This post will not change the world… it is even less likely to change someone’s mind. It may rile up readers, both positively and negatively… red meat to the masses... but that is not my goal.
This post is not social criticism…though there is plenty to criticize! “(The main human agent/actor) in history is not individual genius, but rather the network…. Though a revolutionary idea might emerge from the masses… it does not gain traction until it is embraced and propagated by elites.” (James Davison Hunter).
Rather, this post is to confess that I have in MANY ways been wrong on some things… I have strayed away from a well worn path and a steady north star. Thankfully, God is always gracious to pick me up, dust me off, admonish me in love, and steady my steps in a new direction.
Over the next two months, I am wanting to ‘flesh out’ where I have been, what changes I intend to make, and begin to carry out what I have been called to do over the next stage of my life.
Now don't panic... I expect no changes in my job or other relationships- on the outside, these endeavors may even seem invisible! The Lord changes things from the inside out.
Rather, it is like Janie Buck, (wife of the saint, Dr. Bill Buck, who just went home to be with Jesus https://obits.al.com/obituaries/birmingham/obituary.aspx?n=william-p-buck&pid=197352481&fhid=6039) who said when the gospel of Christ took hold of her family- "I have gone and gotten a new husband, and I didn't even have to get a divorce!"
2020 was a BEAR…. And even in this last week, HE swipes his claws and tears at the very fabric of our lives…. My prayer list of hurting and critical friends has never been longer! Covid has been an unprecedented attack and the toll is unmeasurable… including the constant criticism of people and institutions who are trying to do the best they can based on mixed, changing, and confusing information.
But Covid has also revealed how unhealthy we are as a culture- both figuratively and literally. We are not healthy physically, mentally, or spiritually!
My wife and I are doing some reading that we will be discussing and I have been inspired in this process by the thoughts of Os Guinness, Dr. Francis Schaefer, Johnny Cash, and a few friends and podcasts during this Christmas break.
So to tip my hand a little bit- here are some of the ‘personal declarations’ I have been sorting through… nothing to dig in on yet… but food for thought and interaction!
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.  But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.  For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.  Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. (1 Corinthians 4:1–5 ESV)
Personal Declarations - Preparing for 2021
I believe in the God of the Bible- He doesn’t need me to defend Him.
I will never cease to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
Truth is what God says- though we don't understand it at times, forget it, and often use it as a weapon and not a balm.
As a sinful human, I fail to live up to my ideals- but it does not stain the truth of Christ.
My family is the greatest cell of opposition to this current ‘cancel culture’… it is THE source of true fellowship and encouragement.
The invisible Church of Christ is undefeated- it is the ongoing, global, and VERY effective ministry of the body of Jesus.
I need to faithfully, openly attend and support my local, visible church.
I need to organize or attend a small group for prayer, study, and fellowship.
I need to commit to a life of spiritual disciplines- including worship, prayer, fasting, and daily study of the Bible. I need to honor Christ with my body and endeavor to live a healthy lifestyle.
I am too busy living under the tyranny of the urgent... I have to be better at saying NO... it can wait.
I honor no man or institution as an ‘elite’.
I defend individual rights, even if I don’t agree with that person.
I defend religious liberty, even for groups that I don’t agree with.
I defend free speech, even for speech that I don’t agree with.
I defend law and order, and I will always choose civil disobedience as a last option.
I refuse to characterize, pre- judge, or primarily identify any person based on their color, creed, gender, or social standing.
I have every right to speak out against the rewriting of history and the re-invention of language, which often parallels the coerced values of any particular elitist group or institution.
I refuse to live in fear of the vindictive rants or potential doxing of power hungry bullies.
While I do participate in social media, I realize it is a system based on surveillance technology, where the rules of what I say and who I read is censored to algorithms designed to market me as a consumer… which leads to a distortion of reality.
I have great skepticism in ALL forms of the current mainstream media (MSM). I will take EVERYTHING they report with ‘a grain of salt’.
While I will always live as an honorable citizen, I do not trust my government. My kingdom is not of this world.
There are NO political solutions to the real problems of mankind.
Democracies are better than Socialist states…. But all forms of governments have issues.
I have significant issues with many of today’s virtue signals including ‘wokeness’, ‘social justice’, ‘diversity and inclusion’ or labeling people with the suffix “phobe”.
I will perform no action or subscribe to a creed to simply aleve guilt or be accepted by any particular group of people.
If I am persecuted or have to suffer for Christ… I will seek to do it joyfully, for the glory of God.
I need to be prepared for that sooner, rather than later.
None of this steals my joy, peace, hope, or love.
I need to be a better servant of others!
This is the essence of my life as a man.
If you are interested in exploring some of this with me in 2021... feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexander Solzhenitsyn “Live NOT by Lies”
Living a lie is accepting without protest all the falsehoods and propaganda that the state or any group of elites compel me to affirm.
"The ordinary man may not be able to overturn a kingdom of lies, but he can at least say that he is not going to be a loyal subject."