Dear Kingfisher family
It seems as if there is a scourge afflicting the body of Christ internationally. As if there is an unseen power forcing polarization within and among churches, denominations, ministry organizations and individuals. This plays out in the theatre of international and local politics, culture, and opinion. There is no room for balanced and considered opinion. We are for or against.
We see this in debates about political leadership and politics in the United States, whether we are living on that continent or not. The body tears itself apart in Biblical interpretation and theology about evolution, marriage, gender issues, COVID19 policy, personal liberty, the right to bear arms or not, racial divisions and many other issues – some so volatile that I even hold back on mentioning them in this letter amongst the Kingfisher family.
Followers of Jesus within one body became enemies. Disciples walking in His footsteps look at each other with distrust and anger.
I think you know what I mean.
Most of these issues were not so urgent or poisonous ever during the past two thousand years of the church’s existence. But now something imposes conflicting worldviews on us that breaks us apart, destroying our witness, weakening our faith, and making us the laughingstock of the world.
This polarization does not occur only in a specific culture or country – it infests the body of Christ everywhere.
We find it difficult to imagine those on the other side of the divide to be real Christians, they must be uninformed, lacking in insight and without the presence of the Holy Spirit as guide.
We as Kingfisher family with people from different church backgrounds on three continents and within diverse cultures see this growing divide very clearly.
It does not only damage the witness of the church in an antagonistic world. It prevents us from understanding disciple-making in its deepest core.
We have been trapped to live our spiritual lives according to opposing worldviews different from that of Jesus.
When Jesus called his disciples to follow Him, the very first item on His agenda was to teach His worldview (Matthew 5:3-10) and explain in detail what it meant in terms of real life (Matthew 5-7). His motto and creed was love to God the Father and love to every person we meet. But how do you do it in real life? By thinking and acting from a worldview rooted in Love itself.
So, we do have a worldview that will help us as His disciples to make decisions about practical life like choosing a political representative, including, or excluding certain people from fellowship or deciding about civil duty, taxes or the solution to poverty and broken families.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
NIV Mat 5:3-10
Jesus’ worldview is the opposite of that which polarizes out of zeal but missed love by a mile. It is the opposite of those that stand on their rights but miss Jesus demonstrating to us what it meant to be poor in spirit.
We who follow Jesus as His disciples step by step know that getting to the point that we look at life through these glasses can be difficult. But what is even more difficult is to put it in practice and live this Kingdom lifestyle in everything we do.
To live like that means we must take up our cross and follow.
Living according to these principles in ordinary life is to make love visible. And that more than anything we can say will convince the world that Jesus is Lord of all.