regressive, repressive version of Christianity. Trade Trump for Pence and you go from kleptocracy to theocracy.”

Bruni covers his tracks by blaming others for these insults: “That’s the takeaway from a forthcoming book by the journalists Michael D’ Antonio, who previously wrote The Truth About Trump, and Peter Eisner.”

So Bruni, D’Antonio, and Eisner all believe that Mike Pence is:

  • A holy terror (I thought holiness is a good thing?)
  • Self-infatuated (Pence comes across more as a selfless servant-leader).
  • A bigot (because he disagrees on some issues?).
  • A liar (certainly less than most politicians).
  • Cruel (that would be fascists or abortionists).

But the most damning charge (and easily the most bigoted) is the last one–that Vice President Mike Pence’s faith is regressive, repressive, and a akin to forcing theocracy on vulnerable Americans.

Plus, Pence is on a mission.

Duh.

Of course he is. All people are on a mission just like these three misguided journalists.  Human beings were made in the image of God. We were designed to live purposeful lives that impact the world around us.

In fact, the mission we each possess was meant to be a “Great Adventure.”

Jon Bloom  recently shared some insights on the mission God desires for every single one of us. Here are some of his thoughts from  “God Didn’t Give You a Boring Life. He Gave You An Adventure. Now Go Live It!”

Life is a Gift

“Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him” (1 Corinthians 7:17).

“Your life is a gift and an assignment from God. This should infuse our life — its good and evil, its sweet and bitter, its health and affliction, its prosperity and poverty, its comfort and suffering — with an unfathomable dignity, purpose, and glory. You are not an accident. Neither are you a ruined potential, run off the rails because you were dealt a poor genetic hand of cards, suffered others’ abuse, or made foolish and sinful choices, putting you beyond the hope of a useful calling in Jesus’ kingdom.”

“The greatest thing you can do with your life is to live to the hilt the adventurous assignment God has given you.”

God Has Called You.

“We tend to think of our callings as our vocations, some significant job God gives us to do with an identifiable and preferably esteemed title. Perhaps it’s a career vocation or perhaps it’s a non career vocation in a church or ministry. But that’s too narrow. Of course, vocations should be vehicles for our calling — ways we fulfill our assignment from the Lord. But our calling encompasses more than our vocations.”

“Our primary core calling is to love God with all we are and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:27). And this calling incorporates everyone we interact with, or perhaps comes to mind, in everything we do from morning till night. Which is why John Calvin said, “God commands each one of us to consider his calling in every act of life” (Institutes, 821).

Be Faithful to Your Assignment

The Spirit tells us through Paul, “Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him.”

“Think of  bond servants. They were the physical property of a human master. And yet Paul says to them in 1 Corinthians 7:21, ‘Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)’ What Paul meant was circumstances, even very difficult ones, don’t disqualify anyone from God’s assignment. If we can extricate ourselves honorably from such circumstances, we ought to do it. But if not, let us consider it God’s assignment, at least for today, and be faithful” (Ephesians 6:6–8).

Your Greatest Adventure

“[God] has assigned us a life to lead. And there is no more wonderful, exciting, hopeful, fulfilling, joy-producing sense of life purpose than to realize that we are who we are, what we are, how we are, where we are, and when we are by the assignment of the Lord.”

“You have been given the unfathomable gift of life. You have been given the infinitely more valuable gift of eternal life. And you have been given the astounding and extremely rare privilege of receiving an assignment from God. Embrace your assignment, this great adventure chosen for you, and press it to the limit.”

Bloom is right. We were built for a mission in life.

I have written two books on this subject. The first, If God Has a Plan for My Life, Why Can’t I Find It? You Have a Destiny exposes the dangerous lie of macro-evolution and proposes that “character is destiny”  for fulfilling God’s mission for your life.

The second, The Fourth Wave: Taking Your Place in the New Era of Missions discusses the purpose of this current generation in fulfilling God’s Great Commission. The key to that is each one of us living a missional life.

Every human life, due to its very humanity, is on a mission. NYT columnist Frank Bruni’s mission is to destroy Donald Trump and his administration and push a radical progressive agenda. Some have secular missions and vocational dreams. Others live purely for entertainment– a personal-pleasure mission. And some even fly airplanes into buildings in pursuit of their jihadist mission.

This year I’ve been meditating on the missional words Jesus Christ–the greatest life ever lived. Just before he died for the sins of the world and rose from the dead, he prayed to his Heavenly Father in John 17 (The Message):

“But I have known You. . . that you sent me on this mission. . . I glorified you on earth by completing down to the last details what you assigned me to do. . . In the same way you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world.”

Now that’s a mission-focused life.

Mike Pence has chosen to follow Jesus’ example. His faith is not regressive. Biblical truths have created more progress in the world than every other philosophy combined. It’s not repressive–except for sin, crime and war–which hurt and destroy people. And it’s certainly not a theocracy (like Iran)–rather a representative democracy with a republican constitution.

Those of like faith and character to Mike Pence have brought incredible blessings to the world in the forms of human inspiration,  the flourishing of art and science, civil rights, religious liberty, social progress, humanitarian aid, economic prosperity, and eternal life and hope found in Jesus.

We’re all on a mission.

Is yours a blessing like Mike Pence’s, or does it fall short of God’s plan?

 

My View of the World–2018

It’s interesting how many people divide life into sacred and secular–as if “reality”” can be parceled into two different sectors.

For example, many writers on politics and world affairs rarely mention God, His principles or His purposes. They talk about political parties, issues, national affairs, and  “worldly stuff” (secular)–as if God and His Kingdom don’t exist.

Others write about missions, prayer, world evangelism etc. and never seem to mention the things that are happening in the “world” that greatly affect these thrusts.

Here’s my perspective on the world–2018–from both a political and spiritual perspective. You can’t understand one without the other.

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