Andy Stanley - What Is Jesus' Take On Politics?
So today we begin this three part series, designed to make you uncomfortable and hopefully, better. It's entitled, "Talking Points", and I came up with the sub title myself, "The perfect blend of politics and religion". We'll see how perfect it is, that will be up to you. Now, I have found it very difficult to stay away from the topic of religion in church. But I found it very easy to stay away from the topic of politics in church. But whenever something Jesus says specifically intersects something that we're wrestling with in culture or wrestling with specifically at a time like this in the life of our nation, I have to talk about it.
Or I should say I have talked about it, I get to talk about it, I look forward to talking about it, because the words of Jesus are so relevant and they are so extraordinarily relevant with everything that's happening in our nation right now. And, the division, that's no new news, right? The division in the church created by our current political context and climate, intersects directly with something that Jesus taught. So we're gonna look at it. And, since we are a large and more and more diverse and geographically dispersed group of network churches in the Atlanta area and now more and more all around the country, it's even more important for me to talk about this because we are set up to be divided, because of what we're about to experience in the next few months.
Now I became, I dunno, I don't wanna say painfully aware, I became extraordinarily aware of the diversity of political views in our churches; actually the Sunday following the 2016 election. So here's what happened. So if you can go back in time, okay, it's the Sunday after the 2016 election, which meant churches in primarily Republican counties, they sang so loud on that particular Sunday, right. I mean, they were just singing, right. And churches that were filled with primarily non-Republicans, they probably didn't even have music that Sunday, I dunno. You remember it was so emotional, everybody was in shock and awe on both, you know, going both ways.
And so, you know, we plan our services way ahead, and so we kind of, you know, we got to Sunday, and we just kind of did our regular thing, that's what we do. We just rarely interface with what's going on in culture unless it's, you know, something big and dramatic. And we just, you know, went with the program. So anyway, after the service, I'm sitting there in my truck, at one of our more suburban campuses. For those of you who are watching from all the country, we have like nine or 10 churches all over the Atlanta area. So right on the outskirts. And I'm sitting there in the traffic, in park, just so you know, with my phone scrolling through Twitter. And the cool thing about Twitter, when you preach with one of these, is you find out if people are paying attention to your main points. It's like, it's so good. So I'm like, yep yep yep, anyway.
So I get a mention from an African American woman who attended our church that's more toward town. And this is essentially what her text said, she said: I came to church this morning looking for reassurance. I'm scared. And no one even mentioned the election. I feel abandoned by my church. And of course, as a pastor, really as her pastor, I felt terrible. But, you know, the Republicans, who would read this, if you're Republican and you would read this, and you would say, and this isn't, I'm not, you know, this is gonna be uncomfortable, so listen, go ahead and be uncomfortable together. You're like scared of what? We won. Scared of what?
Now if the Democrats had won the election, now that would have been something to be afraid of. That's what, you know, if you're Republican, that's what you're thinking, right? But she's thinking something entirely different. She has experienced this in a completely different way, right? Because, nothing divides like politics because, nothing divides like fear. As you know, because you've been a victim of this, or maybe you've been a part of this, you can raise a lot of money pedaling fear. You can't raise this much money if you're not pedaling fear, right? I mean the Republicans are gonna take away your opportunity to vote, and the Democrats are gonna take away your guns, you know, for $25 or $50 or if you check $100, you know.
You know, if the president is re-elected, you know, the end of the world. If a Socialist Democrat is elected, you know, it's the end of the world. For $25 or $50 or $100, right? I mean you pedal enough fear, you could raise a lot of money. I'm not trying to give you any ideas, I'm just telling you, it works. But here's the question. What exactly, just within the context of, you know, the United States of America, what exactly do we fear? And I tell you, I know the answer, because the answer is the same for all of us, you know, at the macro level. It's this, it's loss. We fear something is gonna be taken away. We fear loss, we fear the loss of control, the loss of opportunity, the loss of the future of our children, the loss of our culture, the loss of our freedom, the loss of our progress, because we've made progress in some areas, you know?
White people, we fear what might happen. Brown and black people fear what has already happened. For them, it's not, you know, theory. For them or for you, it's history. And it wasn't that long ago. So there's fear for all of us, and it's the fear of the unknown. And you can't raise very much money if you don't pedal in fear. So we're in this culture, we're in this season in the life of our nation, where everybody is pedaling in fear. And if we're not careful, we will be victims of that. And not only will we be victims, we will be, this is what we're gonna talk about, we will be divided.
So back to my story. So I see this text and I'm like, oh no, you know. Is there something that we could have done, or should have done? It was at, you know, a different one of our churches, but still, you know. So the traffic starts moving. So I put my, I'm in my pick-up truck, I put my truck in gear, and I'm behind another pick-up truck and I look, and on the back window of the pick-up truck, on the left is an NRA sticker, and on the right side is a very unflattering bumper sticker that has to do with Hilary Clinton. We'll just leave it like that. And I thought to myself, this is all those years ago, here we are, here we are.
We have the complete, pretty much, you know, political spectrum in our churches. And I gotta tell you, I love that. In fact, I would say this, and maybe this is... I don't wanna say this too strongly, but if you're looking for a church where everybody is the same, you're in the wrong church, okay, let me just tell you. And if you're looking for a group of churches where everybody agrees politically, you're in the wrong church, and I hope you never ever ever attend a church like that, as we're gonna see in just a minute. Because what this means for us, because we're big and we're influential, thanks to what you've done all over the country, and really all over the world, we have an unprecedented opportunity. We have an unprecedented opportunity to model for our community and maybe our nation, what it looks like to disagree politically, because we are going to continue to disagree politically, and love unconditionally.
Now, here's the question. And I don't want you to answer it out loud, I don't want you to say amen, I don't want you to say hm mm, I don't want you to do anything. I don't want you to throw anything, unless you're at one of the other churches, you can throw stuff at the screen, I'll just keep on preaching, okay? So this is for you and I really want you to be... Because here's the thing, what we're gonna talk about today, I understand, I'm in the audience with you. What we're gonna talk about today, you think you've got it, I know you do. That's why we're gonna spend three weekends talking about this. You think you're fine, like I think I'm fine. But I want us to really dig down and maybe face some things we've never faced before, and they're gonna be a little bit scary, a little bit terrifying.
I'm not gonna ask you to change political parties. I just want you to think a little bit differently as a Christian. And the question I wanna ask you is, do you, don't answer out loud, do you want to do this? And do you think you can do this? To which, on the surface, it's like, oh yeah, I can do this, I do it all the time. Just hang with me. And I don't mean tolerate people from other parties and other persuasions, even those that are kind of out on, you know, the fringes, and are super extreme. Not tolerate, not just be nice to, with an eye roll, you know.
Let me ask you in a different way. And this is more pointed. And I think this goes to the heart of it. Are you willing to evaluate your politics, through the filter of our historical collective Christian faith? Are you willing to evaluate your politics through the filter of your faith rather than create a version of faith that supports your politics? Which is what most Christians do. As we're gonna talk about next week. Everybody wants a piece of Jesus, right? I mean in the United States of America, Jesus is part of every political party. He is in lockstep. No matter what your thing is, if you're a Christian at all or any kind of version of Christianity, it's like, oh yeah.
And again, we're gonna see next week, anywhere in the bible, you can find something Jesus said, or somewhere in the bible, to support your political view. The real issue is, are you willing, and am I willing, to put our political filter behind, instead of in front of, our faith filter? Are we willing to evaluate and re-evaluate our politics in light of what specifically Jesus has taught? Let me say it a different way. Are you, and can you be, but are you willing to follow Jesus? I mean that's the mission of our church, is to inspire people to follow Jesus. Are you willing to follow Jesus, when following Jesus creates space between you and your political party, your party's platform, and your party's candidate?
And I'm just telling you, most Christians are not able to do that, especially in the climate that we're in now, and in months that we have ahead. Because it's so easy to be divided, and it's so easy to rush to the corner, and it's so easy to just assume that God and Jesus are in lockstep with us. Now, any questions so far? Good, okay now, Jesus, this is what's so amazing, this is why I have to talk about it. Apparently, Jesus saw this coming. Not the election, not that part. What Jesus saw coming was the division. In fact, this is extraordinary. After Jesus had his final passover meal with the disciples, he prays a prayer in John; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; actually records this, sometimes it's called the High Priestly Prayer, and in this prayer, there's two interesting things. Number one, he prays for us; we're gonna look at that in just a minute. But number two, Jesus has a prayer request.
Now if you grew up in church, you know what a prayer request is. You're sitting in a circle, you're about to finish your Sunday School class, or your small group, "Anybody have a prayer request"? Somebody raise their hand, you share a prayer request. Imagine sitting in a circle with Jesus? "Anybody have a prayer request"? Jesus says, "I have a request". It's like, "Really"?, "Yeah". Jesus had a prayer request, and in this passage that John records for us, we discover what Jesus asked the Father for.
Now wouldn't you like to know what Jesus prayed for, when Jesus pray? We know what we pray for, you know, "Thank you for this day, you know, get us to school, help my kids", you know, that stuff. What did Jesus pray for? And so here he is, this is cool, he's at the very end, in a few hours, he's gonna be arrested, and tried and crucified. Everything moves really quick after that. So he's praying here at the end, and he asks something of his Heavenly Father. And what he asks of his Heavenly Father has everything in the world to do with any of you, any of us, who consider ourselves Jesus followers. This is remarkable.
Here's what he prays: Father, the hour has come. Here we are, you know, three, three and a half years, of walking around with these guys, trying to explain what you're like, and explain what the Kingdom of God is like, but here we are at the end, the hour has come. Glorify your son, he's about to be arrested and crucified, again, it moves really quick. Glorify your son, in other words, light me up in such a way that people recognize who I am, that your son may light you up, so that people recognize we're connected. And the interesting thing is the hour, when Jesus was crucified, that he's referring to here, the hour in which God was most glorified, we would have been most horrified. We would have looked away. And God never looked better. Because he sent his son to redeem mankind.
And Jesus' like, okay, we're at that hour, but before all those events kick off, there's something I gotta ask you to do, O Heavenly Father. Here's what he says. It goes on, verse 11, he says: I will remain in the world no longer, but they, the disciples, are still in the world, and I'm coming to you, I'm leaving them. And he's told them, I'm leaving, I'm leaving, I'm leaving, and Peter kept saying, where are you going? Where are you going, where are you going? And Jesus like, "Where I'm going, you can't go". Peter's like, "I'm going with you everywhere". And Jesus is like, "No, you're not, okay"? But what comes next is amazing and I think, this is just my opinion, I think what comes next, most Christians don't know. So you're gonna be an overly educated Christian after today.
Now it's been in the gospel of John this whole time, you know, it's like Dorothy, it's like, that movie should have lasted, what, 20 minutes? I got the ruby red slippers, I'm back in Kansas, right? So, this has been here the whole time. Here is Jesus' prayer request to the Father at the very end. Here's what he says: Holy Father, protect them, these 12 guys, by the power of your name, the name that you gave me, so that, in other words, here is the purpose of the protection. Here's specifically how I want you to protect them.
Now the interesting thing is, he's already given them some bad news. Okay guys, here's what your future looks like. You're gonna be arrested, flogged and beaten, some of you are gonna be killed. That's your future. Oh great, wish you had told us that earlier on. Ah I know I kinda held back 'cause I knew you wouldn't follow me. But anyway, that's your future, but now they're in it, right? But here he is praying that God would protect them, and he's not praying for their physical protection. He's praying for something he thinks is more important than their physical protection. That they may be, here it is: Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name that you gave me, so that they may be, this is his one prayer request, here is what he wanted protected more than anything else, that they may be one, as we are one.
At the very end, the thing that Jesus was most concerned about was their unity, and their oneness. Because here's what he knew, and here's what he's gonna say in the next few verses. He knew that as long as they were in lockstep together, and in lockstep with his Heavenly Father, the world would change. But if they ever got divided and splintered, things would stall out. Then, in verse 20, skipping down if you're following along, he prays for you and he prays for me and he prays for us. This is amazing. My prayer, he says, is not for them alone. Not just these 12 guys. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.
In other words, that next generation of Christians, and the next generation of Christians, and the next generation of Christians, leading all the way up to us. And what do you think he prays for us? And the answer is, not what we pray for us. In fact, here's something that's really sad, I mean it's convicting to me. My hunch is virtually none of us, who consider ourselves Jesus followers, virtually none of us have ever asked God for what Jesus asked God for. Virtually none of us have ever prayed the prayer that Jesus prayed even though he modeled it, and clearly, this was so close to his heart, and so important to him in those final hours. Which may be the problem. Because we're gonna discover, maybe if the church, maybe if people like me, have been begging God for this, leading toward this, pleading toward this, the world would be a different and better place.
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message. That all of them, all of them. In the first century, that meant Jew and gentile, and rich and poor and slaves and free men, and military leaders and soldiers and tax gatherers, and those from whom the taxes were gathered, and the educated and the uneducated, everybody. In the 21st century, it means Republicans and Democrats, the privileged, the not-so privileged, the independent, the indecisive, the libertarians, the librarians, you know, the black and brown and white and beige, privileged, married, single; in other words, all of us. That all of the people who call me Lord, no matter where they're from, what they've experienced, or how good life has treated them, or how poorly life has treated them, connected, disconnected, I pray that all of them, in this vast array, this extraordinary dispersion of people with different experiences, I pray that somehow, all of them, this is amazing, may be one. Which sounds impossible.
But Jesus was convinced, we're about to see this because he says it. Jesus was convinced, as impossible as that may sound, it was mission critical. Which meant, even though it seemed impossible, it was absolutely imperative. This was not an add on, this was not a wouldn't it be nice if we just all got along? Which means we should become intentional about ensuring that there is unity in local churches and unity in the church. Because this is what Jesus prayed for. And it doesn't come naturally, does it? And the reason it doesn't come naturally is because well we only know what we know and we were raised by who we were raised in, and we've experienced what we've experienced. And we tend to run to our little corners politically and relationally and every kind of way, right?
And Jesus' like, oh my church is gonna be so diverse, and my church is gonna be so international, and my church is gonna have so many different languages and so many different colors, and so many different cultures. If there is anyway they could remain one? And then he continues his prayer: Father, just as you are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us so that, another purpose clause. Do you know why he prayed for oneness? This is the shocker. The reason he prayed for oneness really doesn't even have anything to do with us. He prayed for oneness because of what he wanted to do through us. And there can be a lack of unity in a local church, and the church will survive, but if there's a lack of unity in a local church or in the church, the will of God will not be accomplished through the church.
Look at what he says. The reason I want them to be one, is so that the world, not the people in the church, so the people outside the church, the people outside the faith, the people that roll their eyes and drive on by, so that when they see the unity in spite of the diversity, when they see the unity in spite of the diversity within the church and between churches, they may actually come to the conclusion, they may believe, that is, they might be convinced, that you have sent me. Look, this isn't an add on. This is mission critical. The way the world is gonna sit up and take notice of this beautiful diverse thing we call the local church, is when the church works together and is unified, even though we disagree, and agree to disagree. Even though we've been raised in such different ways that we will never see the world the same way politically and other ways, and yet, at the same time, there's this beautiful, magical, unusual unity.
And Jesus is, I'm telling you, this is the way forward, this is what will eventually get the attention of the empire. This is what will eventually get the attention of the pagan world. There's never been anything like it. And you can't sacrifice your unity for anything. You know what he was doing? He was actually asking his Heavenly Father to come along later and nudge us and, you know, nudge that generation of Christians and the next generation of Christians, to nudge us toward what he had just commanded us to do a few minutes earlier when he was having passover meal with his disciples. Because in that conversation with his disciples, he said: Look, I'm about to leave. Peter, shh, you're not going. I'm about to leave.
And here's the one thing I don't want you to forget, I'm gonna give you a new command, we talk about this all the time, I'm gonna give you a new command, I'm gonna establish a new covenant, and the new command's gonna replace all the other commands and it's very simple, nobody even needs to write this down, he would say, ah ha, he could have said, because it's so simple. And my new command is this, you're to love one another, right? To which they would have said that's not really new. And Jesus would say I'm not through, you're to love one another, as I have, look at this, as I have loved you. You don't get to make this up. I've modeled this for you. As I have loved you, you're to love one another. And this was a new command, it was not a new suggestion.
These were our marching orders. Again, it's not even about us, because look at what he says, and the reason I want you to love each other isn't just so you would get along. Because by this, by this kind of unique love for one another, even though you're not like one another, because of this unique kind of love for each other, the world will know that you're my disciples. If, you love one another as I have loved you. So now Jesus, after he's given them, given us this command, he's going: Father, please help them to get this right. Please help them, as this thing expands and grows, and goes from Judea to Samaria, to the outermost parts of the world, please help them to love each other, as different as they're gonna be in so many ways.
Back to John 17, his prayer, he says: I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one, there it is again, and I in them and you in me, so that they may be brought to, look at this, to complete unity. Not political unity. Unity of purpose. Unity of a world view. That they would see each other the way I see each of them. That they would see me the way I'm to be seen. Then suddenly, this world view that includes a God that loves them and a savior that dies for them, that would be so encapsulating that it would define and redefine everything for them. And then look what he says: Then, here it is again, it's not about you, it's not about me, it's not even about us.
Then, the world will know with certainty that you sent me and have loved them, even as you have loved me. He's saying: Heavenly Father, you and I know, everything rides on their unity. Not around their politics, not around their culture, not around their language, not around bits and pieces of their world view, not around how they do baptism, communion, or not around how they sing or when they sing, or what time of the day they meet. We know, there is a core that they must be unified around, and if they are, the world's gonna change.
And here's the cool thing. After the resurrection of Jesus, it happened. I mean, after the resurrection of Jesus, the apostles went to the streets of Jerusalem, and clearly, they went with one purpose. Their purpose was to make disciples of all nations. And they went with one message. The message was that Jesus is the messiah, Jesus is the king that has come to reverse the order of things. He's come to bring the Kingdom of God to Earth, and then he laid down his life, unlike any other king, he laid down his life for his subjects, to create an on-ramp to the father. And they went to the streets of Jerusalem with this one single command. To love each other, the way they had seen Jesus love them.
See, here's the thing. I mean you're all very intelligent, smart people. So you know this, but let me just say it anyway, okay? Your candidate, your political candidate, for president or for everything, your political candidate, your candidates, will win or lose based on how American citizens vote on a Tuesday in November. But the church will win or lose based on our behavior every single day between now and then. I'll say this again. Your political candidate, and I hope everybody votes, will win or lose based on how the citizens of the United States vote on a single Tuesday in November. But the church wins or loses, the community wins or loses, in some way, our nation wins or loses, based on how we treat each other and love each other and love our world every single day between now and then.
That's why, and I say it strong because Jesus was so clear, we must not, it's not an add on, it's not a nice-to-have, we must not allow anything to divide us, and we must not allow anyone to divide us. Remember this. We're gonna talk about this in the third week in particular. Remember this, this is so important. It was Christianity, it was Christianity, it was this unique upside down doctrines of Christianity that shaped Western civilization. Almost no one disagrees with that. Even staunch atheists will agree that it was the message of Christianity that shaped Western civilization. It wasn't American politics, it wasn't Republicans or Democrats. It was Christianity that shaped Western civilization. It was the teaching of Jesus, not our political parties, that laid the groundwork for our modern sense of justice and fairness and the dignity of every single individual.
And we've not gotten that right all the time, and we continue to get it wrong in some corners, but the hope is not the perfect political party, the hope is the message and teaching of Jesus, because it was Jesus, that it was the church, that introduced these values in these ways in the beginning. So why in the world? Why in the world would we opt for something less than that? And why in the world would we allow ourselves to be divided over that? Listen, throughout our very short, you know this, throughout our very short history as a nation, and it is oh so short, both political parties, both our current political parties, have gotten it wrong, right? During our oh so short history as a nation, both of our current political parties and their leaders have gotten it wrong. They've failed us morally, they've failed us in terms of their leadership. We've had some great leaders, we've had some not so great leaders.
And then there's this, you know, we forget, during our oh so short history as a nation, several parties turned out the lights because their party was over. Are there still any whigs around here? Federalists, any Federalists in the room? See, here's what we figured. We're so short-sighted. There were entire political parties in our short history as a nation that were so adamant about certain things, and they kind of went away. So here's the question, why would we, as followers of an eternal king, allow ourselves to be divided by temporary political systems and temporary political leaders, and temporary political platforms? Why would we allow ourselves to be divided by lesser kings?
And here's the most embarrassing thing to me. Why would we allow ourselves to be divided by fear? Jesus' most oft repeated command was, fear not, fear not, fear not. And you know what? So many of us are so afraid of a potential something out there in the future to be afraid of, let's just pause for a moment and think about the context in which Jesus said fear not. You got the temple on one side, that can't wait to have you arrested, and you have the empire on the other side, that is gonna perform the execution. And in the middle of those colossal forces, Jesus says to his apostles, and smiles, and says: Guys, ignore them. Fear not. A king has come. And when the king's people rally around the message of the king, we know extraordinary things can happen because something extraordinary did happen in history.
Why, come on, why would we allow any political view, a view that you might outgrow, a view that you might abandon, isn't it true that every 10 years or so, or every 15 years or so, your views, your political views, have changed and adjusted and things that you were all adamant about, is kind of like, well maybe I dunno. I mean, don't you, a few of you thinks....
Why would we run the risk? Why would we allow any strongly held or not so strongly held political view divide us from a living, breathing, you? Why would we do that? When Jesus' single command is, look, believe what you wanna believe, vote for who you wanna vote for, but don't you dare mistreat someone made in my image. Why would we allow a political view to divide us from an actual living breathing you that Jesus died for, the you beside you? The you that lives next door to you? The you that works, you know, next cube, next office over from you? Or worst of all, the you that is related to you. Why, come on, this is common sense. Why would we not fight for, struggle for, and sacrifice for, the unity our king prayed for? It was the unity of the church that got the attention of a pagan world. And eventually, the empire responsible for crucifying Jesus, embraced him.
So, don't answer out loud, just in your heart, do you wanna do this? Do you wanna do this? Let me just say this, I don't say this about much, but I can say it with confidence. This is God's will for you. This is God's will for us, and this is God's will for every church because this is what Jesus prayed for. So I wanna make two suggestions as we start off this journey together, two things. Would you pray like Jesus prayed? Because most of us have never prayed a prayer like this before. Would you pray for oneness? I'm gonna give you a little prayer, and it's kind of, you know, it's not the best prayer in the world, but it's short and you may want to take a picture, I'm just gonna have us all pray it out loud because this is God's will for us.
Heavenly Father, make us one so we can influence many. This is not about church growth. This isn't about getting more people in a building. This is about the universal church. He said, hey, if they'll stay one, the world's gonna know what I'm up to. If they'll be one, the world would pay attention and look up. So we should pray. And I want you to pray this for your local church, wherever you attend church. Heavenly Father, make us one so we can influence many. This was the prayer of our savior, who hours later, died. This is what he wanted protected even more than the lives of his closest first century followers. So let's just get started. Let's just pray this together, all right? I mean just say this together, ready, all together: "Heavenly Father, make us one so we can influence many". Yeah, one more time. "Heavenly Father, make us one so we can influence many".
Second thing I want you to do, and for some of you, this will be like, yeah, I do this all the time. Okay, you can do this all the time, but I just wanna kinda push you a little bit. I want you to look for an opportunity, because you're gonna have to look for an opportunity, I want you to look for an opportunity to love unconditionally someone with whom you disagree politically. You're like, well I don't even know anybody I disagree with politically. That's a problem, okay? That right there should kind of get you started, right?
Let me just kinda push a little bit, that's why you haven't learned anything in 15 years. Ooh, that's why you're so convinced you're right, and you just can't understand, now I've told you this, "I can't understand how anybody could believe that". Well you just made a confession. There's something you don't understand. "I don't know how anybody can behave that way"! You just made a confession. There's something you don't know. So, Heavenly Father, Heavenly Father, I pray for oneness that we can be influencing many, and then I want you to look for an opportunity to love unconditionally someone with whom you disagree politically, and that may be harder than it normally is, because we're more divided than we've ever been. And when you find somebody that you can serve and love unconditionally, your light's gonna shine a little bit brighter because we're so divided.
Now I'm gonna close with this. I know that some of you are thinking, and I understand this, I really do, this isn't a criticism, I get this. Some of you are thinking, Andy, okay, cool sermon, great, you know, appreciate that. But come on, Andy, you have to say things like this, you're the preacher. I mean this is your job, right, you're just doing your job. You know, Jesus said this, you're gonna tell us what Jesus said, you wrap it in a political wrapper, and that's a good, but come on, Andy, Andy, aren't you being a little bit naive? To which I would say to you, no. Let me give you an example of something that's really naive.
Let me tell you what naive is. Naive is this. A first century rabbi, from nowhere, as far away from the epicenter of activity as he could be, way way way up north, standing out in that hot Syrian sun, surrounded by 12 guys who were younger than him, and they got no political clout, they don't have anything going for them, and right out there in the blazing hot sun, this first century rabbi says this: Guys, I'm gonna build my church, my movement, my assembly, my congregation, which by the way was illegal, I'm gonna build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Now that is naive. They looked around like, us? You're gonna do what? I'm gonna start a movement. And guys, you're gonna be part of it. And neither Rome, nor the temple, nor any culture, nor any nation, will ever stop it. Now that's naive. But he did, and it didn't. And we are part of it. And our unique sacrificial oneness, is the key to fueling it in our generation. So, disagree politically, love unconditionally, and pray for oneness. Disagree politically, love unconditionally, pray for oneness. Disagree politically, but love unconditionally, and pray for unity. And most importantly, don't miss part two of "Talking Points".