Book Review: ONWARD by Dr. Russell Moore

Book Review: ONWARD by Dr. Russell Moore

I am a recovering Army brat who loves to travel and start new adventures. My handsome husband and I met at Oklahoma Christian University and he whisked me away to Kansas. So, I bought some ruby red high heels and made Topeka my home. I have a rough and rowdy Princess 4-year-old girl, amazing twin boys (almost 3) and a newborn baby girl who all make every day an adventure. We are grateful to be part of an amazing church in Topeka who regularly challenges and encourages our whole family. I have been both a full-time working mom and a stay-at-home-mom and/or both at the same time at one point or another. I am constantly seeking God’s wisdom on “balancing it all” and following His plan for my life, not mine.
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Disclaimer:  We did receive a copy of this book to review but all opinions are 100% are own.

It happens every election cycle. The nation seems to be in a desperate place and voters are full of fear at what might come.

Fear. It permeates our world, it seems to inform our desperate actions and somehow it has begun to permeate our faith.

In a time when it seems like a default for us to fear what is going on in our county, Onward by Dr. Russell Moore was a great reminder of our real purpose for our time here: to further the kingdom of God.

Don’t get me wrong, elections ARE important, they are extremely significant. They do effect our daily lives and they do play a part in setting the trajectory of our nation and society. To be completely candid, I work in politics and I genuinely feel a call on my life in this area.  At the same time, God has shown me repeatedly that at the end of it all, he knows what is written on the scrolls and He alone can open them as Revelation 5 assures.

It is refreshing to read a book describing how in reality, we ARE losing the culture battle between our secular society and the values of our faith. Christians ARE becoming the radical ones who hold strongly to the love of Christ and His sacrifice.  Living our lives for God in an uncompromising fashion…is well, out of fashion.

Moore postures that the loss of the Midwestern “Bible belt” or “Moral Majority” might actually be a positive catalyst for a fervent movement for Christ to and the church to actually increase.   It is easy to grieve this and not understand why our country seems to be rejecting what is true in such a ferocious way, but it really is all about our perspective.

We must have an eternal perspective in all things and be focused on the simple truth that Jesus Christ is Lord and He died for our sins.  Dr. Moore describes the false gospels and half-truths Western Christianity has embraced, and affirms that we shouldn’t cling to those partial, or twisted versions of Christ and Scripture in order to maintain our comfort level with the status quo in our culture.

In fact, as believers, our hope is greater than fear of what our culture thinks Scripture “should” say or fear of our culture removing truth from their lives.  Our culture, government and society does not actually have that power over us. We have power to influence our culture and engage it by speaking the truth about the Gospel of Christ without isolating ourselves AND without watering down God’s word.

In fact, as believers, our hope is greater than fear of what our culture thinks Scripture “should” say or fear of our culture removing truth from their lives. (1)

Electoral politics seems like a highlighted opportunity to ensure “we are headed in the right direction”. While I strongly believe that Christian’s should be informed about our current events and advocating for Truth, and I do work to elect people who love God and share my values, our hope does not rest in them. Our hope rests in God, in His plan, and His truth in our lives.

One of my favorite hymns begins, ” My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and Righteousness” and Psalm 62:5-12 (ESV) says:

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
 He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
 On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us.

For anyone who is feeling fearful about the elections this November, or even about the loss of our culture or the unstable state of our world, I encourage you to read this book.  We can be relevant and speak truth in our world with confidence no matter what happens. Let us continue to work and advocate for what we believe and let us not panic, surrender or live in anger, let us live and act like Jesus is alive and He has rescued us from all of it in the end.

Thank you, Dr. Moore for reminding us all to have an eternal perspective on our world, sharing our faith and living for Christ.

Elections Have Consequences

Elections Have Consequences

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
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I know there are a lot of people out there who will probably be offended by this post.  But before you jump to conclusions, hear me out.  I’m not endorsing a candidate.  I’m not telling you who to vote for.  I truly believe that we must make informed decisions.

Many believe that as Christians, we should not be involved in politics, but we do need to be.  If we don’t, who will?  Are the people in office the ones that we want making our laws, representing us?

Then, of course, there is that separation of Church and state thing.  Guess what?  There is NO such thing!  I know.  You say, “But, it’s in the Constitution (Bill of Rights).”  WRONG!  Find it for me.  The first amendment of the Constitution states, “Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  (Emphasis added)

It says “…no law respecting the establishment of a religion…”  This means that Congress cannot establish a State religion.  This is why they left Europe.  They had State-sponsored churches like the Church of England.  Everyone was supposed to be a member of the state church and worship and believe in that manner.  They wanted to ensure that our Government would not do this.  “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”  This clearly states that the Government will not interfere with our religion.  They will not tell us how to believe or how to worship.

Now that we have the background, let’s continue.

First and foremost, we must vote for a Christian.  This is someone who truly has a relationship with Christ and shows it in their actions.  We want someone who believes as we do passing laws for us to live by.  I’m not saying that non-Christians are to be excluded, but this nation was built on Biblical principles.  Saying it wasn’t or things have changed only diminishes what our founding fathers went through.

We must vote the Bible!  We cannot vote for SIN.  This is whether it is on state questions or for candidates.  Anything or anyone that supports sin should not get our support.  I am not saying that we should hate sinners because we are all sinners, but we are to flee from sin.  We should be voting for the sanctity of human life because God created all life and it is not man’s decision when to end that life.  This applies not only to abortion, but to euthanasia also.

We should also vote for those who will be fiscally responsible.  Jesus even tells us that we are to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.”  (Luke 20:25)  But we are to entrust our money with those that will invest it wisely as with the nobleman in Luke 19:11-27.  If they have been wasting our money or are not themselves fiscally responsible, then we should not vote for them.

I have other criteria that coincide with my stance on other issues that I look at along with the above.  We must put God first in our voting decisions.  

The most important thing we can do is pray.  We need to pray about who God wants us to vote for.  We should pray for a discerning spirit.  If we listen, God will tell us.

I have decided who I am not voting for; I have not decided who I am voting for.  I also believe that if you cannot chose a candidate, you do not have to pick the “lesser of two evils.”  Go to the ballot box and leave those races or questions blank.  Leaving it blank is still voting.  It is saying “I don’t agree with these choices.”

I believe this could be the most important election in our lifetime.  We must be politically active.  Please do not take it lightly.  God knows all that we do.  We must answer to him for those decisions.  Are you willing to stand before God and tell Him that you voted for a candidate who did not follow Him?

Are there any factors that you use to determine how you will vote?

Have you chosen your candidates yet?

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