We Need A Break

We Need A Break

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

garyandme521

Gary Pollard

Being well-informed is an essential part of remaining free. Without an understanding – from reliable sources – of what’s going on in the world, we make ourselves vulnerable to deception. That said, it’s my humble opinion that we need a news detox/vacation. 

  • We need a detox because virtually all information sources pander to their political audiences. 
  • We need a detox because most reports are negative, defamatory, or otherwise divisive. 
  • We need a detox because it’s caused many to determine a person’s value by their opinions on current issues. 
  • We need a detox because it’s increasingly affecting our churches. 
  • We need a detox because God expects us to love people (Phil 2.3-4; Gal 6.10; I Cor 13.4-7). Being constantly bombarded with reasons to dislike others doesn’t help. 
  • We need a detox because there’s so much more to life than politics and negativity. It’s much harder to appreciate or recognize positivity if we’ve overdosed on current events. 
  • We need a detox because constant exposure has not done anything good for our mental health. 

Please don’t see this as a suggestion to live under a rock. That helps no one. Instead, see it as an opportunity to step back, cool off, and recalibrate how we view other people. It simply cannot hurt society to have more patience, compassion, and empathy! 

“Soft Civil War”

“Soft Civil War”

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

Gary III

Gary Pollard

It is no secret that we are politically divided in this country. Larger cities are typically progressive, while the majority of a state’s rural populations are conservative. This has even dictated what kind of news we watch! If you watch CNN, you fit in with progressives. If you watch Fox News, you are most likely conservative. Both approach reality with their own highly specific bias in order to appeal to their respective audiences. As a result of this, we have entered into what is being called a “soft civil war.” Liberals speak with extreme hatred against conservatives. Conservatives speak with great hatred against liberals. It may be a soft civil war right now, but it would not take much at this point to become a full-fledged war.

As a church, we are a kingdom. Our king is Christ and the citizens of this kingdom are Christians. Sadly, the church is not immune to soft civil wars. In Philippians 4, Paul strongly rebukes Euodia and Syntyche because their argument was destroying the church. How easily we can become heated and hateful over matters of opinion! The way we handle differing opinions on matters not pertaining to salvation determines whether we will be unified as a church or whether – like Euodia and Syntyche – we will be a force for division. The greatest tragedy of the American Civil War was that families fought on opposing sides and killed one another. As the body of Christ, let us continue to handle our differences with godliness, love, and patience.

An Aggressive Agenda

An Aggressive Agenda

Neal Pollard

They use every opportunity to make it a part of the conversation.  It is as if they have a one-track mind.  However they can promote their cause, they do.  They will not quit until they convince you that what they believe is right and that you should accept it, too.  They are bold and willing to risk and sacrifice to get their point of view not only heard but accepted.  That there are still several places in the world where what they are preaching is unacceptable does not daunt or deter them.  Say what you will, they believe in their conviction and will continue to spread it.  They are purpose-driven.

Can you imagine Jews and those of the Roman Empire saying this about the Christians in the first century?  Armed with a living hope (1 Pet. 1:3), they, even in the worst times, “went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4).  They were accused of having “turned the world upside down” with their teaching (Acts 17:6). They had the reputation as “the sect…that [was] spoken against everywhere” (Acts 28:22). Yet, they would not stop until they had shared the good news everywhere (Col. 1:23).  They were not interested in popularity or even acceptance.  They were trying to get their point of view not only heard but accepted because it originated from the very mind of God.

Aren’t there people in this world who seem to have such a singular obsession? They are in special interest groups, and they have the cooperation and acceptance of rich and powerful people in the media, politics, education, and even athletics.  They are indefatigable, tirelessly and relentlessly pursuing their agenda.

What about the church of the 21st Century?  Do we have an aggressive agenda? Are we willing to share the Word of God, whatever it costs to whomever we can?  It necessitates this question. Do we truly believe it is both right and essential?  If it captures our minds, hearts and souls, we will not be able to keep quiet about it.  May we develop the reputation for steadfast single-mindedness!