On the Evils of the Echo Chamber

When I was a teenager, we were at the end of the period of domination of television in the US by the three major news networks. While they all leaned left of center, they ostensibly strove for the standard of accuracy, independence, and impartiality. That standard was exemplified by the likes of Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, and David Brinkley.

Those days are gone now, buried under the buffet of cable and streaming news channels, many of which are committed to delivering an unapologetic ideologically or politically driven view of the world. Do you want a liberal view of the day’s events? MSNBC is at your service. Do you want a conservative view? Try Fox News. Do you have a taste for hard right conspiracy theories? Try Infowars or Breitbart News.

As a result, now you can choose to hear only what you already believe. You do not have to suffer the angst of having your beliefs questioned or hearing those who disagree with you.

This ability to listen only to those with whom we agree, provided to a people who have seemingly choose not to exercise that choice irresponsibly, has resulted in the unprecedented political polarization we are now experiencing. The plurality of opinion in the marketplace of ideas has become merely hypothetical if we choose to hear only the opinions with which we agree.

The Bible warns of the danger of hearing only one side of any argument:

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If Christians Did These 4 Things They Would Rule the World

If you haven’t picked up on it from this blog yet, I have an optimistic view of the future because I am a Kingdom man. I believe Isaiah when he said the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, and that the people will stream to the mountain of God. See Isaiah 2:2, 11:9.

I believe Daniel when he said the kingdom of God will crush and put an end to all these other kingdoms but that the kingdom of God will endure forever. Daniel 2:44.

I believe Jesus when He said the kingdom of God will leaven the entire world and become like a tree so that the even non-Christians will seek to nest under the shade of its branches. Matthew 13:31-33.

I read with interest the efforts to theologify (I made that word up) these beliefs into a system of strategies and tactics whether it be Christian Reconstruction, the Seven Mountain Mandate, or any of the efforts to express the idea that the world should run best when it is run by those who are obedient to King Jesus.

But while tactics and strategies are important, they are really useless if the people who are given the responsibility of carrying them out have not been trained to do the fundamentals first. Christians don’t need to understand the Seven Mountains or Christian Reconstruction to advance the kingdom of God.

If Christians only consistently did the following four things they would see the greatest advance of the kingdom of God since the first century:

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A Kingdom View of Memorial Day

As I’ve gotten older and deeper into the kingdom of God, I’ve become more conflicted about Memorial Day.

It is not the acceptance or sometimes glorification of war we see on Memorial Day; In a fallen world war is sometimes necessary, and once one accepts that boundaries will be crossed. That is to be expected.

What has bothered me more is the hyper nationalism Memorial Day seems to inspire, particularly in Evangelical Christians. I wonder what my foreign brothers and sisters living here think when they witness it? I wonder what the Lord thinks.

Anytime we are tempted to elevate cause or country over the Kingdom we should be concerned. The savior of the world is not the United States of America but King Jesus, and the answer to the world’s problems is not democracy or a republican form of government but the Gospel.

Instead we should consider the Lord’s instructions to those living in exile in Jerusalem:

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Knowing God Through His Work

I manage a number of attorneys at my law firm. They are all different, but it’s amazing how who they are as people is reflected in their work.

As a friend of mine once said, “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” A person who is fastidious in their work is so in their private life. The person who is cautious in their private life is cautious in their work. If you have ever managed people, you know what I am telling you is true.

I think we all know instinctively that our work product is an extension of who we are. That is why poor performance reviews and job terminations are so devastating. Sure, they can lead to adverse financial situations, but so can a bad turn of the stock market, but that doesn’t devastate people like getting fired.

We don’t see a termination as a business decision but an indictment on our person, regardless of whether it is called a reduction-in-force, right-sizing, dehiring, or whatever other euphemism is used to soften the blow.

The reverse is also true. When we do well in our work, and it is recognized, we take it personally, in a good way. People become workaholics not only because they are driven by money but because their good work affirms what they want to believe about themselves.

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Romans, says:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes,
His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly
seen, being understood through what has been made,
so that they are without excuse.

Romans 1:20
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Why Jesus Set Us Free

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1

There are a number of ways to justify Jesus setting us free, but the Apostle Paul is says it was for freedom that Christ set us free. In other words, it wasn’t so we could be successful, have a clear conscience, or be happy, although those are all results of walking in freedom. Instead, freedom is its own reward. It doesn’t need to be justified on any other basis.

Freedom is its own justification because it was God’s original intent for man. Freedom is the state in which man was initially created and intended to live. Adam and Eve were truly free, freer than man has ever been since. There was only one thing they were told not to do. They were not encumbered with original sin, spiritual strongholds, or a culture tempting them to sin.

What Jesus did on the cross was not just to save us from the suffering of hell but from slavery to sin. It was a divinely orchestrated cosmic reset, designed to put us back in the condition we were in in the Garden of Eden, where we were truly free. GS