One of the greatest injustices we do to our young people is to ask them to be conservative. Christianity is not conservative, but revolutionary. – Francis Schaeffer
You have been strategically placed right where you are for one reason: to bring the kingdom of God to your corner of the world. It matters not where that is; it matters that you are there and you are intentional about being a carrier of Christ and a spreader of the gospel of welcome — grace turned outward — to everyone, everywhere. And if you’re not sure what that is, stick with us; we’re learning together.
But reading one or two Catches a week isn’t enough. This is not my blog — my opinion to be weighed equally with all the other opinions out there on the vast Internet of personal expression. This is prophetic truth, and I am a pastor, not a blogger. I am speaking from 40 years of training, of studying scripture, of using my prophetic gift, and seeking God’s kingdom in the world. Most of what I present here is countercultural. It’s going to go against much of what you hear or read today, even from Christian sources. You need to refresh this thinking every day or you will not be able to counteract everything coming at you from all sides.
Read the Catch every day and send it out to everyone you know. If you miss one or two — go back and catch up. Go to our website — www.catchjohnfischer.com — every Catch I’ve ever created is there in reverse chronological order. This is necessary. This is not a nice-to-do.
We are touching people; we are putting our arms around the hopeless; we are praying for people where prayer is called for; we are creating something positive we can share with others. We are making a difference.
How? By persisting with doing the following: Love, empathize, build bridges, lift up (not tear down), create respect for all, embrace those who are different, resist the temptation to find fault, choose not to take part in criminalizing anyone, speak well of people who are not in your presence, give everyone a second chance — then a third and a fourth — up to seven times seventy (Matthew 18:22). In fact, be a catalyst, a peacemaker, a healer. Stand in the gap; resist taking sides. Live like this, and you will make a difference — better yet, you will be the difference. You will be countercultural. Or as Francis Schaeffer stated, you will be a revolutionary, and it is a revolution of love.
The current climate is so volatile that our faith has to make a difference in our behavior or one could rightfully question it. Divisiveness, polarization, and demonization of the other side is the norm, even among Christians. This is such a mean-spirited age that simple kindness and courtesy are more than what they would be any other time. Any other time they would be what’s expected. Today a simple kindness is a candle in the darkness. It’s a reminder of some long distant memory — something good and hopeful — a reminder to everyone we meet of what is right about being human, and of the value and reality that God’s grace brings to earth through us. That is grace turned outward — something that will change the world.
“The current climate is so volatile that our faith has to make a difference in our behavior or one could rightfully question it”
Don Henley said something similar, over 20 years ago…
“These times are so uncertain
There’s a yearning undefined
And people filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive
In such a graceless age?”
Dear Pastor John please excuse me I could be wrong, I surely have been before, and I don’t know what News channel you’re watching or the paper you’re reading either, yet I sincerely wish you would consider we as a Nation once were in a Civil War & before that one of our founding Father’s, Hamilton was killed in a duel & considering the term-oil people being killed from WWI & WWII and Korea, plus Vietnam. So taking those facts in account this doesn’t seem to hold a lot of water: (as you wrote) “This is such a mean-spirited age…”
The “mean-spiriting” I’m referring to is caused by extreme polarization of our society and how little consensus or cooperation there is. You are either 100% right or 100% wrong depending one whose side you are on. As you pointed out, how one sees the world depends on their news source. We are much more prone to fight each other rather than look for a way to work together. We’ve never been closer to another civil war than we are now.
You surely have every right to your opinion!
And I’m sure if I was you & watch the News you watch (more than likely CNN or MSNBC) and read the Daily Newspaper you read I’d feel the same as you and agree with this: “We’ve never been closer to another civil war than we are now.”
I choose to agree to disagree.
PS Again I’ll suggest a great book to consider reading: “What to say When You Talk to Yourself 365 Days of Positive Self Talk” by Dr. Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. (Back when I met him many years ago @ an Amway Biz seminar one of the many verses we spoke about is: (a Mark paraphrase, I believe from Proverbs) As a man thinks, so he is. Yet now-in-day there is MUCH Neuroscience of Plasticity to strongly back him & this book up!
A pending Civil War simply b/c people are expressing different opinions? Pastor John ONCE again please consider opening your mind & reading a great book: “The DISC Method of Understand Personality Types.” And it may teach you (as you NEED to learn) people like you are the type that think getting into a disagreement is terrible! And people (like your wife, Marti) might consider getting into a disagreement is a part of life!
I always marvel and rejoice when two or more sources of instruction or information say essentially the same thing within the same span of just a few hours. There’s no obvious connection, commonality or relationship between the sources and yet the timeliness of the messages cannot (or should not) be ignored nor simply attributed to coincidence.
The following article from this mornings USA Today dovetails so precisely with this mornings Catch it’s almost eerie – they’re both definitely thought-provoking and motivating.
Surely it is apparent that the Holy Spirit is teaching us today if we’ll open our eyes, ears, minds, and hearts…
Let’s stop fighting each other:
“Just imagine if we Christians were primarily known for these action items:
loving God, loving our neighbor, and serving orphans and widows.”
~ Chris Palusky
Be a blessing. Be blessed.
Be of good will. Be cheerful.
Be Courageous. Be encouraged.
This may sound simple but, love, kindness, and faith always find a way no matter what even though the negative appears so overwhelming today more than ever before. I believe due to the great technology we have so much evil is seen but, also so much good can, is, and will be seen as well.