Paradigm Shifts - Collected Reflections
Hungering for More

Choose How You Will Think

Not cyrus

You are making choices about how to think about things, how to process information, how to sort out reality, and what to do about what you think.

You are constantly voting.

Your thumbs are going up and down, sometimes both at the same time. The world is a confusing place. Contradictory voices seem true all at the same time.

Watch your motives - whether it is me or anyone else telling you what your politics should be, examine the principles, examine your loyalties, examine your presuppositions, examine the evidence, and examine your own heart and motives prayerfully.

Neither Rome, Persia, nor America is the source of our liberty and power. God is, and we can serve God no matter who is sitting in the seats of power and temporal authority.

Caesar has no power to grant, to the church, the kind of power that she thrives on.

The church must derive its power from God or it is in grave danger of selling its loyalty to the highest bidder for the lowest possible advantage.

I do not care who is sitting on Rome's throne at any given time in history. It could be Nero or Constantine. It could be a persecutor or an ally.

Vote for whoever you wish to represent your political views, but do not do so for the wrong reasons.

Even in the days of Cyrus and Zerubbabel when Israel was granted the blessing or return to the land of  promise from Exile, it was not Cyrus who was the source of power, but God.

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. - Zechariah 4:6, New International Version


Additional Meditations of Civil Religion and Authentic Discipleship


Demetrius and the artisans had a complaint.

Paul was stirring the truth pot urging people to seek God.

This threatened a lifestyle of privilege that gathered around a civil religion. Demetrius stirred the artisans with a chant that appealed, on the surface, to their local religion, but was really about their money and power.

Acts 19:21-41
Now after these things had been accomplished, Paul resolved in the Spirit to go through Macedonia and Achaia, and then to go on to Jerusalem. He said, "After I have gone there, I must also see Rome."

So he sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he himself stayed for some time longer in Asia.

About that time no little disturbance broke out concerning the Way. A man named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the artisans. These he gathered together, with the workers of the same trade, and said, "Men, you know that we get our wealth from this business. You also see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost the whole of Asia this Paul has persuaded and drawn away a considerable number of people by saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be scorned, and she will be deprived of her majesty that brought all Asia and the world to worship her."

When they heard this, they were enraged and shouted, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"

The city was filled with the confusion; and people rushed together to the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's travel companions. Paul wished to go into the crowd, but the disciples would not let him; even some officials of the province of Asia, who were friendly to him, sent him a message urging him not to venture into the theater.

Meanwhile, some were shouting one thing, some another; for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together. Some of the crowd gave instructions to Alexander, whom the Jews had pushed forward.

And Alexander motioned for silence and tried to make a defense before the people. But when they recognized that he was a Jew, for about two hours all of them shouted in unison, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"

But when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, "Citizens of Ephesus, who is there that does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the temple keeper of the great Artemis and of the statue that fell from heaven? Since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rash. You have brought these men here who are neither temple robbers nor blasphemers of our goddess. If therefore Demetrius and the artisans with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls; let them bring charges there against one another. If there is anything further you want to know, it must be settled in the regular assembly. For we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause that we can give to justify this commotion."

When he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.