Terry Storch Dispatch w.46.2020
"You can borrow knowledge, but not action" - James Clear
The Gospel and Politics
Too soon to talk about politics? Man, I’m not sure it’s ever really a safe time or the right time to get into politics in our current divisive and tense climate. But, in the middle of it all, I have hope and great faith in our human race. I have faith, because I believe we will discover where our true loyalties must rest and that it’s not and never can be in a political party or organization. This is what connects us back to The Gospel, or the Euangelion.
Euangelion - εὐαγγέλιον euangélion, yoo-ang-ghel'-ee-on; a good message, i.e. the gospel:—gospel. (Here’s a great video about Euangelion by the Bible Project.)
As we think about the Gospel, the Euangelion, we need to recognize that we get to choose what our Good News is—where we put our faith, our trust, and our hope. Is our Good News, our Gospel, going to rest in an empire, a government, a political party, or in things of this world? Or is our Gospel going to rest in Jesus, the new King who brought a total new way of living? We get to choose and must make these choices daily.
Do we choose Empire or Shalom? And if you’re thinking that one political party represents Jesus better than another, then you really need to take a few steps back and watch the video above. I hate to burst your bubble, but neither political party in America is a good representation of the true Gospel. In fact, when you go outside America, where there isn’t necessarily a two-party system, you won't find a political party that aligns with Shalom; it will almost always fall towards Empire.
I’m not sure if you’re still with me or not. I have to guess that if you’re a regular reader of this Dispatch, then you are! These thoughts are nothing new. But, if you’re new, please know I am coming through the 5 to 10 years that Richard Rohr describes in the video above of the unravelling— not in lock step with a political party and disillusioned with power and things of this world. But in the midst of all of this, I’m constantly brought back to the power of the Gospel, which is the unifying message of Jesus, Shalom. I am reminded that there’s nothing new under the sun, and that as bad or as challenging we think our environment is, this has happened before.
I highly encourage you to listen to this BEMA podcast, A Gospel of Two Kingdoms. The podcast is 23-minutes long, but please listen. Think for a moment of the time when Jesus was born. Jesus was born in the shadows of King Herod’s Kingdom, or Empire. Jesus came to dismantle Empire and bring Shalom. We must challenge ourselves not to fall into the traps this world presents and the comfort that Empire can offer. And please know, I fail at this daily! I don’t have this all figured out as I’m a deep work in process and still working through so much.
Let me leave you with this last thought: Love God. Love Others. This is Jesus' commandment to us. Over the last few weeks, I have regularly looked down at the tattoo on my arm and reminded myself to love others. This is so easy to say, easy to Tweet, easy to put on Instagram, and also very easy to permanently put on your body as art. But loving others is really, really hard to do. This is where I circle back to James Clear’s quote at the opening of this Dispatch, “You can borrow knowledge, but not action." Love is action. May our love for Jesus and our loyalty to the Gospel lead us to love others as Jesus commanded us to do.
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Yes, I am a huge Ryan Holiday fan, but it was this hook in his article that completely sucked me in. “Law of Attraction” is something that millions of people do believe in, despite that fact that it is, to put it mildly, complete horseshit. And it needs to be said.” There’s so much great content in this article, and it totally falls in line with my thoughts above. Holiday goes on to say, “The discipline of perception is worthless on its own. What matters is what follows—the discipline of action.” Read now.
Oh my gosh, I loved this image! So true! But, Eric’s article, 6 Things The Most Productive People Do Every Day, really is about something different and is pretty great. For me, in the midst of the Pandemic and the chaos of our world right now, I needed some simple centering and practical reminders of being productive. Read more.
My friend, Dan Rockwell, is a prolific writer and outstanding leader. Dan’s blog LeadershipFreak is a must follow and read. This image for his post really says it all: Glance at the goal. Concentrate on the next step. Brilliant! Dive into this article entitled, 7 Advantages of Uncertainty That Leaders Maximize Everyday. You’ll be glad you did. Read now.
What an appropriate song for the Foo Fighters to play on SNL last weekend. Times Like These. Watch now.
It's times like these you learn to live again.
It's times like these you give and give again.
It's times like these you learn to love again.
It's times like these time and time again.