Encouragement for 2020

I know that God’s hand is on the Twin Cities here in Minnesota. Jesus is changing lives! I met with hundreds of pastors from various evangelical denominations in 2019 and heard unique stories of the Gospel at work.

We can acknowledge that our Christian beliefs and values are increasingly in tension with culture, but rather than abandon or modify our faith, it appears

“Christians are weighing beliefs with scripture and holding to them ardently.”

Christians are weighing beliefs with scripture and holding to them ardently. In 2017, sociologists Landon Schnabel and Sean Bock researched religious intensity in America and found that “Rather than religion fading into irrelevance as the secularization thesis would suggest, intense religion—strong affiliation, very frequent practice, literalism, and evangelicalism—is persistent and in fact, only moderate religion is on the decline in the United States.Leith Anderson, President of the NAE also recently observed that “intense religious faith stays strong when secularization erodes the moderate religious faith of others.”

God’s Word gives us eyes for the marginalized and vulnerable, grants us peace in uncertainty and anxiety, and heals the wounds of trauma and shame. Scriptural truths, biblical ethics, and the value of discipleship and community remain refreshing and compelling to each generation. A particular level of generosity and engagement where social issues meet biblical values continues to expand among younger generations of believers.

“The Gospel should always be contextual and relevant, but never captive to current culture.”

For many of us, our religious beliefs have been shaped by our surroundings. If we aren’t mindful, socioeconomic class, race, careers, political affiliations etc. can all become factors that define us or lead to divisions in the Church. The Gospel should always be contextual and relevant, but never captive to current culture. As we move into 2020, my prayer is that we all remain centered on Christ.

– Carl Nelson


January 14, 2020
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