Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Call to Collaboration

Several years ago, while serving as the co-director for Enfoque México, I learned many life-shaping lessons in the world of partnering. Some of them marked my life with great joy and others brought a good deal of pain. But through these learning experiences and the wise counsel of wonderful friends, the Lord impressed an important truth upon my heart: The Gospel will only achieve fruition through partnering and collaboration among believers. This is, very simply, the body of Christ in action.

Two wise friends, Eric Swanson and Sam Williams, were the first to bring my attention to the significance of Jesus' prayer for all believers in John 17:
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. [italics mine]
Hundreds of times I've read these verses and still never caught it. Through my Western cultural lenses I would think, "Wouldn't that be nice if we could all be unified." But here, Jesus doesn't give us that luxury of thought. His prayer effectively hinges global evangelization on one thing: The unity of believers.

How should we respond to Christ's prayer? We would all agree that unity is a noble goal and should be pursued, even at great cost. But let's be honest. The realist in all of us finds the thought boring, an inhibitor to creativity and rapid expansion, an unnecessary burden, or some combination thereof. But how should the great importance Jesus places on unity translate into our modern world?

Obama Administration Wages New War

Let me begin with a preface. While I do my best to stay clear of politics on this blog, I do, from time to time, find it worthwhile to respond to something in the media or politics. And after a week of very candid efforts by the White House to censor the freedom of the press, I consider it not only worthwhile but of grave importance to draw attention to a few of Barack Hussein Obama's positions on Americans' constitutional freedoms.

You may know about President Obama's comments on NBC, where he alludes to Fox News as "a talk-radio format". And, as an American citizen, he certainly has the right to his opinion. You may also know about the recent attempt of the White House to exclude Fox News from interviews with executive pay-czar Kenneth Feinberg. That's crossing a line. And the other news networks felt the same way.

But what I find even more troubling, are the people Obama surrounds himself with. Glenn Beck, an admitted conservative analyst, does a fine job connecting the dots.

At this point, I don't consider it a stretch to say that we should have given a little more consideration to Obama's friendships with people like left wing radical and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.