DLGP

Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Be A Timothy In A Confused World!

Written by: on April 1, 2024

Western Culture is still deciding how much to let Christian Culture dominate its nation and people. In the Bible, we have two primary mindsets: the Hebrew Mindset (the Eastern mindset) and the Greek Mindset, which is the Western mindset. We see the difference in the writings of the gospel, primarily the difference between the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke.   

Synopsis

In Tom Holland’s book Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade The World.  “Lepers and children were not the most defenseless of God’s children.” Across the Roman world, “babies abandoned by their parents was a common sight.” Up to this time virtually everyone was accepting of parents exposing their unwanted children. That is until Christian people arrived on the scene. Many were like Macrina, a saint who rescued abandoned girls and took them home to raise as her own.[1] 

           Meanwhile, a new kind of hero was emerging in Gaul—a Christian one. He is seen as heroic not because he wields political or military power but because he eschews both. Martin of Tours becomes a bishop precisely because he does not want to be one. Martin wields power because he rejects it, laying down his life for the weakest of his subjects.[2] 183

  Holland then devotes a lengthy section to the evolving Christian view of the afterlife. He argues that Plato was quite influential. Augustine describes him as the pagan, “who comes nearest to us.”[3]

           He then turns to the Irish, among the greatest missionaries the world has ever known. Irish monasticism was the most rigorous that has ever existed, and they paid attention to the lands east and south—what modern-day England, France, Germany, and even Italy were. Columbanus was among the greatest. “Schooled in the ferociously exacting monasticism of his native land, Columbanus appeared to the Franks a figure of awesome and even terrifying holiness.”[4] The impact of Irish Monks is incalculable. Thomas Cahill’s famous book, “How the Irish Saved Western Civilization” should have been titled “How Irish Monks Saved Western Civilization.”

In Evangelization and Ideology: How to Understand and Respond to The Political Culture, Mattew R. Petrusek makes a great attempt to respond to the present culture and struggles we face, especially as Christians.[5] Even though Petrusek is influenced by a heavy Catholic background, I respect him for raising awareness and helping people navigate between present cultural trends and the Bible.

Applied Learnings

Jesus focused on the hearts of the people who followed Him and the hearts of those in leadership. We can have the best management practices, leadership skills, and charisma; however, are we bringing transformation as Christian leaders? He brought the present culture focus back on the Word of God.

In the book Culture Eats Strategy For Lunch by Curt W. Coffman and Kathie Sorensen, Ph.D. we see that culture is not the enemy of strategy, but an equal player and how much culture impacts your work environment. However, we see many churches adopting this strategy, using excitement and environment to heighten the experience of someone coming to church. Many churches and pastors are turning to psychology to attract people to their church or ministry.[6] Creating a Vegas-style church full of excitement and merchandise. Have we become more focused on creating a dopamine high, rather than spiritual transformation? Perhaps we will see a roulette table in church soon to see what you win from God at church today!

Conclusion

In the Pastoral Epistles, Paul encourages and instructs Timothy to stand firm and be a soldier of Christ. Young Timothy, before a huge audience in Ephesus, did not sell out his soul for more attendees.[7] He stood before people and boldly proclaimed the Word of God, and God’s spirit rested on young Timothy. The real question before any leader is whether we will compromise and sell out our position in Christ for more attendees in our church or for money.

Christianity is one of the few religions where the forgotten, downtrodden, widowed, and orphaned get a new opportunity, a new life through Jesus Christ. Given the opportunity, Christianity will reform a community, state, and nation. I believe this is why Christianity is hated and outlawed by governments worldwide. This is where it is heading in our present course in the U.S., and I wonder how much time I have before I will not be able to gather with our congregation without a public official of what I can and cannot say.

[1] Holland, Tom, Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World. (Basic Books: New York) 2019. p.180

[2] Ibid p.183

[3] Ibid p.202

[4] Ibid p.205

[5] Matthew R. Petrusek Evangelization and Ideology: How to Understand and Respond to The Political Culture. Park Ridge IL: Word on Fire Institute, 2023

[6] Curt W. Coffman and Kathie Sorensen, Ph.D. Culture Eats Strategy For Lunch:  Liang Addison Press; First Edition (September 23, 2013).

[7] Vincent Jude Miller, Consuming Religion: Christian Faith and Practice in A Consumer Culture (New York: Continuum,2004).

About the Author

mm

Greg McMullen

Pastor Greg resides in Lake Stevens WA and pastors a small rural church in the Machias area . The Well Church has a large food ministry in which many different cultures come each week to gather food and counsel. The Church has a small school that is bearing good fruit. Pastor Greg has a large family of 10 children and enjoys fishing and hiking.

5 responses to “Be A Timothy In A Confused World!”

  1. Jenny Steinbrenner Hale says:

    Greg, Thanks for your post. I like how your brought various authors together in this discussion of Holland’s book. You end with a very sobering thought: “I wonder how much time I have before I will not be able to gather with our congregation without a public official of what I can and cannot say.” It does seem at times that we are headed in a political and cultural direction none of us ever imagined possible. Hoping we never get to the point that our worship is monitored. Lord, help us.

    • Jenny,

      Thank you for reading my post and commenting. I can’t help selecting back to Oxford when Simon Walker said that there will be great civil unrest in America. When he said that “men will have to learn how to violent again,” greatly concerned me as a father.

  2. Tonette Kellett says:

    Oh Greg,

    As I type this, all I can think about is the end of your post—gathering with public officials to watch what preachers say here in the United States. It makes my heart skip beats at the thought. May the Lord be with our country.

    • Tonnette,
      Thank you for reading my post and commenting. It is a very real and difficult thing that pastors face. For me personally with the food ministry, the state asked me to write down the license plate numbers of those who came to our food ministry.

      A number of sermons have been edited or taken down from Facebook. My profile on Facebook has been deleted twice for not meeting community standards. The Church will continue to face criticism and persecution. However, this will make leaders diligent.

      Peace and Blessings Tonette.

      • Tonette Kellett says:

        Greg,

        You have really been in the hot seat with the state of your ministry! We just can’t imagine the mighty things God must have in store for you right now. Hang in there as He works in and through you. To God be the glory!

Leave a Reply